Susannah Storms was the eldest child of Primus and Parmelia. She was born in 1788 in Fishkill, NY to a slave mother and free father. The family traveled to Basin Harbor, Vermont with Platt Rogers, mother Parmelia’s owner.
The Storms became one of the many free, land-owning Black families in Vermont. When Susannah died unmarried on 16 September 1845, she left her 54 acre “Home Farm” to her family. Her father, Primus and her brother Joseph had already passed on so Susannah’s estate was divided eight ways. Her mother and six living sibling each received 1/8 share of the land. The five children of her brother Joseph each received 1/5 of the last eighth of land. Below is the surveyor’s rendering of the division.
Susannah never married but she did leave records of her life. She lived for many years with a Quaker family in Ferrisburgh – siblings Joseph and Mary Rogers. Mary kept a diary and wrote often about Susannah according to Rokeby Musuem’s Jane Williamson. Jane authored the article “African-Americans in Addison County, Charlotte, and Hinesburg, VT 1790-1860.”
According to that article and church records, Susannah was a member of the local Baptist church in Panton and had at one point leased land for the Stone School in Panton. Her probate records reference the Stone School as a boundary point but does not show any of her heirs receiving it. Perhaps she had sold or given the land to the town prior to her death. Or the town may have held on to the parcel since the town’s school was built upon it.
Susannah was buried next to her father in the Basin Harbor cemetery. Today her stone is broken and placed upside down in the ground – which I intend to repair the next time I visit.
I hope to visit Rokeby Museum and read Mary Rogers’ diaries myself to see her thoughts about my 5th great aunt. I’ll let you know what I find out!