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Black Pioneers of Cass County, East Texas

Updated October 11, 2012

Darelene Warren Rothwell
P. O .Box 2732
Desoto, TX 75123
United States

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This site has been created so that future generations of descendants of Cass County, Texas families will be able to:

(1) have access to information on their family roots
(2) learn of their past heritage and history by viewing family photos, historical documents such as census,wills,probate records,land deeds, birth,death, and marriage records
(3) Connect to their ancestors,descendants and family members
(4) share and contribute family information with web site for the benefit of others
(5) develop a sense of pride and appreciation for their African-American heritage
(6) be encouraged to research and maintain family genealogical information and pass it on to their descendants
Website created by Darelene Warren Rothwell,
Author, Educator, Genealogist

About Darelene Warren Rothwell:
I have been researching for over 40 years and have documented the life of my African-American ancestors and their slaveholders. My parents were Arthur Warren, Sr. and Sadie Marie Knight both of whom were born in Linden, Texas. Their ancestors were Joseph Warren, Sr and Hannah Allen, Emily Thompson-Smith and Green Wade Thompson, Caleb and Dora Horsley, Darcus Cole, Aaron Simington,Iler and Lincoln Kelly; Dave and Dianna Knight all of whom took roots as former slaves in the piney woods of Linden, Cass County, East Texas during the Civil War Era in the mid 1800's. My Research on these pioneers of Cass County dates back to the 1700's. I have collected photographs, birth, death, marriage, Probate, Wills and land deeds as well as U.S. Federal Census and school census records that verify names and relationships of my ancestors and their descendants.

In 2007, I published an updated 2nd edition copy of my 453-page fully illustrated hardbound book entitled, "A History of African-American Families and Slaveholders in Cass County, East Texas from the Colonial Days and Slavery to the Twenty-first Century." This book documents the names and movement of my slave ancestors and their slaveholders from one region/state to another from the early 1700's to after the Civil War in 1865. Included are photos and documents. The first edition published in 2005 was awarded best genealogy book by the Texas State Genealogical Society, and is in several libraries throughout the United States including the Austin State Capital library in Austin, Texas; the LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City, Utah; the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana; the J. Erik Jonsson Dallas Central Library, Dallas, Texas, and the Atlanta Public Library in Atlanta, Texas.
This updated 453-page 2nd edition book with an index of over 2,000 names is available for purchase. For more information, please e-mail inquiries to the above address.

My Membership: Dallas Genealogical Society; Cass County Genealogical Society, ATLANTA, TX; National Gen Society,NGS


DARELENE WARREN ROTHWELL, Author, Educator, Genealogist,
Available for genealogy workshops

LEON MARTIN, Professional Genealogist, Family Researcher

2012 MARTIN Family Reunion, Caterview, TX Oct 12-13
2013 Pleasant Hill Family Reunion, Dallas TX summer of 2013
2011 Pleasant Hill Homecoming Reunion, Linden, TX June 8-10th
2009 Pleasant Hill Family Reunion Clarksville, TN Jul 10-12
2010 ALLEN Family Reunion, Dallas, TX June 24-27, 2010
2010 GIVENS Family Reunion, Linden, TX June 19, 2010
FAIRVIEW COMMUNITY CENTER: From Linden take Hwy 59 south 4 miles RIGHT ONTO CR 1625
PLEASANT HILL ROSENWALD SCHOOL,Texas Historical Site:From Linden take Hwy 8 north to FM Rd 1399, Linden, TX 75563

My Family History


Family Photos

  • Mattie Horsley-Warren Knight (1887-1929) (2 KB)
    Mattie Horsley-Warren Knight born in Linden, Texas, was the daughter of John Caleb and Dora Wade Thompson. She was married to (1)Alex Warren and(2)Levi Knight, Sr.
  • Agnes Jones and husband, Dave Knight, Jr. (195 KB)
    Agnes Jones (1872-1950) d/o Thomas Jones and Mollie Cole granddaughter of Darcus Cole; Dave Knight son of Dinah Knight and Dave Knight, Sr. both former slaves brought to Cass County, Texas from South Carolina.
  • Book: African American Families and Slaveholder TX (56 KB)
    Award-winning book by Darelene Warren Rothwell Title: "A History of African-American Families and Slaveholders" in Cass County, East Texas, From the Colonial Days and Slavery to the Twenty-first Century. Published by Creative Continuum Newly updated in 2007, this 453-page second edition includes the biographies of former slaves and slaveholders and their descendants with surnames of Warren, Allen, Horsley, Knight, Lockett, Simington, Jackson, Smith, Martin, and many more. Beautifully hard-bound on archival paper, the book includes hundreds of photographs and historical documents with an index of over 2,000 names. The book is available for purchase.

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