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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In Search of Our Roots -- Buy the companion book now from ShopPBS
Sharing Stories: One Family's Story
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STORYTELLER LOCATION YEAR TOOK PLACE TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN HOW YOU HEARD
My mother and aunts Anson county, Morven, North Carolina 1856 North Carolina Oral history

Well, I always knew quite a bit about my maternal grandfather's side of the family, however it was always my grandmother's maternal side that baffled me. Every summer we used to visit the beautiful and scenic North Carolina. I would always enjoy nature and the animals. My grandmother was the same way. She used to take us fishing on the Pee Dee river. She used to tell us stories about her mother's people and that they were decendants of Native Americans. I couln't get much out of my grandmother after that. She became old and we visisted less each year as we got older. She finally passed away. My mother and her sisters used to reminisce about my granmother's "uncle Frank who was an indian" man with pure gold capped on his teeth. He had two long black plaits of hair on each side and used to pay them 50 cent to plait. My mother said " your gandmother's people were Indians who had intermingled with blacks and whites and we are their African-American decendants. When we got together with some of my cousins they would talk about our family. We grew older and grew apart. I always kept records and began the journey to find out who were my grandmother's people. No one ever met her mother, who later in life was put in an insane assylum. I worked with a genealogist and found my GGgrandmother's marriage certificate and then many other documents. I found my oldest male ancestor born around 1810: listed as a mulatto and may have been related to the Chowanoc Indians of Gates County NC. They were disbanded and sold thier last track of lands and went on to intermarry with non-natives.

I did DNA testing with the National Geographic Genographic project, and found that the oral history in our family was true. Me and my mother's maternal lineage turned out to be Native American. We were indeed decendants of a full blood Native woman. My GGGgrandmother, who may have come from Guildford County and was born a free person of color. She may have also been an Indian slave, I am currently working with a professional genealogist to find out what tribe she descended from. We are trying to piece together the puzzle and confirm were she came from. They trace my maternal lineage back 35,000 years as the earliest people to populate America.

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Major corporate funding for African American Lives 2 and its outreach initiatives is provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Johnson & Johnson. Additional corporate funding is provided by Buick.
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