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            There are certain subjects our ancestors chose not to embrace. In other words they kept things hidden by not talking about them or by revealing information only to those persons considered reliable and above all, trustworthy. Although scarce, they were still very much in great demand. As children when our elders talked about certain subjects, we were told to leave the room, which also meant in most households, go outside and play. This rule applied even if you were within your own home.

            In spite of all the secrecy, growing up, we learned about these events and the effect they had on our ancestor’s lives. With this knowledge came an enlightening.  We learned how these incidents impacted the lives of our grandparents, parents and even ourselves. Some issues were dealt with and resolved while others still continue to affect the lives of today’s generation and will continue to influence many generations long after we have passed on.

            In order to prevent generational misconception, the examination of facts, exploration of records and extensive research, enables us to accurately relate the truths, both pleasant and unpleasant, within our families. This research was done with the intention of clarification and illumination. Facts were brought to light that helps us understand the origin of our existence, modifications made and challenges encountered during our evolution.

            As with most persons of color in search of ancestral data, sooner or later we come to the point where we are no longer able to trace our roots as easily as other races. We become part of the group some call “blended.”  Thanks to DNA today, we have the ability to learn about family members we never knew existed. And yes, even today there are some who for their own reasons wish to leave the past buried. This is not an attempt to open wounds, nor cause tension among the families mentioned. It is merely an attempt to say aloud what has been whispered for so long.

            I have been blessed with the opportunity to research the ancestry of my family. My fascination with the subject stems from long round table discussions with both my mom and dad. Even as children, we were allowed to ask any and all questions and they would answer them with honesty. Sometimes the subject became uncomfortable but, this would not deter them from offering us a realistic and truthful answer. We were cautioned never to form an opinion with a half truth or hearsay. Accepting these facts allowed us to see our ancestors as human beings with emotions and opinions of their own, instead of persons who were infallible.

Although they were not perfect human beings, this does not diminish the love and affection they felt for each other, neither was it a reason to feel ashamed. Many were faced with jealousy and prejudice many times from within their own family.  Yet, they displayed love in the face of hatred.

       Our ancestors were products of interracial unions and subjects of common law status. As fate would have it, DNA today has linked many of us presenting a clearer picture of the past. Until recently I had no idea of the life they lived; knew nothing about the family history; had no idea of the places they lived or the bloodline that existed. Having found actual documented facts, I now know so much more about my family’s history. I have gained insight into their struggles, successes, achievements, failures, personalities, nationalities, and now I can even compare  physical features.  This has been a fantastic journey thus far and promises to be even more enlightening. You are more than welcome to join me on this wonderful adventure.

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