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free people of color

Tracing Your Roots: Our Family Matriarch Was a White Indentured Servant

Tracing Your Roots: Our Family Matriarch Was a White Indentured Servant

Untangling the origins of Virginian ancestors whose lives crossed boundaries of race, freedom and the law. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Untangle My Redbone Heritage

Tracing Your Roots: Untangle My Redbone Heritage

A mystery illustrates how an 18th-century family became caught up in Virginia’s laws around race, sex and freedom. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: How Did My Black Ancestor Come to Own Land?

Tracing Your Roots: How Did My Black Ancestor Come to Own Land?

Finding out how a great-grandfather came to own 300 acres of land in post-Civil War South Carolina.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Melungeon?

Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Melungeon?

A find in the 1860 census catches a reader by surprise, and points to a possible heritage that is subject to debate. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Freed in a Big Court Case?

Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Freed in a Big Court Case?

The largest manumission case in U.S. history led to a unique community in Virginia.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: When Was My ‘Freedman’ Ancestor Freed?

Tracing Your Roots: When Was My ‘Freedman’ Ancestor Freed?

A message board posting listing “freedmen” kin raises questions.Read more...