Mallorie KM Berger, MS

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How did I learn my/history? Very interesting question. I knew all of my Grandparents and one Great-Grandmother. Only my maternal Grandfather Maurice talked about our family history. He knew a lot but there was one story that he could not confirm – the story of his Grandfather William Burns who was a slave and as a young person, lived with white people who were either Irish and/or Scottish (surname Burns). When emancipation occurred, the northern “Carpetbaggers” hung the old man Bar Burns and William and others escaped with the widow Burns and lived with her until she died… My Maternal Grandfather also knew the history on his mother’s side – that’s been easier to trace and he was not afraid to tell the stories and THAT kept our history alive. On my Dad’s side, no one wanted to speak about our past – the silence has buried my history. Especially my paternal Grandmother – no story was shared, the only info I have is from the rumors other cousins heard. I’ve found lots of information yet have more unanswered questions than mysteries solved. I do know that my paternal Grandfather’s family is from Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio and they (Marshall family) were NOT slaves (at least not in Indiana). My Grandfather Alonzo told me he was related to a Harlem Globetrotter and to Thurgood Marshall. We all thought he was ribbing me, but turns out I have confirmed that our cousin Bobby Milton played and coached the Harlem Globetrotters and gave “Curly” his nickname. Who knows – we might be unknown cousins of Thurgood?

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