Lost & Found
My name is Ricardo Malbrew. I am, by profession, a historian and an educator. I was biologically born to Anna Darlene Mitchell and Marvin Mitchell of Lake Charles, Louisiana in August 1975 . Coincidentally, they never married; however, mysteriously they both possessed the same last name of Mitchell. Unfortunately, both were out of my young life at age 2. Consequently, I was forced to live, in Ashland, New Hampshire, with a foster family of a young man my biological mother was dating at the time named Floyd Boutte; however, it proved tumultuous. I was physically abused by them until my adoption by a young couple, The Malbrew’s, who happened to be friends of theirs, several years later. It would be thirty years later before I’d meet my biological parents again. During those meetings I questioned both on their ancestry and informed them both of my frustration as a young boy. I expressed to them my anger, anxiety, and curiosity to know who I was and where’d I come from. Both informed me much as they could on their lineage. And I began to search, beginning first, at Ancestry.com. Beginning with both of my biological grandparents, I began to research my way back in time. Secondly, I used LSU. LSU is a federal depository and thus I was able to use their resources to pinpoint census records, slave conveyance records, land records, and so forth. Lastly, I was able to trace an ancestor on my biological mother side to the January Family in Tensas Parish, Louisiana in 1850. There, I was able to list and name the slave masters, DP & BP January. Their Overseerer, named Ballew. And their slaves which listed 110 in all. I used US Census records to reveal my 5x Great-Grandfather, John January, a pure-blooded African. In addition to her, my biological mother, I was able to trace an ancestor back to 1785. This is a rare find since most Blacks can only trace their ancestry back to 1870. Juxtapose the aforementioned information to my biological father’s side. I discovered a paternal ancestor, from Virginia, whose parents were likely owned by the family of John Crockett in Virginia. That’s right. Davy Crockett’s father. I was stunned. And just when I thought I was making lots of headway in my research of my ancestry. I came upon a snag locating another paternal ancestor, I ran into a very unique problem. My biological maternal grandfather, Henderson Mitchell, is likely the same person, who was the son, of my biological paternal Grandfather. I was floored. I am still trying to clarify if this is indeed true. In sum, I continue to search my ancestry and my adopted family’s ancestry. I feel we are all connected-somehow. I thought you’d enjoy my convoluted journey. I am.
Ricardo Malbrew, M.A.