A ‘White’ Grandma With Black Roots?

Tracing Your Roots: A biracial woman questions family lore explaining her grandmother's appearance.

Rita Desmond (Diane Neill)
Rita Desmond (Diane Neill)

The Bibliotheque Archives Nationales Du Quebec has also made some collections available on their website that may be useful to your genealogy.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Send your questions about tracing your own roots to TracingYourRoots@theroot.com.

This answer was provided in consultation with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country’s leading nonprofit resource for family history research. Its website, AmericanAncestors.org, contains more than 300 million searchable records for research in New England, New York and beyond. With the leading experts in the field, NEHGS staff can provide assistance and guidance for questions in most research areas. They can also be hired to conduct research on your family. Learn more today.

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