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African American Lives 2 -- Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
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Distant relations doing research East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia 1845 East Tennessee Oral tradition from fellow researchers and records

Two stories of interracial contact touching my family have come to my attention. The first concerned descendants of "Rockhouse" Charles Jones (white) from Sullivan County Tennessee. His son William fought the authenticity of a will setting certain slaves (inluding old Gid) free and the case went to the Tennessee Supreme Court, where the will seems to have been invalidated but the issue was eventually settled by the Civil War. Rockhouse Charles was brother to my ancestor, John Jones, also of East Tennessee. William seems to have fathered children by at least one slave woman -- perhaps named Liv or Luv Watkins. Also, my great-great grandmother was Mary Taylor (white) who seems to have had a child by a slave man (name unknown). The son was probably named Joseph(us) Painter. Mary's family seems to have encouraged William Painter (white) to marry Mary with some gifts and instruction to leave the area. These people came from Botetourt County, VA. My ancestor was evidently a half sister to Josephus, Rebecca Painter (white) and they lived in East Tennessee.

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