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WikiTree Challenge Week 5: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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This page highlights some of the fabulous finds we encountered while working on the family tree for Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr during the WikiTree Challenge.

We started with 29 nuclear family members and extended the family to 662 profiles and counting. We had team members from at least 8 different countries working on the tree and many people had their first encounter with African-American genealogy. Because of this experience, many of the team members will continue to work on African-American genealogies in collaboration with the US Black Heritage Project and grow the global tree for these families.


Change Makers in Dr. Gates' Tree

  • Jane Gates, an estimable woman who was a slave, raised her five children on her own in a mostly white neighborhood, was a midwife and was the first Black woman in Allegany County, Maryland to own a bank account. Her house still stands and serves as a local museum and community center.
  • John Robert Edward Lee, Civic leader, teacher and educational-association founder. WikiPedia His sons all went to college.
    • Daughter Birdie Lee, b. 1884 was a school matron.
    • Son Edwin Lee, b.1886 Was a Physician at Tuskegee Veterans Hospital
    • Son George Ernest Lee b. 1891, married to Maude Gates, served in WWI, and was a pharmacist. His obituary stated he was also a state official. This needs more research.
    • Son John Robert Edward Lee Jr, bl 1897 attended Virginia Union University. He worked as a business manager at A&M University.
    • Son Maurice Aldrick Lee, b. 1900 attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was a teacher at Talladega College
    • Son Ralph Hugo Lee, b. 1907 He was a teacher at Florida A&M and Kentucky State college (Used the saying, Onward, Upward!)
  • Dr. Robert Thompson Dentist, educator, worked in public health service, consultant for the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Job Corp Program.
  • J.R. Clifford West Virginia's first Black attorney, civil rights pioneer, newspaper publisher, editor and writer, school teacher, and principal. Featured on a 2009 U.S. postage stamp WikiPedia. Leader in the the Niagara Movement. The US Black Heritage Project will create family profiles for as many of the members of the Niagara Movement as they can find, including the "original 29."
  • Charles Kinnison Redman (1938-2000)was one of the first Black students at Allegany High School. He graduated in 1956. Based on articles about desegration in that area, the high schools were desegregated starting in the 1955-56 school year. He is one of six or seven Black students in the senior class.

Soldiers in Dr. Gates Tree

  • John Redman, Private, 1st Virginia Regiment of Light Dragoons, American Revolution.
  • Theodore Kent Clifford, Private, 45th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment. More military information added along with the Civil War Service sticker.
  • George Ernest Lee Sr., 2nd Lt. U.S. Army, WWI, one of 92 black officers assigned to Camp Meade to train black soldiers (sticker applied)
  • William Coleman, Buffalo Soldier, serving with the 9th Cavalry, US Army during World War I. (sticker and category applied)
  • George Ernest Lee Jr., Sergeant U.S. Army WWII (sticker applied)
  • Dr. Robert Thompson, Army Reserves Dental Corps, Captain Korean War, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division (sticker and category applied)
  • Thomas Milton Redman (1891-1966), Co "B" 505th Engineers(sticker applied)
  • J.R. Clifford, Corporal, Company F of the 13th Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment. He must have been very motivated to join the war effort since he fibbed about his age and enlisted at age 16 in 1865. His leadership ability must have manifested early since despite serving less than a year, being a teenager and only standing 5' 3 1/2" tall, he attained the rank of corporal. (sticker applied)
  • Ethan Howard, Corporal, U.S, Army WWI (sticker applied)
  • George Thomas Redman (1922-1983), U.S. Army 1943-1947 (sticker applied)
  • Thomas Milton Redman (1918-1982), U.S. Army 1942-1945 (sticker applied)
  • Edward Alexander Redman (1922-1984), U.S. Army (sticker applied)
  • Henry Louis Gates Sr (1913-2010), Quartermaster, U.S. Army 1941-43 (sticker applied)
  • James Nelson Redman (1930-1981) - retired from the military in 1969 (Veterans Recognition sticker applied) Note: I chose this sticker because I wanted to have the freedom to demonstrate that he served a long time and not just for the duration of a war. Also, there is no evidence regarding his service and whether he even served overseas.
  • Raymond Randolph Redman (1920-2013) little evidence of his service. He probably served in WWII, but not for certain. It says so in his obituary (cannot be verified), but no dates or unit given. (no sticker, but research notes)
  • William Reginald Redman (1925-2011) (has sticker)
  • Clarence Eugene Redman (1931-2000) (stickered)

Interesting Finds

  • Many of the Gates family members worked at the paper mill. This space page was created to discuss the history of the paper mill. Piedmont Paper Mill
  • James Garfield Brown (1880-) - husband of Susan Frances Redman (1889-1968) (HLG uncle by marriage) worked as a Doorman at the Niagara Power Plant in 1910. He was a Guide at the Niagara Power Plant in 1920 and 1930. They had tunnels in the plant which James guided people through. His brother was first a Wagon Driver at the plant and then was a Truck Driver.
    • His daughter Elizabeth Brown, b. 1922 was a computer specialist at Carborundum Co. in Niagara Falls for 30 years and she attended Howard University.

  • Floyd Howard b.1905, served for 17 years as choir director and minister of music at the second AME Zion church.

New Ancestors?

These new ancestors need additional research for confirmation, but they are possible new family for Dr. Gates.

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