finding your roots

your stories

Waldens – Forever Free

Rik Vigeland

The episode featuring families free long before the Civil War brings to mind my relatives in the Walden family. Most African Americans by the surname Walden can almost certainly trace back to the late 1600's in Surry County, Virginia. Today the family has many, many branches. And with only one brief exception, these Waldens have never been slaves. One of the earlier Waldens was Drury Walden, who, among other things, served in the Revolutionary War, and was a musician, carpenter, and preacher. Continue reading ...

September 19, 2013 | Leave a comment

Rare, but not in the way I had imagined

Shauna Winburn

I first remember pretending to be "exotic" when I was around 6 or 7 years old. While playing with friends, I was always "Christina from Rome", which was as exotic as I knew how to be at that time. My mom was adopted, and thourughout my young life, I always held out this hope that I was actually something different, something exceptional, something I now know as ethnic. Continue reading ...

September 12, 2013 | Leave a comment

The old Irishman in the bayou of Louisiana

Victoria Cofield-Aber

Johnny Coleman told the African-Americans that he came from the "hills of Ireland," when he settled among them and married his African-American wife. They had eight children and no one ever knew anything about his family. Continue reading ...

September 8, 2013 | Leave a comment

Getting to know me

Denise Davis

As a child we were told, (my siblings and I) we were the children of a only son, who was an only son, who was an only son. My father had eight sons, of which six were with my mom and two others with a second wife. We'd always known my father was from Texas, as young children growing up in California, East Texas had no reference he was just from Texas. The year I graduated from high school the family moved to Dallas due to a job promotion my father received. The story of being the children of only sons was continued to be taught even after coming to Texas. My father never took us to his home town of Tyler until after they had returned to California and came back to Texas for a visit. Continue reading ...

September 8, 2013 | Leave a comment

From Sandersville to Wallertheim

Stephen Hicks

Dad was born in Sandersville Georgia on February 19th,1916. Grandma (Mama) to dad, was the second wife of Duncan Hicks who fathered 7 children with his first wife. Grandma was born Lulabelle Curtis during the last decade of the 1800's and had an older brother (James Curtis) who moved to Springfield, Ma sometime between 1915 and 1920. In 1932 or 1933, Uncle Jim had Lulabelle send two of her sons to Springfield to work with Uncle Jim at the Kimball Towers Hotel where he was the Head Waiter, and eventually the Maitre De. My father (James Thornton Hicks) and his brother George Marion were both able to find work thanks to Uncle Jim who left the South partly because he was tired of the lynchings. Continue reading ...

August 29, 2013 | Leave a comment

Descendant from a Slave Owner’s Daughter

Ceteria Richey

I always wondered about my past, as my beloved great Aunt Lily once said " Some things are better left unsaid" Even though there was caution in her words I wanted to delve into our history. I asked other family members but they knew little history about our past. Continue reading ...

August 25, 2013 | Leave a comment

The Melungeon in Me

Narciso Texidor Jr

I'm so intrigued with the search for who I am and who I have found out that I come close to coming from. I am native born Puerto Rican and considered a descendant of the Caribe Indian, Taino but Guanina to be exact. My ancestry reaches several different lands and their people. Continue reading ...

August 19, 2013 | Leave a comment

Not Easily Broken

Amy Reid

I have been researching my family's genealogy for over four years and have come to a bump that I have not been able to get past. Continue reading ...

January 8, 2013 | Leave a comment

From West Africa to the West Indies

Starmel Allah

Peace. My name is Starmel Allah and my family is a part of the original (first) people to inhabit the Earth. Among African-American, Latino and West Indian Blacks, "race" and "ethnicity" is a complex issue due to mis-education. Continue reading ...

November 6, 2012 | Leave a comment

Taylors of LA

sandra chapman

I am the granddaaughter of Leon BLum Taylor born 1889 in LA. He was the grandson of A white slave owner named John Taylor. Continue reading ...

October 15, 2012 | Leave a comment

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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