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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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a cousin in GA told me that she had always been told WE were FPOC email x-change 2005 Hartford, CT and from grandfather who was born in NC no family members seemed to be the least bit interested in finding ancestor

I found my ggrandparents in 1870 Wilmington, NC under the surname of WEELDON.

My ggrandfather was listed as being born in SC in 1829.

I have yet to find any info on my ggrandmother, CHARATA BROWN.

My grandfather left NC and settled in Hartford, CT.

I began my search in NC, because my Father always said his Father wanted to send him to St. Paul's school in that state, and I was curious about the school; also, some friends of mine had attended the college in the '50s.

As so often happens, one thing led to another, and I became a slave to the internet.

I placed query after query, and scoured Paul Heinegg's book, read 'Slaves in the Family', and searched, only to find things I already knew, but which became more important to me.

My Father's cousin, AURELIA WHEELDIN, was one of the first black female boxers in the world and my Father had been to Europe during WW11.

But, what of my ggrands and my gggrands? There was little to be found.

Is it possible that the black WHILDENS found in Christ Church, SC in the 1870 census were related?

Perhaps, for I find my great aunt SARAH w/the surname of WHILDEN, when other family members are listed under WEELDON and WELDEN.

I have had no reponses from living WHILDENS, black or white, altho recently I was contacted by

a WHILDEN who wanted info about JUNAS WHILDEN, a slave of that family who stayed on after the Civil War. I kept thinking how tired this lady must have been, after raising

several generations of WHILDEN children.

I wish I could claim a relationship to JUNAS, who was born in AFRICA in the 1760s.

Ah, but her mistress bestowed the WHILDEN name upon her.

I have found a NANCY WILDEN, 115yrs old; a WILDEN who was born in the African Syrian Republic; and I have been contacted by a gal whose great uncle had WILDEN as a middle name, who passed for white in 1918.

I have spoken w/a WHILDEN who thinks he may be a gggrandson of the above JUNAS

and a white WHILDEN.

I have found a female WHILDEN slave, who was burned to death in 1850 Wharton, Texas.

I have found a WM. WHILDEN, who was a slave in SC, yet I still have no proof that any of these folks are my ancestors.

My journey has brought me many new friends who seem eager to make this trip w/me.

My one big disappointment has been the lack of response of African Americans, which

shocks me.

It almost seems as if they do not want to dig up the past; our past is why we are here.

PITY!!!!

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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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