The African American Borah Family
In 1810, the Borah Family moved from Pennsylvania to Butler County, KY, led by the great-great-grandfather of Idaho Senator William Edgar Borah (1865-1940) and his eight sons. The family slaves, who also carried the last name Borah, were the ancestors of African American musician Harry Edison. Edison's great grandmother, Mariah Borah (born between 1810 and 1812, died 1876), was born in Ohio County, KY. Her mother's last name was Rogers. Mariah may have been the slave of Jacob Borah. She was later owned by George M. Borah in Butler County. Mariah had several children with Jesse Barnes [or Brookins or Brokins], a freeman from Maryland who had settled in Butler County prior to the end of slavery. It is believed that Jesse was at one time enslaved and migrated to Kentucky with the Barnes Family and then later freed. All of Jesse and Mariah's children carried the last name Borah because their mother was enslaved and carried the last name Borah, and the same applied to the children. Two of their daughters were Ellen and Julia Borah, one of whom was the mother of McDonald Porter. Their son, Larkin Borah, was the father of Katherine Meryl Borah Edison, who was the mother of Harry Edison. All information about the African American Borah family was submitted by Denyce Peyton. For more about the Borah family from Pennsylvania, see "Wisconsin at Washington," The Oshkosh Northwestern, 04/04/1936, p. 18: and Borah, by M. C. McKenna.