Behind the scenes of the article titled, “A 150-Year history of the Contee-Gibson Family School.”
Myron Contee had no idea about the history of his ancestors in Alexandria, Washington, DC and Maryland. His Contee and Gibson families were early property owners in Alexandria. The Contee family migrated from Prince Georges, Maryland around the beginning of the Civil War to Washington, DC. They stayed in Washington, DC until after the Civil War. Myron’s second great-grandfather and his children migrated to Alexandria after the civil war leaving other relatives in DC. They became property owners of not just one house but several homes in Alexandria.
Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “The Other History of Fishtown – Dogan Family”
Mrs. Betty Dogan Roberts Nicholas’ father, William S. Dogan II’s family has been in Alexandria since the 1700s. The Dogan were born free prior to the Civil War. They had businesses in Alexandria down at the wharf. They lived for many years in an African American neighborhood called Fishtown in Alexandria.
One of the Dogans had a restaurant and bar business down at the fish wharf before the civil war. With that type of business, he brought real estate in Alexandria. The properties with houses on it were rented out. This was a source of income for the family.
Unknown to the present generation, they were unaware that their family had been in the area for over 300 plus years. They contributed a lot to the history of Alexandria and they saw a lot of history made in Alexandria.
Mr. James Thomas Ford was a hardworking man. He was determined to make a better life for himself. At the age of 17, he knew the value of supporting a family. He along with his other siblings help earn money to support their mother and his younger siblings.
James was the second child of eleven siblings. His parents were Thomas Osborne Ford and Rosa Ellis. Thomas, his siblings and parents, Osborne and Elizabeth migrated from Fairfield, South Carolina to Richmond, Virginia.
Prior to 1930, Rosa and her children returned to her birthplace, Victoria, Lunenburg, Virginia. James spent a short time in his mother’s birthplace. Eager to have a better life, James Thomas Ford migrated at the age of 17 to Alexandria, Virginia.
James will make Alexandria his home and become a federal employee, cab driver and after retiring from the federal government, he became an entrepreneur. You can read more about Mr. Ford in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper, “The Cigar Man Made a Better Life – James Thomas Ford,” on page 5, dated October 28, 2020 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/102820/Alexandria.pdf.