Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl LVII, history will be made Sunday when two Black quarterbacks lead their teams for the first time in NFL history. This will be the first Super Bowl appearance for Jalen Hurts, but not for Patrick Mahomes, who has been to the big game twice already.
Patrick Mahomes has already made several appearances on this blog—my NEHGS colleague, Chris Child authored two blog posts about Patrick’s ancestry, one looking at his maternal line from Texas and back into New England , specifically showing distant kinships to three U.S. presidents, and another researching his paternal line from Texas to Alabama. But Jalen had not yet been researched, so we decided to take a look at his ancestry to find interesting details to share. We quickly discovered that Jalen’s family has a strong connection to Texas, just like Patrick Mahomes.
To start, we began with what we knew: Jalen Hurts was born 7 August 1998 to parents Averion Todd Hurts and Pamela Michele Dewalt. 1 As good genealogists do, we worked to link each generation: Averion Todd Hurts was the son of Lee Edward Hurts (1948-2001), who was the son of Elijah Hurts (1924-1980) and Aggie Lee Sims (1927-1967). When we kept digging, we discovered that Aggie had some very interesting great-grandparents: Edward Boss (1833-1922) and Sarah Scott (1848-1930).
Edward Boss enlisted in the 51st United States Colored Infantry on 24 July 1863 at Louisiana.2 The infantry regiment, part of the Union Army during the American Civil War, served in various roles and specifically fought in the Battle of Fort Blakely. 3 This historic battle was the final major battle of the Civil War, ending in surrender just hours after Grant had defeated Lee at Appomattox on the morning of 9 April 1865. Black soldiers played a major role in the successful Union attack, with 5,000 colored troops involved in this battle alone.4
Shortly after 9 April 1865, Union soldiers marched on Galveston, Texas, and Union Army General Gordon Granger announced the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved people in the state of Texas—one of the last enslaved groups to be freed in the United States.5 Although there is no proof that Edward Boss was part of the Granger regiment in Galveston, I can only imagine how he felt to be part of a successful historic battle which impacted the end of the war.
According to Edward’s military record, he was shot through the foot on 5 April 1865 at Blakely, Alabama. This happened shortly after he was promoted from Private to Corporal. Edward’s wife, Sarah, filed for a ‘invalid’ pension on 22 March 1892, and then a widow’s pension on 23 February 1924.6, 7 Edward died 28 August 1922 in Rapides, Louisiana and is buried in McNutt Cemetery.8
We discovered Jalen’s connection to Edward Boss and Sarah Scott using conventional methods, but what we found poking around public trees was very unexpected. Now, before I tell you the interesting tidbit, I need to include a PSA—using online family trees should be done with extreme caution. Online trees can be a fantastic tool to expand your own family tree, but you should always double check the work of others before you take anything as fact. I’ve found many mistakes, but also unearthed MANY treasures looking through public family trees.
While researching Edward Boss and Sarah Scott, we found several Ancestry.com public trees showing images of dancer and television personality Stephen Laurel “tWitch” Boss (1982-2022).9 After reaching out to several of the owners of these trees, we learned that tWitch also descended from Edward Boss (1833-1922) and Sarah Scott (1848-1930). Through this connection, Jalen Hurts and Stephen Laurel “tWitch” Boss are third cousins-once removed.
Unlike Chris, I don’t have a family connection to Philadelphia or Kansas City—but now that I know a little more about Jalen Hurts and his family, I’ll be rooting for the Eagles to take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Go Eagles!
1 Jalen Hurts Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalen_Hurts
2 U.S., Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865, Edward Boss enlistment 24 Jul 1863.
3 Slaves to Soldiers, https://www.slavestosoldiers.org/us-colored-troop-veterans/infantry-regiments/51st-us-colored-infantry
4 The United States Colored Troops (USCT) at the Battle of Fort Blakeley (2020) by Mike Bunn, https://blueandgrayeducation.org/pdfs/newsletters/Dispatch_10-Jul-20.pdf
5 Juneteenth and General Orders, No 3., https://www.galvestonhistory.org/news/juneteenth-and-general-order-no-3
6 U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Edward Boss.
7 U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, Sarah Boss.
8 U.S., Find a Grave™ Index, 1600s-Current, Ed Boss.
9 Brown, Barnes, Lair, Cole, Tole(s) Family Tree, https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/157318027?cfpid=372067168500&dtid=100
3 thoughts on “The Ancestry of Jalen Hurts”
Great work….it is advantageous his key surnames are not numerous in the way names like Smith and Jones are…I hope he sees this!
And Jalen is a SOONER!! Boomer, Eagles!!
I am curious about the surname Hurts line, are you still working on that side?