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tracing your roots

Tracing Your Roots: Did My Wife Descend From Runaway Slaves?

Tracing Your Roots: Did My Wife Descend From Runaway Slaves?

A Canadian resident tries to confirm the origins of his wife’s ancestors, who reportedly traveled the Underground Railroad.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Help Me Separate Fact From Family Fiction!

Tracing Your Roots: Help Me Separate Fact From Family Fiction!

An upcoming family reunion motivates a young woman to prepare an accurate presentation about the storied family matriarch.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Was My Civil War Vet Ancestor an Overseer’s Son?

Tracing Your Roots: Was My Civil War Vet Ancestor an Overseer’s Son?

Family lore and death records contain conflicting information about the parentage of a forebear who served in the colored troops during the Civil War.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: I Am Black but Discovered I Have Jewish DNA

Tracing Your Roots: I Am Black but Discovered I Have Jewish DNA

Test results show unexpected Ashkenazi heritage and raise the possibility that a family legend is true. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is My Ancestor’s Surname From Slavery or Marriage?

Tracing Your Roots: Is My Ancestor’s Surname From Slavery or Marriage?

The origins of the surname of a great-great-grandmother who was born into slavery are shrouded in mystery and require creative sleuthing. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: The Story of My Ancestor’s Origins Keeps Changing

Tracing Your Roots: The Story of My Ancestor’s Origins Keeps Changing

A great-granddad appears to have been the marrying kind, which may explain why records vary on when and where he was born. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: How Safe Is It to Date a Cousin?

Tracing Your Roots: How Safe Is It to Date a Cousin?

A woman seeks to know the risks of dating—and the risk of having offspring with—a relative.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is My Spouse Kin to a Man Who Freed 81 Slaves?

Tracing Your Roots: Is My Spouse Kin to a Man Who Freed 81 Slaves?

Sleuthing the tale of a “bachelor” slave owner who freed those enslaved at Virginia’s Tynes Plantation in his will. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is Charleston, SC’s Famed Jack Primas My Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: Is Charleston, SC’s Famed Jack Primas My Ancestor?

A woman notices that her ancestors shared a surname with an 18th-century free black landowner after whom a road and historically black district were named. Read more...
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: Is Gunfighter Doc Holliday My Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: Is Gunfighter Doc Holliday My Ancestor?

Legend has it that the Old West gambler learned his card skills from an uncle’s black servant girl, intriguing a reader whose ancestor shared Doc’s name. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: The Black Side of My Family Is a Mystery!

Tracing Your Roots: The Black Side of My Family Is a Mystery!

A biracial woman yearns to know more about her African-American ancestors, about whom she has little information. It’s a good thing we found a lot of it. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Deciphering Illegible Genealogy Records

Tracing Your Roots: Deciphering Illegible Genealogy Records

Use these pro tips for handling poorly reproduced images from microfilm or microfiche. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: My Black Ancestors Were Indian Scouts

Tracing Your Roots: My Black Ancestors Were Indian Scouts

Research reveals a Black Seminole family’s continent-crossing migration in search of freedom and battlefield glory. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: My ‘Merikin’ Ancestor Escaped Slavery

Tracing Your Roots: My ‘Merikin’ Ancestor Escaped Slavery

Researching those who chose to fight for the British and emigrate to Trinidad in order to be free. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: I Want to Post the Names of My Ancestors’ Slaves

Tracing Your Roots: I Want to Post the Names of My Ancestors’ Slaves

Her ancestor’s will named 13 slaves, and she seeks help getting this information to their descendants. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Were Slaves’ Surnames Like Brands?

Tracing Your Roots: Were Slaves’ Surnames Like Brands?

We made a surprising discovery while addressing a question about how slaves got their last names. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is My Family’s Big Secret Presidential?

Tracing Your Roots: Is My Family’s Big Secret Presidential?

A reader wonders if she could be related to Andrew Jackson through one of his slaves. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: How Did My Ancestor Escape Slavery?

Tracing Your Roots: How Did My Ancestor Escape Slavery?

In revisiting the story of black refugees to Trinidad, we came across the tale of a foiled slave rebellion in Maryland. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Was My Ancestor Deported to Ghana?

Tracing Your Roots: Was My Ancestor Deported to Ghana?

A series of run-ins with law enforcement in the United Kingdom splits a family apart. Now the family is seeking answers. Read more...