Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850): An Early African-American Quaker from Lassiter Mill, Randolph County, North Carolina: My Research Journey to Home Paperback – November 3, 2011
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Author Margo Lee Williams tells the story of her family's past and how she stumbled upon an important piece of history in Miles Lassiter. Williams provides a look into what it was like to live during her great grandfather's time, from religion to restrictions. The second part [of the book] gives information on Lassiter's descendants. Old family photos as well as historical documents provide a tangible element that aid in the understanding of the time periods she discusses. - The Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper.
Margo's story is interesting in one sense because her mother had become estranged from her family in North Carolina, and Margo was able to reconnect with a variety of family members through her research. - Ruth Ann Grissom, The Montgomery Herald (NC)
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Part of Ms. Williams motivation comes from the fact that her immediate family moved North, taking them away from, and separating them for a number of years from their roots. Ms. Williams begins her search trying to reconnect with her roots and flesh out her family history. This is a fascinating odyssey as she explains it, taking her into all kinds of family records. Ms. Williams balances this story with some emotion, in a clear and logical manner, leaving one ready to discover what she finds next. The book takes her back four generations to her descendent Miles Lassiter and the land that comes down from him. In the process, one learns some of what life was like for African-Americans in Randolph County in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Williams tells this story in a clear and cogent manner that not only makes her family proud, but anyone (such as myself), who has African-American roots within the county. I think it is quite humorous that Ms. Williams' mother attended First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheboro as a little girl. I find that humorous because there is a picture of it in Ms Williams' book and because it is the church that I grew up in. See there, connections all around! It is also humorous to me that a distant relative of mine, Isley Walden, appears to have been a contemporary and acquaintance of some of Ms. Williams' relatives, and to have frequented some of the same “stomping grounds.” A fine job, this! This is a book that is well-worth reading and especially a treasure to the Lassiter family.
Margo Lee Williams has laid out a road map for others to follow for their own families. Just when she thought she had reached a dead end, after generously sharing as much of what she had found with others as she could, someone reached out to her with additional information or made a suggestion which she followed, and another door opened and revealed its secrets. It is heartening to know that those who helped her were white and black. It reads like she is the "Terminator" of family genealogy; she simply started and wouldn't quit!
Even those with a undiscovered interest in family history can be inspired to probe those waters after reading this book, which I read in one sitting. Imagine the connections to be made and secrets to be unearthed in your own family? I'm ready to start digging for some unanswered questions of my own, not even knowing what they are as yet. Highly recommend this book to all, and reiterate that it is the history of the country, not just a family. Black people have long been written out of the country's history. Thanks to Margo Lee Williams, more than a few pages have been expertly filled in, and I can't wait to read From Hill Town to Strieby, her other history-page filling effort.