Jeremy Alexander, a Georgetown University employee, recently had his DNA tested and began a family tree on ancestry.com. As a result, he met a distant relative who told him more about his family history. She told him about his great-great-great grandmother who was among slaves sold in 1838 to keep Georgetown University alive. A genealogist used DNA and historical records to verify that this woman was in fact Alexander’s ancestor.
Georgetown has recently made many efforts to apologize for the mark on its history, including initiating a large research project to find the descendants of the slaves sold in 1838. The university has promised preferred consideration in the admission process to such descendants.
This article does not only show a university seeking to right the wrongs of its past. It also shows an increasing Spirit of Elijah. Many people like Alexander are becoming interested in their roots and how their ancestors’ lives have affected them. We are all products of our progenitors’ experiences and learning their stories helps us to feel close to them, as well as to learn more about ourselves.