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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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from an aunt, then my own research, and elder cousins virginia, ohio 1805 ohio doing research

the first i heard that my great grandpa was black, i was 25 or 26. i am 38 at the presant time. i at first didn't believe it because my family look white and that was all i ever knew. i was like oh ! ok. i thought for sure someone got something confused or mixed up. i told a few friends but, that was about it, at that time i had no proof. to make a long story short. it was all true my ancestors are black and it was a family secret that even the black side of the family kept as well. my mom and i have been working on our family tree for about 9 years. it has been very fasinating and intresting. we have met many family members through our own research and at a few family reunuions we went to. my great grandpa, at some point started passing as white, and he went by 3 different names. Urban Harris, Thurman Harris, and Earl T. Harris. we have many documents , birth certificates,death certificates , marriage license, etc. they aparently once lived in Virginia and moved onto Jackson,Ohio to Jeffersonville,Ohio and some moved onto Springfield Ohio, which is where i am from. my great grandpa's mother was from Salt Works Virginia, which i assume was a plantation, and pretty positive they were slaves. i would love to find more information on that. the Harris families did own land in Jackson Ohio. i hope to one day have the money to do the maternal dna testing, why this was kept a secret from us i'm really not quite sure. i understand that times were different then, and that when my great grandpa was passing for white, i can undestand keeping things hush hush, but for not telling your own flesh and blood, i don't understand. there is so much to my story and so many unanswered questions that i can't begin to write all about it. my great grandpa's mother and father were Joshua Harris and Eliza Lucinda Trent. Joshua's parents were Jeremiah and Rosanna Harris. Eliza Lucinda Trent's parents were James M. Trent and Mary Anna Estel. i would love to find more family members that i could exchange information, pictures and stories with.

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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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