finding your roots

Am I related to Dr. King?

Bryan Cobb May 23, 2012

Hi, I am new to your show and love it. My grandmother was Vera Ethal King. She was born in Minden-Gibsland, LA area. Her father’s name was Pink Pleasant King. He was a preacher and helped build Coleman College. His father’s name was Nelson King. Nelson was born in 1837 or 1840 possibly in the Marengo County area of Alabama.

My mother told me a story of meeting Dr. King when I was a child. She told me he was in Oklahoma
to preach. This must have been in the early 50′s. He was preaching at St. Johns Baptist Church
in downtown OKC. After talking to one of the preachers here he was informed he might have a
relative in the city. So they called my grandma and she went to meet him.

After talking they realized they were first cousins. He then came to her house for dinner and spent the night.
Then headed on to Kansas for another engagement.

I didn’t think about this anymore until my mother’s younger sister told me the same story 40 years
later. It was so strange to hear the exact same story that it made me wonder about our link. Is
it really true?

One of our cousins, Jessie Stone was an attorney. He was the President of Southern University
and from family stories was one of King’s early lawyers. Jessie would be my grandmother’s nephew.

So How do I continue this search and what do I do from this point? I have made it back to 1837
but haven’t had much success since then.

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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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