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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 grandmother Little Rock, AR (Pulaski County) 1910s My grandmother is from Little Rock, AR Through my grandmother, great aunt and mother's brother.

I don't know where to start so I will give you good summary. My name is Chloe B. Williams and I am a recent graduate from The Ohio State University. I have been interested on finding out where my ancestors came from, how did they live, and where they lived. My family's name, on my mother's side of the family, has always been a mystery. My grandmother, Ms. Veria Lee (Tyler) Brown has always told me that Tyler (her maiden name) was not our "real" family name. Her father, Leo Tyler, Sr. had a complicated past that made him move and changed his last name to "Tyler". I have been talking with my aunt Loretta (grandmother's younger sister) and my uncle Larry about this matter and I was told that my great grandfather had killed a white man and had to flee and change his identity. He was born in Little Rock, AR (Pulaski County) on Nov 20, 1901, and his parents was Rufus Toliver and Mahalia Swain. On his marriage ct. it says Leo "Tarver" was married to Helen Ophelia Owens (grandmother's mother) on May 9, 1919. But then, I see that when he applied for his SSI card, his name was Leo "Tyler" and that was the name he was buried with in 1976. I am so confused because I have documentation to identify him, but no one knows why the different names. My aunt has handed down the information to me but this is so confusing. Why did he change his name from Toliver, to Tarver 1919, then Tyler on Dec 2, 1936? This is such a mystery in my family and I am trying so hard to solve it......one day!

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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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