In this third episode of Series Four, host Andrew meets with American historian, genealogist, and author Shaquan McDowell. Shaquan will explain how he got into researching his family history, how he shares his research into Free People of Colour, and how he finds his ancestors in a wide range of sources.
Listen to the episode
Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and others…
The Life Story:
Shaquan has chosen to share the life story of his 5x Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Scott. Elizabeth was a Free Person of Color, born in 1810, and lived in Spartanburg, South Carolina (in the Antebellum South) after the American Revolution.
Elizabeth is found in 1830 as the head of her household – a remarkably hard situation for a young, black, free woman, and living with her are her four children. She is surrounded by a community that lives against adversity, navigating a nation where slavery is all around.
Elizabeth’s story is no doubt one of a tough life, but her strength, ability to strive forwards and not just lift herself and her family, but also those around her, is remarkable. The impact on her descendants continues today, including acting as the inspiration for the central character in Shaquan’s E. L. Moran series.
The Brick Wall:
We’re sticking with Spartanburg, South Carolina for the research brick wall that is giving Shaquan a headache, and we’re looking for the early life and parents of his 4x Great Grandfather, Wiley Fuller.
Shaquan has used DNA to triangulate matches with a number of cousins, but this has not allowed him to step much closer to the truth. An Enoch Fuller may be Wiley’s father, but a lack of records prevents him from being sure.
Wiley’s life after the 1870 US Census is quite clear, so it’s this early part that has him stuck. Can you help?
If you think you can help Shaquan with a clue or a research idea, then you can contact him via his twitter account @S_C_McD, his Instagram, or via the email address he gives in the episode. Alternatively, you can head over to our contact form and send us a message, and we’ll pass it straight on.
Meanwhile, as Andrew offers his help, Shaquan isn’t entirely convinced that it’s safe…
Series Four, Episode Three
- Andrew Martin: Host & Producer
- Shaquan McDowell: Guest
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