African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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lst cousin Woodstock, Virginia 1800s Woodstock, Virginia, Shenadoah Valley Oral history from a relative

I had a cousin, who has since passed, who was the family oracle. If there was anything known about our family, he seemed to be the one who knew. And he loved to tell his stories.

Of his many stories, he loved to talk about our great-grandparents on our grandmothers side. Our great-grandfather, Richard McQuire came to Virginia from Ireland, but he was black. How he got to Ireland, no one seems to know. Was he born there or taken there in slavery. Our great-grandmother, Richard's wife, Mary, didn't know where she was before coming to Virginia. She just knew that it was very hot. My cousin did know her before she died. Her tombstone is still in our hometown of Woodstock. No one seems to know where our great-grandfather is buried. The dates on Mary's tombstone are 1840-1940. I'm very lucky. I have a picture of each of them.

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