On August 7 - 9, 2009, We Came Together
150 Years Later!

Atlanta, Georgia ~ Abbeville, South Carolina


View the documentary of this historical event!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Total: 30 minutes

Returning to the Motherland: The Descendants of Lewis & Fanny Barr (i.e. the Barr, Beckley, & Reed Families) will be journeying to Nigeria in late 2012 to visit our ancestral homeland. We descend from the Yoruba and Fulani peoples of Nigeria.

Family Members Only: Click Here to join the Barr Descendants Africa yahoo group for those interested in going on this monumental journey back to Africa or send an e-mail to BarrDescendants@yahoo.com.


More than 230 return to their roots in Abbeville
Index Journal Newspaper, Greenwood, S.C.

Our African Ancestry

The Mbundu People of Angola
The Yoruba People of Nigeria
The Fulani People of Nigeria


Beckley Family Reunion - Atlanta Beckley Club
Descendants of Sue Barr Beckley
The Reed Family of Tate County, Mississippi

Descendants of Pleasant Barr
Rust College
Dr. David Beckley, President
Bethune-Cookman University
Dr. Trudie Reed, President
Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery
New Book by Melvin J. Collier

Justice On My Mind
New Book by Clara Hunter King
African Ancestry
Trace Your DNA. Find Your Roots.

The "Coming Together" Committee

Melvin J. Collier
Amelia Jefferson
Dr. Leroy Frazier
Ouida Howard
Denise Harrington
Clara Hunter King
Jerilyn Beckley
Vikki D. Jenkins
Frank Turpin


In 1859, the children of Pleasant Barr were sold to Lemuel Reid. William Barr, Jr. then took Pleasant's sister Sue and her children and other family members to Pontotoc County, Mississippi the same year.  They all never saw each other again. In 2009, 150 years later, 250 descendants reunited and are walking up to the ole Lemuel Reid Plantation House, Abbeville, SC. (courtesy of ZeEnna Jenkins)

     Our history did not begin with slavery in America. However, our furthest-traced ancestors on American soil were a devoted couple named Lewis and Fanny. Research findings indicate that Lewis was born around 1780 in South Carolina. DNA testing has revealed that Lewis’s paternal ancestor – most probably his paternal grandfather – was an African captive taken from the Angola-Congo region of West-Central Africa.  He was likely transported to Charleston, South Carolina. This strong ancestor was from the Mbundu people who resided in northern Angola. Lewis's wife Fanny was born around 1790 in Virginia. On August 7, 2009, at the 150th Year Commemorative Reunion of the Descendants of Lewis and Fanny Barr, the African ancestry of Grandma Fanny Barr's lineage was revealed to the family – her descendants – who reunited for the first time 150 years after our ancestors were separated.  Through her maternal lineage, we learned that we are connected to the Fulani and Yoruba peoples of Nigeria.
     Extensive genealogy research has confirmed that our ancestors were enslaved on the farm of the Reverend Dr. William H. Barr and his wife Rebecca Reid Barr, located three miles north of Abbeville, South Carolina. Dr. Barr was the minister of the Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church in Abbeville. The 1820 U.S. Federal Census of Abbeville County reported Dr. Barr with six slaves that year: an adult male, an adult female, and four young children (one young female and three young males). We know this enslaved family unit to be Lewis, Fanny, and children, Glasgow, Sue, Pleasant, and another son whose name is lost to the family. It is not known when and from whom Dr. William and Rebecca Barr acquired Lewis and Fanny. However, from 1820 to 1843, the enslaved population on the Barr farm increased naturally from a family of six to eighteen people. During those years, Lewis and Fanny created a solid family structure of children and grandchildren that would soon become dismantled.   Click here to read the full story.


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