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When “finding my roots,” I tend to let my imagination run wild.  For quite a few of my ancestors, there are no pictures.  So, I imagine how they looked, how they talked, how they went about their daily lives…even what typical dinner table conversation would be.  Afterwards, I’d feel a little sad because I knew I would never hear nor read the words of my ancestors.

In my recent research, I came across a major gem!  In the book, The Slaves’ War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves by Andrew Ward, are the words of Addie Vincent/Vinson.  It may not seem like much, but to me it’s an entire volume.

On page 347, the second to the last highlighted name, Addie Vinson/Vincent speaks, “Marse Ike buyed my pappy from Marse Sam Brightwell.  Me and Bill, Willis, Maze, Harrison, Easter, and Sue was all the children my Mammy and Pappy had.”

It brought tears to my eyes for two reasons.  The first reason was because it was the voice of my ancestor.  The second reason was because even though I’ve seen the buying and selling of slaves on television and read about it in a multitude of books, nothing can describe the overwhelming surge of emotions when you personally discover an ancestor that was “purchased property.”

Now, how is Addie Vinson/Vincent related to me?  Well, the easiest way to explain it would be that Addie is my 1st cousin, 4 times removed.  However, when it’s put that way, it gets the gears in one’s head turning at an accelerated rate.  This is why I prefer showing it in family tree format.

Makes more sense when you look at it this way, doesn’t it?

I have ordered a copy of The Slaves’ War: The Civil War in the Words of Former Slaves with the hope that I may be able to find words from more of my ancestors, more words from Addie Vinson/Vincent, and maybe even pictures.

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