finding your roots

The Washington Post

Paula Copeland March 20, 2012

During the 2008 presidential campaign, The Washington Post printed an article about Michelle Obama’s great great grandfather . The story contained a link to a website that I accessed and to my surprise I found my great great grandfather in the 1870 Census. I learned that he was born a slave in in Virginia in 1820, and I also discovered that some of his children were born slaves and some of his children, like my great grandfather were born free. I am forever grateful to have been able to make this discovery.

I also was able to discover that another great great grandfather, who was born in 1845, and was listed on the 1850 U.S. Census. The Census page stated that he was a free person of color in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Virginia.

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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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