Ealy Family Heritage

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Ealy Family Heritage

Documenting Our Legacy

Authored by Melvin J Collier, Bob Ealy Family Book Team

Ealy Family Heritage, Documenting Our Legacy is a fascinating body of work that not only documents the Ealy Family's history back to the 1700s, but it also captures the history of the Leake County, Mississippi communities where the family's presence dates back to circa 1835. That was when the family patriarch, Robert "Big Bob" Ealy, was transported to central Mississippi from Nash County, North Carolina as an enslaved young man. His enslaver, William "Billy" Eley, used him as a breeder. With his wife Jane Parrott, Big Bob Ealy had 12 children. Three additional children have been found. Because of his forced task of slave breeding, more will likely be unearthed in the future due to DNA technology. This first volume documents over 3,500 descendants. The family ancestral homes are the Lena and Tuscola communities of Leake County, but many descendants also resided and still live in Leake, Scott, Rankin, Hinds, and Madison County, Mississippi. During the 20th Century Great Migration, scores of Ealys migrated to Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Las Vegas, and other points North and West.

Ealy Family Heritage, Documenting Our Legacy highlights four key areas - family, community, church, and school. These topics help to provide a comprehensive history of the family. A family history is more than just names, places, and dates. That's boring. However, this book is like no other family publication because it is chockfull of pictures, stories, and memories from family elders and others about the family, the communities, the churches, and the early schools for African Americans in southern Leake County. Oral history is a major part of family history research, as it gives life to the deceased ancestors.

Ealy Family Heritage, Documenting Our Legacy was authored by Melvin J. Collier, a renowned genealogy researcher and author of two genealogical books, Mississippi to Africa, A Journey of Discovery and 150 Years Later, Broken Ties Mended. Collier is a great great grandson of Big Bob & Jane Ealy. He first heard his paternal grandmother, the late Mrs. Willie Ealy Collier, utter Big Bob's name from her lips when he was a teenager. Consequently, he began his genealogy research of the Ealy Family in 1993, nearly three years after his grandmother's passing, recalling much of the information she relayed to him. He has currently traced the Ealy Family's history back to Big Bob's mother, Annie, who was born circa 1795. Her name was given to numerous descendants. Collier discovered an unfortunate saga that involved the "ownership" of Annie and three of her children. They were the subject of an 1832 North Carolina court case, William Hunt vs. Edwin Bass et al, 17 N.C. 292, which went all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court. Collier's research has also taken Jane Parrott's family history back to the 1700s to Lunenburg County and Brunswick County, Virginia. He has also uncovered autosomal DNA evidence of the family's African roots.

In Ealy Family Heritage, Documenting Our Legacy, Collier uniquely combines the process of genealogy research with story-telling. He discloses how he researched the enslaved ancestors of Big Bob and Jane, while still telling the stories of their lives and their descendants' lives during slavery and afterwards. This also makes this book a great publication for even non-descendants who are interested in African American genealogy research. This book can also serve as a great template on how to organize and write a family history book. Whether if one is an Ealy descendant or not, this book is a great educational resource. Questions can be sent to BobEalyFamily@gmail.com.

Publication Date:
1523460318 / 9781523460311
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / African American

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