Kinsearching December 4, 2005




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Continuing to research, revise, and update his award-winning material, Paul Heinegg has completed the new fifth edition of his monumental work FREE AFRICAN AMERICANS OF NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA, AND SOUTH CAROLINA FROM THE COLONIAL PERIOD TO ABOUT 1820. Now published in two volumes, the fifth edition is 300 pages longer than the previous one.

     Like the earlier editions, this publication consists of detailed genealogies of approximately 600 free black families who originated in Virginia and migrated to the Carolinas from the colonial era to about 1820. Encompassing names of more than 10,000 individuals, Heinegg's study includes data on most of the African Americans who were free in that area during that particular time frame.

     Heinegg's findings are the outgrowth of twenty years of research in such resources as colonial and early national period tax records, colonial parish registers, Revolutionary pension files, wills, deeds, 1790-1820 censuses, Free Negro Registers, marriage bonds, and newspapers. Contrary to popular belief, Heinegg shows that most of the families were descendants of white servant women who had children by slaves or free African Americans; they were not descendants of slave owners.

     He also dispels other myths about the origins and status of free African Americans like the "mysterious" origins of the Lumbees, Melungeons, and other marginal groups. In addition, he proves that many free African American families owned land. Famous Americans who descend from free African Americans include tennis stars Arthur ASHE and Althea GIBSON, humanitarian Ralph BUNCH, and former NAACP president CHAVIS.

     A work of enormous breadth and detail, FREE AFRICAN AMERICANS OF NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA, AND SOUTH CAROLINA FROM THE COLONIAL PERIOD TO ABOUT 1820 is a valuable asset to the field of social history as well as to genealogy. Ranked as the greatest achievement of black family history of this generation, no collection of African-American genealogy or social history books will be complete without a copy.

    The two volume paperback set totals 1,355 pages. It includes a foreword, a meticulous introduction to the subject, a map, copious documentation, an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources, and a full name index. As item order #9097, it may be purchased for $93.95 postpaid or $95.95 UPS by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (toll free phone 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     The holidays provide great opportunities for friends and families to start thinking about and planning future reunions. As editor and publisher of the well-known periodical Reunions Magazine, Edith Wagner has considerable experience in dealing with all types of gatherings. In a news release she shares the following information:
     "References and resources
     Hundreds of pages about organizing reunions...when and where, how to pay for it and what to do when you get there...are available 24/7 at Resources for destinations, places, services, vendors and products to help with reunions can be linked directly from..." the same website. In addition, "Future and past family, class and military reunions are listed and linked for persons who are searching for their reunions...."