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

Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey

In 2010, an archive of rare documents passed down in my family for over 250 years arrived at my home in Austin. Reading them I came face to face with my family’s role in both creating democracy and denying freedom.

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Posted in Ancestry, Colonial (Before 1770s), Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), The Journey

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

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)

Remembering their names

When I joined Coming To The Table over two years ago, I began a journey—a journey into the lives and times of my slave-holding ancestors and, most important for me, into the lives of the people they had enslaved. Taken

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Posted in Abolitionist, Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Intimacy & Family Life, Linked Descendants, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

Who Are “Linked Descendants”?

 … (T)he great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.  It could scarcely be otherwise, since

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Posted in Connecting Across Families, Legacies
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