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“Colored” farmer finds gold worth $604,000+ today

Colored farmer find $16,000 buried in land in 1897 

Today, its valued at $604,429.88

Always keep searching for your ancestors and their stories. Here’s one about someone’s “colored” ancestor, D.H. Johnson, who was farming in February 1897. He hit hard ground while plowing a field near Hogansville, GA. He kept removing the layers of stone until he located what was estimated to be $16,000 in coins, including some from foreign soil.

Today, that would amount to approximately $600,000 according to government calculations. (See above for new estimate). According to this newspaper clipping, Johnson placed the money in the bank. “…the theory is that whoever owned the money hid it out until some secure time, when they would look for it again” the article reported

Updated takeaways for African American genealogy and ancestry researchers

  1. Don’t ignore your instincts, family talk over the years, and other signs that may lead you to a patch of land on the family farm. You may find ‘gold in dem hills.’
  2. Check out other governmental and non-governmental sites to search and hopefully find links to your ancestors’ financial assets. Check the Freedmen’s Bank, wills, probates, land records, employment records (look for pension information), taxes and church records. 
  3. Go for it. See #1 in this listing and trust your gut on where to begin your search for financial tracks to your ancestors. If that doesn’t work, contact us at to get you going in the right direction.