DEM BONES

Genealogy and Archeology, two endeavors, akin, but not really related.
Both have a common thread connecting them together, History.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal of recent days, published this remarkable story regarding all three sciences, if you will.
To be fair and correct, the item was well written, and researched, by Staff Writer, Audrey Parente. I’ll not attempt to take any credit for the story, just thought it interesting.
In 1983, s human skull was found, washed ashore on the beach, at Tomoka State Park, just north of Daytona.
All the officials, at the time, agreed the person died, not from foul play, as far as the skull was concerned. The item was stored away where things such as that are handled, and all but forgotten.
In 2007, more bones were found near the spot where the skull was located.
Now, they relocate the skull, add the bones, send them to experts at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, for examination.
I must digress for a moment to add, the story mentions the dissimilarities between real life, and the TV series, “Bones.” They concluded their exams and get results in 60 minutes or less. Not so here.
The folks at UCF, after weeks of painstaking work, and delivery of more remains, come to the conclusion that, the remains were that of a woman, who died at about 30 years of age. She was about 4 ft 11 in tall, most likely a slave. Pelvic fragments, jaw configuration, etc, were not consistent to the indigenous tribes of the area, but a person of African descent.
Then comes the kicker. This woman’s remains were some 300 years old!  300 years! That puts us at about 1700 or so.
By this time in history, the local tribes had been wiped out, or relocated to Cuba, by the Spanish!
On a British Land Grant, of thousands of acres, Richard Oswald started building a plantation raising oranges, tobacco, sugar cane, etc. The Mount Oswald plantation folded when the British abandoned the area in 1785.
The people involved with the remains had named her, “Miss Oswald.”
The local organization of Black Historians have arranged to have Miss Oswald buried in the historically black cemetery, at Oakridge, with full ceremonial rites.
History, archeology, genealogy, put this lady to a proper resting place.
RW 6/5/11


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