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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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grandmother Texas 1890s Tuscalusa AL family legend

My great-grand father, William Williams was a gunslinger from Texas who in a gun fight killed three white men. To avoid a lynching he fled Texas, and landed in Alabama where he moved in with the Bates family. He soon changed his name to Will Bates. Their he met his wife, Laura Bell whom I'm told by my grandmother attended Tuskegee Institute. Her parents Thomas and Ada Bell were prominent citizens, and was against their daughter marrying a gunlinger. Laura Bell-Bates died when my grand mother was the age of five years. Will Bates packed up his family and moved away from his in-laws, the Bells, and thus we lost contact with side of our family. I was told that Thomas Bell was moved to Memphis TN, to a tuburculosis hospital where he died. And it was also said he left acres of land to my grand mother who refused to claim her inheritance. I would so much like to located the Bell decendants. Laura Bell- Bates had a brother name Amos Bell.

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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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