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Family Reunion Forum

Sutton Family Reunited after 170 years

Over 170 years ago two sibling were separated by the “peculiar institution” of slavery. One to young, Samuel to remember and the other Valvin would remember his brother, but not know if he lived or died. A descendant of the youngest child , who has since passed away, would find the connection during a visit to Richmond, Virginia and hoped that others would pursue the connection. At the time it was not in vogue to pursue your history especially if you expected to find your ancestors were slaves. Letters were exchanged and researchers were hired, but skepticism ruled. In 2006 the research and dna testing of Dr. Rick Kittles would be the catalyst to bring heart and mind together that genetically the two families were related and shared a paternal history. Both were descendants of James Sutton of Caroline County, Virginia and the brothers names were once joined together again. The Sutton’s were now from Texas, New Jersey , New York and Virginia were gathered at the Omni hotel in Richmond, Virginia Thanksgiving 2008 and broke bread as a family. There is more research to do and understand. The history of a family that time almost erased from memory still flowed in the veins of the descendants who have managed to embrace education which many of the ancestors were denied. We have found kindred spirits who seek to claim an inheritance which is the knowledge of where we came from and what future we will share.

We talked , photographed, toured, laughed, and joked. Those who were unable to travel participated through video conferencing. We looked for resemblances in old photographs, and were in awe of the myriad of profession assembled. We exchanged emails, addresses, and plans for the next gathering.

Never give up the desire to find your ancestors the oral history you pass on, research you document, dna test, web blogs etc. you do today will surface and a descendant will make the connection and be eternally grateful to you for keeping the inheritance alive.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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