finding your roots

Home Children

Ebony April 9, 2012
John George

John George

My great-grandfather was a home child. His parents were freed slaves that moved from the Caribbean to Australia. His father John worked on a ship and his mother Grace stayed at home. Together they packed up their bags and moved to London England. While living their his father once again worked on a ship traveling to different countries. He worked his way up to a co-steward. On a steam ship to Spain one of the stewards quit. It was too much for work for John to handle on his own so he found work on a ship bound for America. While in Philadelphia he fell off his boat and drowned. His wife was left to take care of my great-grandfather John, his sister Nellie and younger brother Charles.

Grace tried to keep the family together but this was difficult for a single mother in the 1890′s.She was forced to break up her family. She tried to have John and Charles placed in Dr. Barnardo’s Homes
but in the end only John was accepted.

After time he was sent to the island of Jersey then Toronto Canada. The agency was worried about placing him because he was black and would face difficulties because of his skin color. For a time he was ok and did well in the foster home then he had problems with some of the other boys in the home and ran. He soon meet and married a woman was the daughter of runaway slaves and lived a home and happy life together. They moved the US in 1914. John lived to be 72 years old.

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  • Juno

    April 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Very interesting story. Thanks for sharing!

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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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