Blog Archives

Another “Our Black Ancestry” Miracle!

A couple of weeks ago, Sharon Morgan emailed me to let me know that someone had posted information on her Our Black Ancestry website that linked my slave owning Furman ancestors to the writer’s enslaved ancestors.  This was totally out of

Posted in Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Cooperation: Assistance, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, General, Historic Harms, House Slaves / Field Slaves, Legacies, Linked Descendants, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Support & Harmony, The Journey

Amazing grace

People ask what drew me to write a biography of Lillian Carter, mother of President Jimmy Carter (Lillian Carter: A Compassionate Life, McFarland & Company, 2014) Aside from the obvious—who wouldn’t want to write about the life of America’s sassiest

Posted in Ancestry, Arts & Community Culture, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Colonial (Before 1770s), Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Farms, Historic Harms, North America, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Support & Harmony

Linked Through Slavery–The Last Furman Slave Owner

This is the final post in my series of three on the connection of my father’s family to slavery —a 110-year legacy— and my search for African American descendants whose ancestors toiled on my family’s plantations in South Carolina. This

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Posted in Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Racism

Linking through the Internet: A Miracle

My internet connection had been down all day.  I was beginning to get very perturbed—for a lot of reasons.  One was that author and genealogist Sharon Morgan was going to help me scour the internet to look for possible linked

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Posted in Cities, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, General, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Research Adventures, Slaveholders, Slavery, Support & Harmony

You Discovered a Slave Owner in Your Family Tree? What Does That Mean to You?

A few years back, when I first met some of my African American linked descendants, I was excited and enthusiastic, ready to embrace them warmly. They opened their arms to me, and the renewal of our family connection has remained

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Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Ancestry, Carribean, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Linked Descendants, North America, Slaveholders

Looking for Links: First Steps

Introduction This is the first of three posts about my initial efforts to identify linked descendants connected to my slave-owning ancestors on my father’s side of the family in South Carolina.  These ancestors are Wood Furman (1712 – 1783), Richard

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Posted in Ancestry, Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Colonial (Before 1770s), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Racism, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery

Up in Smoke: Slavery Researchers Decry Burning of Historical Records

New Post Posted on January 10, 2014 by psmith30 (Post first written on January 4, 2014) I am fighting back tears and my stomach is in knots. Most people probably wouldn’t have a physical reaction like this upon learning that 100

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Posted in Abolitionist, Ancestry, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Enslaved People, Farms, Free People of Color, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Jim Crow Segregation (1890- 1955), Legacies, Linked Descendants, Non-Slaveholding Whites, Plantations, Power, Racism, Reconstruction/”Redemption” (1866- 1890), Research Adventures, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery, Towns

Bittersweet Memories

When I was a small child, there was an old woman I remember seeing when we visited my grandfather’s house on the Southside of Chicago. She was extremely quiet, very tall (although slumped with age), with light brown skin and

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Posted in Ancestry, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Racism, Regions, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery, Status, The Journey

Being Linked Through Slavery Means …

Being a “linked descendant” puts racism and white privilege in a harsh light for me.  It makes speaking out honestly about the legacy of slavery a personal and family imperative. I always knew that my mother’s ancestral roots went back

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Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Linked Descendants, Plantations, Sex & Concubinage, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)
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