Ties to Thomas Jefferson Unravel Family Mystery

A woman seeks answers to decades-old questions about whether her family is related to the descendants of Thomas Jefferson.

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I haven’t learned from Tess more about Eva Robinson Taylor, but I have learned something about my white Taylor family ancestors. And I’ve discovered an interest from people, black and white, who see their family’s history in my own, people wanting to connect across racial, cultural and ethnic boundaries. I’m still searching for more about Eva Robinson Taylor, for more cousins—black, white, brown. And I wish my father had lived long enough to know all this. For me, at least, some healing has begun.

Editor’s note: If you have a historical photo from your family scrapbook that you would like to share in The Root’s “Why My Family Is Black History,” an upcoming feature for Black History Month, please send the photo and a caption identifying the subjects to submissions@theroot.com.

Gayle Jessup White lives in Richmond, Va., where she is a communications consultant and realtor. She occasionally lectures on Richmond’s history, and her own.