Join us for a local look at the Early Native- and African-American experience in Greenwich with researcher and historian Theresa Vega. Our discussion will include the rise and decline of the community of Hangroot, the area of Round Hill Road where her ancestors lived for generations, as well as her extended family’s fight to save their “Colored Cemetery” in the Byram section of Greenwich.
The Hangroot community was delineated as the area between Lake Avenue, Pecksland Road, Clapboard Ridge Road and just north of Glenville Road, although these boundaries changed over time with the ebb and flow of the African-American population. The name “Hangroot” refers to the use of root cellars and storage of winter vegetables hanging from rafters in the basements.
” I have been researching my family history/genealogy for almost 20 years. However, it wasn’t until 2010 that I began to research my family history in depth using a combination of traditional genealogy as well as genetic genealogy. I have been able to trace several of my maternal mixed-race lines back to colonial New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Virginia. The ethnic admixture of these lines is a mix of West African, Malagasy, Native American and European people and represent some of the earliest settlers in this country along with Native Americans who have always been here.
It has always been my goal to document my family history the way it was experienced by my ancestors. My research specialties include both African-American and Puerto Rican Genealogy in general, Slavery and Free Blacks in the Northeast, the Afro-Dutch Cultural Legacy in NY and NJ, the NY-Madagascar Slave Trade in the Late 1600-Early 1700s, the Historical Importance of African-American Burial Grounds as well as Genetic Genealogy for Beginners. I am in the process of writing my first two books on The DNA Trail from Madagascar to the World and Hangroot: An Early Native and African American Community (working title).” – Teresa Vega
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:00 – 7:00 pm via Zoom
Teresa Vega has a Bachelors Degrees in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Bowdoin College and previously worked as an adjunct professor in Cultural Anthropology while attending CUNY Graduate School and University Center’s doctoral program in Anthropology. Her background in cultural anthropology has helped her research her ancestral roots. She started a blog, www.radiantrootsboricuabranches.com, to share her genealogy research on both her maternal mixed race African-American side as well as her Puerto Rican paternal side. A proud member of both the NJ and NY Chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAGHS) and a BlackProGenLIVE panelist. She is a member of the Board of the Rye Historical Society’s Square House and on their Program Committee. She is also the co-administrator of FamilyTree DNA’s Malagasy Roots Project along with CeCe Moore of PBS’s Finding Your Roots and DNA Detectives since 2014. For the past several years, she has given talks at public libraries in the Greater NY/NJ/CT area as well as local genealogy groups.