About this iReport
  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view agutthon's profile
    Posted May 8, 2009 by
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Black in America: Your roots

    More from agutthon

    Neal Kelley


    My great great great grand father ( valentine Watts )was born in Jan of 1842 in louisiana as a slave. He was owned by the watts family and was the son of the slave owner. He ran aways went to mississippi. He made his way accross the mississippi river during the civil war. In fear of his life he changed his name from watts to jones. He did that to cover his tracks from the bounty hunters looking for him. He married Roseanna Hicks on May 20th 1864 in the city of Vicksburg. I found that information on the freedmans bureau website.( http://freedmensbureau.com ). He had a host of children. One of his children named Valentine Jones was born on Sept 1882. He would move to move to New York City and marry Jennie Robinison. He worked as a merchant seaman and sailed on a ship called the Varsi. He had three children. Vivian Jones, Valentine C. Jones, Evangeline Jones.  Valentine C. Jones Married Marie Austin and had 1 child. That child was name Marie C. Jones.  Marie Jones married John Kelley in new york and had 2 children. Vernon Kelley and Neal Kelley. That is how i ( Neal Kelley ) have come to be.  I have since traveled to East Africa Uganda and recently to West Africa Ghana spending months in both places. I decided to learn to speak Swahili. My travel back through time into my family history has given me a stronger since of self. It is the most rewarding thing a person can ever do.      Side note: The plantation manifest where my great great great father was a slave indicated throgh the slave manifest that most of the slaves where from the congo.

    Add your Story Add your Story