What’s In A Name?
For the past decade, I have been researching my genealogy. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that I began to research my family history in depth. Aided by my third cousin Andrea, I have been able to uncover more than I could have ever imagined about my maternal ancestors. On this side of my family, I am the descendant of slaves, slave owners whose roots trace back to early colonial VA, NY/NJ and New England, Free People of Color, Native Americans, European immigrants, early Black abolitionists, Underground Railroad stationmasters and conductors, educators, businessmen/women, and Black church founders. It is these ancestors whom I refer to as RADIANT ROOTS. They left a legacy that still shines brightly today.
My parents separated when I was three years old and I was raised by a single mother and her parents. My father resurfaced, after the death of my mother in 1991, when I was 23 years old. I am thankful that I had a good 10 years getting to know him before he passed away. Because he was an only child and his parents passed away when I was a toddler, I never knew anyone on his side of the family. But, thanks to DNA testing, I have found my Puerto Rican cousins. BORICUA BRANCHES refers to the Puerto Rican side of my family— a side I am so happy to have rediscovered.