finding your roots

Julienne and Suzanne Malveaux

John Wesley Gaines, Jr. April 2, 2012


Watching your work is an inspiration. I’ve always been interested in my family’s history, but your show has moved me to finally do some serious research of my own. Last year, I did not know one great grandparent. Now, I know them all, most of my great great grandparents, and I’m on the trail of a couple of 2 great great great grandparents.

My sources are, GenealogyBank, Louisiana Vital Records, family historian Aunt Julia, and my father. Speaking to Aunt Julia, I learned that I am related to Julienne and Suzanne Malveaux. We know our relation to Julienne Malveaux. Her father, Paul Warren Malveaux, is our Uncle. We called him Uncle Warren. I met him three times, once on a visit to San Francisco, and twice when he came to visit Louisiana, but I’ve never met Julienne. Aunt Julia, however, has met Julienne.

Aunt Julia moved to San Francisco, after her mother (my grandmother), Pauline Malveaux died, and was cared for by her mother’s siblings, Aunt Ora, Uncle Lucien, and Uncle Warren. She tells me that she baysat Julienne and her sister, and described Julienne as a “holy terror.” LOL. I can imagine that conservatives say the same thing about her. By the way, Aunt Juia, and Julienne are named for their grandmother (my great grandmother), Julienne (Trahan) Malveaux. Aunt Julia sent me a picture of my great grandmother, and I’ve attached it, here.

Aunt Julia isn’t sure of our relation to Suzanne, but I did hear Julienne mention in an interview that she was related to Suzanne. She didn’t know how they were related, either.

Oh well, thanks for what you do, and thanks for an outlet to tell my story.

John Wesley

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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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