The Durhams of Fairfield
An African American Genealogy
176 pages • 6 x 9
Retail Price $19.95
By Robert L. Uzzel
In The Durhams of Fairfield: An African American Genealogy, Robert L. Uzzel traced his wife Debra's roots to the slaves of the family of Robert Winfield Durham. Evidence indicates that Gobi, the patriarch of the Durham family, along with his wife Mary and five older sons, were slaves in Fairfield County, South Carolina and that Gobi died there. Mary gave birth to their youngest son, Isaac Durham, in 1860 near Fairfield, Texas, where their five older sons (who came with their masters to Desoto Parish, Louisiana) had settled by 1870. The six Durham brothers- Belton, Allen, Minor, Christopher, Anderson, and Isaac-lived east of Fairfield in the Butler community of Freestone County. Some of the descendants of these brothers still farmland in Butler, where Durham is a common surname. Debra Uzzel is a sixth-generation descendant of Allen Durham. The author has conducted research in Fairfield County, South Carolina and DeSoto Parish, Louisiana as well as Freestone County, Texas. He received much help from Eddie Marie Jones Durham, the wife of Bobby Jean Durham, a fifth-generation descendant of Allen Durham. He concurs with Eddie's words in her book Mama, "Babe" and Me: "It is either ironic or intentional that being born in the Fairfield District of South Carolina that Allen brought his family to the area of Fairfield, Texas!" The Durhams of Fairfield continue to make their mark. They are now scattered throughout the United States, involved in many businesses and professions and contributing much to their communities and to the world as a whole. There can be no doubt that members of this outstanding family to whom the author is related by marriage will always make their mark. It is his prayer that this book will inspire the present generation and generations to come to do all they can to preserve the Durham legacy.
About the Author
Robert L. Uzzel was born on 22 May 1951 in Waco, Texas. He graduated from Waco High School in 1969 and received an Associate of Arts degree from McLennan Community College in 1971. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Sociology in 1973, a Master of Arts in Church-State Studies in 1976, and a Ph.D. in World Religions in 1995 from Baylor University. He received a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2008.
He was ordained an itinerant deacon in 1975 and an itinerant elder in 1977 by Rt. Rev. John Hurst Adams, the 87th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has served as pastor of Texas AME congregations in Dallas, Fort Worth, Kaufman, Blooming Grove, and Maypearl. He has served as pastor of Wayman Chapel AME Church in Ennis since November 2002.
He has taught a wide variety of courses in Religion, History, and Political Science at Paul Quinn College, Cedar Valley College, Mountain View College, Tarrant County College, Temple College, Navarro College, and Hill College. An active Prince Hall Freemason since 1981, he holds Certificates of Literature from both the Philalethes Society and the Phylaxis Society. He is a Fellow of the Phylaxis Society, a member of this society’s Harry A. Williamson Hall of Fame, a recipient of the society’s Dr. Charles H. Wesley Medal of History, a Founding Fellow of the Masonic Society, and member of the Society of Blue Friars (an invitation-only organization for Masonic authors and editors).
His previous books include Blind Lemon Jefferson: His Life, His Death, and His Legacy (2002); Prince Hall Freemasonry in the Lone Star State: From Cuney to Curtis, 1875-2003 (2004); and Éliphas Lévi and the Kabbalah: The Masonic and French Connection of the American Mystery Tradition (2006). His articles on theological and historical subjects have appeared in a number of newspapers, magazines, and journals.
He is married to the former Debra Bass, a native of Fairfield, Texas. They have four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.