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One African American Family's History

Updated on October 6, 2010

One African American Family's History

One African American Family's History

When you think of a strong African American family history, you think of your African Ancestors being kidnapped from Africa, the middle passage and being enslaved in a strange land by white people. You might wonder if you're the descendant of some great African King, and perhaps you may be.

However, during slavery any information or knowledge an African man or woman had of who they were or where they came from was stripped from them by white slaveholders, leaving them with a blank slate soon to be filled with their new identities forced upon them by their white owners.

Many people all over the world wonder who their ancestors were and where they came from, it is a part of who you are and it is very important for you to know. It also link family members who've never known that each other existed together; that is what happened to my family. Before the next family reunion was to take place, a women who happen to be white, who I'll call; Anna, did some extensive research on her ancestors and family tree.

She discovered that she came from royalty, her great, great and so on great grandfather was one of the Earls of Gowrie in Scotland, also related to a southern slaveholder who was also a descendant of this Earl of Gowrie, making that slaveholder her great great grandfather.

She was shocked to learn that her great great grandfather was a slaveholder who had many slaves. She also discovered that her great great grandfather, fathered children with some of his slaves. She did a search and later found out that the other descendants who decended from her great great grandfather, happen to have been of African American decent, making them her cousins.

She met with a woman who owned a plantation home where her great great grandfather owned his slaves, and the owner introduced her to an African American housekeeper who worked in the home, which was a bit eerie from what Anna said. The housekeeper happen to be an aunt of mine who didn't know she was working in her great great grandfathers old plantation home. Anna also learned that her great great grandfather was also a general in the civil war, an attorney and later became a senator. He had written books about slavery, so he was an accomplished author in his times, also. I can't say that he wrote anything good about African Americans, so I can only assume he was a cruel man to his slaves.

After finding out she had African American relatives, she met them and it all turned out to be good for everyone, she was also invited to her African American relatives family reunion with open arms, who also shares the same last name that she has. So by being African American, and not finding out that I descended from African kings and queens, which is possible. I found out that I am a possible descendant from one of the Earls of Gowrie of Scotland. The slaveholder I spoke of was my grandfathers, great grandfather; making him my great great grandfather, same as Anna.

African American people has always gotten the raw end of the deal, not to say anyone else hasn't, just not as degrading as I was taught African Americans had it. African Americans were treated like animals, and owned by cruel and brutal slave owners. It is always good to know your history and where you descended from, even if you know some of it might be painful, shameful and degrading. I look at this way, being African American doesn't exclude me from being a descendant of royalty, which it is amusing to learn.

I am grateful that Anna did her research on our family history, otherwise we wouldn't have never known how intriguing and interesting it really is. That was my fathers side of the family, my mothers side is just as interesting, from the information I gathered from my relatives on her side. Needless to say, I'll save it for another time.







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      sweetpea 7 years ago

      We are all connected in one way or another. The sooner people realize that the sooner hate and prejudice will disappear and the world will be a better place for the future generations.