Florence Has My Name Written All Over It

May 3, 2017

It all started off with a pin

Early July, around noon time, I invited my genealogy mentor over to my house so she could show me what she had discovered. In that session, she revealed me to me that the slave owner who was responsible for my family’s name, went by the name of Joseph Gregg, born in the 1700s. Trying to keep face, I played it cool and told her to continue, all while my heart was breaking. I mean, I was not naive to think that there wasn’t a possibility of my last name originating from slavery, but putting a face to a name was a hard pill to swallow. In the midst of my world crashing, I heard my mentor say “ I found an image on Pinterest. The gentleman in the photo is one of your ancestors…” I paid her no mind.


Fast forward to mid-November, my team and I traveled to Florence, South Carolina to visit The Gregg Plantation. I wanted to drive past the slave mansion Joseph Gregg lived in and most importantly I wanted to see the living conditions my ancestors were subjected to. We visited the slave cabins and the tenant houses my ancestors stayed in. Re-walking the footsteps of my ancestors was devastating yet empowering at the same time. I am touching what they touched, smelling what they smelled, the only difference is I chose to be there.


All of a sudden spotted a “familiar picture” that I saw earlier this year, outside of the slave cabin.


Afterward, We visited a small resource library where I spotted the original image…


Then, I found a book with him on the cover!

I knew I was in Florence, SC but I literally felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Not only did this image keep popping up, but my last name is written all over this city. This trip provided healing I didn’t even know I needed. I also met the people who are in charge of maintaining my family’s history. I had no idea they or this information even existed. I am forever humbled and grateful.


Special thanks to everyone who has donated to this project to make this trip possible. Words cannot describe how truly thankful I am!



Enjoy more images from our trip


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