Genealogist’s work examines lives of free people of color before 1820

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

Genealogist Paul Heinegg, a retired engineer, has updated and reprinted his three volumes that examines the lives of free people of color.

This is the sixth edition of his work, “Free African Americans of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina, from the Colonial Period to About 1820,″ first published in 1992.

In it, he follows various families. He says, “Most of the families were the descendants of white servant women who had children by slaves.” In later records, many of the descendants are no longer designated as people of color. Thus, descendants now classified as white would not necessarily be looking at the sources he used.

Each volume is arranged alphabetically by families, some have one paragraph, while others have multiple pages of documented family descendants. The volumes contain full name indexes.

If you have families in the three states mentioned, especially on the Virginia/North Carolina border, these are a must, even more so if you’ve reached a brick wall in your research. Many Georgia families have ancestors in these volumes, and one friend found a long-lost ancestor in an earlier edition. Heinegg is to be commended for compiling this incredibly exhaustive work. Published by the Clearfield Press of the Genealogical Publishing Company, they are available for $140 per set at or call 1-800-296-6687. Previous editions are in libraries and archives.

Flannery O’Connor genealogy published

“Flannery O’Connor’s Genealogy,” by Patrick Samway, appears in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of “The Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly.” This 24-page article is an extensive, heavily footnoted look at her family’s Catholic heritage in Georgia and Irish roots. The issue also includes Rockdale County marriages, 1902-1915. Copies are available at genealogy library collections or the Georgia Archives. Contact or at P.O. Box 550247, Atlanta, Ga. 30355-2747.

Geo-genealogy a new designation?

The term “geo-genealogy” caught my eye in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. It’s defined as “genealogical research extending broadly across space (geography), as well as time and associates.”

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or