“I’m white, your family is black. We can’t be related.” In the words of President Obama….Oh yes we can!
It was bound to happen. I received an email this from a gentleman on the white side of the North Carolina Josey family who – politely, I have to add – enquired about my connection to the Josey family. “I couldn’t help but notice that your family is black. I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can be related”.
I could almost imagine his face when I kindly pointed out that not only were we related…but he was also related to the African-American Joseys who lived in his North Carolina town as well as the African-American Joseys who lived in at least three towns near to his own.
A subsequent flurry of emails passed back and forth and his denials became more entrenched. “It’s just not possible”. Airplanes weren’t possible – until they were. Sending rockets to other planets weren’t possible, until they were. Given the things we now take for granted which weren’t possible two to three generations previously, I think intimate relations between races the most probable of anything on the planet. Well, that’s the way I believe I phrased it in one of my later replies.
It all goes back to one John Stephen Josey. Me and mine, on my maternal great-grandmother’s side of the family, are descended from John Stephen Josey and a mulatto mistress. This gentleman was a descendant of John Stephen Josey and his wife Martha’s only surviving son.
It was only when I replied “Well, if my great-great-grandfather George Josey‘s existence didn’t bother Martha, why should it bother you? If anyone has or had a right to be aggrieved, it was her. He cheated on her, not you or yours.” And it is true. If certain accounts are to be believed, Martha Josey was kindly disposed to her husband’s mulatto children.
Yesterday, I received an email where this gentleman said “You’re absolutely right”.
Now he’s busy making plans to contact and meet his African-American cousins who live nearby. And we’ve inspired each other to trace the Josey/Jowsey/Jossie family lineage from 14th Century Scotland back to their Norman roots – a daunting prospect if ever there was one.