My African Origin

“Dreams are voices of ancestors.”

Augustine Batiste is my third great-grandmother. Her significance to me, actually lies within her father – my fourth great-grandfather – Harry Batiste. Harry Batiste first appears on the 1880 US Census and can be traced through the 1920 US Census. While his birth year and location seem to fluctuate, the birth location of his parents never does. In each US census record that Harry Batiste is found, he lists his parents as both having been born in Africa. The exact location within Africa is unclear. I will likely never know. DNA can help narrow down where in Africa, but enslaved people were kidnapped from tribes all over the African continent, and then marched to the African shoreline where they boarded “slave” ships, not realizing that they would never see their homes, friends, or family, ever again. Harry Batiste, in one census, marked his birth location as being Africa. That is highly unlikely due to the time period that he was likely born. Transatlantic Slave Trading was outlawed, and countries could only trade slaves amongst one another. No more kidnapping innocent people from Africa. Harry Batiste is many African Americans’ dream ancestor. He is my gateway ancestor to Africa. I know his name. I know his family. I do not know the names of his parents, but I am okay with that. I am content knowing my African ancestors. I am content knowing that my DNA and my paper trail confirm the same thing.


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