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        Ty Burrell's Ancestry and the Homestead Act of 1862: Lesson Plan | Finding Your Roots

        In this lesson, students learn about the Homestead Act of 1862 through the eyes of Susannah Weeks — Ty Burrell’s great-great grandmother. In 1840, Susannah was a free person of color living in the slave-holding state of Tennessee. Although no record on how she was emancipated exists, census records reveal that she journeyed 2,500 miles from Tennessee to Jackson County, Oregon. Susannah had applied to become a Homesteader, which offered her the chance to become a landowner. She was one of a relatively small number of black women who would take advantage of this opportunity.

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