Free Persons of Color

The Neighborhood: The McKees in Goshen, Belmont, Ohio

Imae of Nearby town of St. Clairesville, the Belmont county seat
Nearby town of St. Clairesville, the Belmont county seat

“Who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, they’re in your neighborhood? They’re the people that you meet when your walking down the street. They’re the people that you meet each day!”   Many of us remember that catchy little theme song  composed and sung by the ever popular Mr. Rogers Aka Minister Fred McFeely Rogers of the PBS kids show “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”. He seemed to think that his neighbors where pretty important people ! I have come to realize as he did, that neighbors can indeed be pretty  important people in the grand scheme of things and with no exception in  family research and genetic genealogy . This post is the first in a series of posts on the various neighborhoods of my ancestors. I have noticed over the years that many of surnames listed by my DNA matches confounded me until I noticed some of them…

Free Persons of Color

To Be Free, Discovering FPOC in My Family Tree

Image of Vintage American Flag

  I never considered that there might be free persons of color (FPOC) in my family’s history. I assumed that they were all  enslaved. After all, my family is African American, from the deep south, Louisiana, and there was no oral or written history to make me believe otherwise. My father’s people were able to tell me some things about my paternal line – that  Isadore McKee was my grandfather and that Charley McKee my great grandfather. But no one could tell me who Charley’s father was! It seemed as though any recollection of him, his generation, and preceding generations had already been lost. So it all began back in 2011 with question – Who was Charley Mckee’s father? A death certificate ordered from the Louisiana State Archive would yield  the name of his father James Mckee and his mother Virgina. Birth place of father was listed as Louisiana and birth…