Re: DNA matches with descendants of enslaved African Americans. #usa #general

Mike Daren

I have southern Jewish ancestry, and DNA matches with descendants of enslaved African Americans.

I have relatives (not in the branch matching the enslaved African Americans) who moved from the North to Georgia some time before the Civil War, and fought for the South during the Civil War.   They were merchants.  I don't know if they had any slaves, it's possible.

As a result of a genealogy DNA test, I found out that in a different branch of my family, about 17 years after the Civil War, a great-granduncle Lewis conceived a son Henry with a woman Louisa who was born a slave.  They were 18 and 21.  Louisa and her parents worked for and lived with a merchant who was friendly with the Lewis's father, also a merchant.  (There may be some evidence that Louisa's family had been enslaved the merchant or his family, and then became his employees after the Civil War.)  Lewis and Louisa married other people.  My family didn't know anything about Lewis and Louisa's relationship and child, we have an old family tree of that part of the family, but this isn't in it.  There's a story passed down in Henry's descendants's family about Lewis running into and speaking briefly with Henry once as an adult, it seemed he knew who Henry was, other than that we don't know anything about their relationship if any, it seems likely it was minimal at most.

The DNA test lead to Henry's descendant contacting me, we met and she's since met my sisters, we communicate often about genealogy and other things.

One organization you might be interested in is called Coming To The Table.  Their Mission Statement is "Coming to the Table provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery."  I joined the organization on their website. They have number of local chapters around the country; it looks like there's only one in Texas, in Dallas.  Their website has resources about researching African-American and slaveholding family histories, I believe there's some advice about making contact between descendants of enslaved and enslaving people.  I haven't been to any meetings in person yet.  They're having their annual national Gathering June 24-27, which will be virtual this year.

Mike Daren
Arlington, Virginia

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