Carrie’s Kin Blog: Descendants of Free People of Color Melungeon -

This blog delves into the history and genealogy of the Melungeon, African and Native Americans and other Free People of Color who resided in the Americas from the early 1600s until the 1850s and their descendants. Although most ancestors covered in this blog were living in VA, NC and SC earlier in the formation of this nation, others moved to TN, IN, and OH in the early 1800s when life became increasingly difficult for them in the Southern States.

As a Literature and History Major I became interested in African, Native, and British American History and Literature and researching these genre and following in my grandmother's footsteps led me to an interest in Genealogy and the search for my ancestral roots. After completing my DNA, I found that it proved my mother's and grandmother's lineage beliefs.

Though much research has been developed on Free Persons of Color during the colonial period and prior to The War Between the States, I discovered a noticeable gap between the years immediately preceding and following emancipation. These broken bridges in my family connections caused me much distress during my earlier research. The years between 1850 and 1870 are the most difficult to bridge, locate and designate ancestors of color. Yet, these are the defining years for connecting the dots to our later ancestors.

Many people continuously hit "brick walls" during genealogical research because of bias in American society, and because some Free People of Color did not acknowledge or embrace their rich tri-ethnic heritage and worked hard to "blend in" or “cross-over" as soon as they could due to the time period in which they lived. When family secrets are kept, American history is skewed and our ancestors who contributed much to the building of this Nation cannot be celebrated for their unselfish sacrifices.
After discovering cousins from many ethnic backgrounds through DNA and family connections, I realized that we are more alike than we are different. This Melungeon heritage has been misunderstood and as a descendant of Free Persons of Color and European and African ancestors living in Colonial Virginia and Early North Carolina (1620-1750), I discovered that my ancestors fought in the Civil and Revolutionary Wars and included Native, African, and European Americans. Before I began this research, I knew my ancestors served in World War I and II and later, but thought that the Civil and Revolutionary Wars were not relevant to me. As I made more ancestral lineage discoveries, I realized that many of my ancestors served bravely in all wars in the Americas.

Consequently, in an effort to assist others, this blog was developed encourage discussion and to aid individuals to bridge the gap and discover their "true" ancestry. I will begin with my ancestors and you may feel free to email me with any information or photos that you may have with the Surnames: Best, Parks, Fuller, Locus(t), Lucas, Grice, Bunch, Pettiford, Roberts, Newsom, Hamilton, Mitchell, Warters/Waters, Artis, Campbell, Brown, Smith, Jones, and Williams. My ancestors resided in Isle of Wight, Norfolk, and Suffolk County, VA; also in Black Creek, Wilson, Nash, Wayne, Greene, Dobbs, Lenoir, Bertie, Wake, Cumberland, and Chatham Counties, NC; and Lick Creek, Lost Creek, Vigo and Orange County, IN; and Belmont, OH.

I will post your genealogical discoveries and share with others in hopes that we will find the connections we seek. (This "Melungeon Free People of Color" Blog is meant to be a positive Blog whose main focus is an effort to find and honor our lost ancestors and it is important to keep that goal in mind when posting).

Happy Researching and Be Blessed!!
Gigi Best

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