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Thomas the Melungeon: Walking in My Ancestor’s Footsteps

Gigi Best-Richardson is an award-winning Author, Historian, Genealogist, and Museum Curator. She will share her own fascinating ancestral discoveries from Free Persons of Color (Melungeon) to English and Portuguese raiding slaver ships.

Gigi is a member of many national hereditary societies, i.e., The Order of First Families of North Carolina; Daughters of the American Revolution; Vice President of SDUSMP, and Historian General of the Society of the First African Families of English America and she utilizes research skills and documents primary records. She has lived and worked in Turkey, Korea, and Germany.

She has personally proven many progenitors in colonial America to 1569. Her 9th great-grandmother was one of the "20 and Odd" Angolans who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Her Angolan ancestors arrived in Jamestown, VA, on English privateer ships. Her 9th great-grandmother came to Point Comfort in1619 on the “White Lion,” and a 9th great grandfather is believed to have arrived in English America in 1628 on the “Fortune.” In 1628 Capt. Guy rerouted stolen West Central African survivors of the Middle Passage. John Kecotan was captured from the Portuguese enslavers and sold for tobacco.

Though records are spotty in America, the Spanish document at least 16 cases of the English raiding slavers bound for Spanish America in the 1630s. These hijackings redirected about 2,400 Africans (mostly Angolans) to English colonies. These English pirates were given carte blanche permission to attack any Spanish or Portuguese ship they encountered.

Dial-In Information

Pre-Registration Required:

Thursday, May 12 at 4:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Arts & Culture, Local Events

Target Audience

Prospective Students, Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Students, Community


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