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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum

Finding Your Roots - John Legend Segment

I watched the John Legend segment of Finding Your Roots (FYR) with great interest. John Legend is the uncle of 3 of my great-grandchildren, as one of his brother's is married to one of my granddaughters.

In doing the genealogy of these great-grandchildren I had traced the lines of this family, both paternal & maternal, back to the 1820's and did not encounter the Polley connection. I did find other FPOC family connections on the maternal side of the family who had been in the area of southeastern Ohio where the Polley's first settled in the early 1850's. I don't believe, or remember, the segment reflecting the surnames which connected John Legend to Peyton Polley. Or whether the connection was maternall or paternal.

This Polley story is very interesting, if for nothing other than the timing. In 1850 Ohio had just repealed their Black Codes instituted upon on Statehood in 1803. These Codes required Blacks entering Ohio to register as Free Persons of Color, showing proof of their freedom from the slave holding State where they were freed (manumitted). 1850 was also the year of the passage of the 2nd Fugitive Slave Act which allowed (legally) for the capture and return of fugitive, non-free Blacks, from the free States, like Ohio, back into the slave holding States.

I know the constraints of time and the story lines preclude FYR from going into the detail I would have liked, but needless to say I enjoyed this segment of Finding Your Roots.

Art Thomas

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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