2015-06-11 / News

Ancestral research ties Naval officer to Patriot in Revolution


Michael Henderson (left), author of Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the use of Documentation, spoke to the W-WSAR and was welcomed by Lou Harris and his grandson. Michael Henderson (left), author of Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the use of Documentation, spoke to the W-WSAR and was welcomed by Lou Harris and his grandson. Michael Henderson, retired Navy lieutenant commander and descendant of a French national who fought as a Patriot in the American Revolution, recently described this ancestral connection for the Washington Wilkes Chapter, SAR at its monthly meeting.

The connection, through an enslaved grandmother several generations back, was described as a labor of discipline, love, and devotion. Foremost of many documents presented was one his mother had prepared. It was a diagram for him in his teens as a lineage which was so intriguing that it lead to years of rewarding discovery. “That lineage represented an identity for me and became a source of pride and dignity like no other,” he said.

The scholarship of his report and his dedication to establishing his Patriot lineage led to an unparalled reception by W-WSAR members.

Henderson’s documentation and report on his lineage led to an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writer’s Association in the memoirs category. This was one of many outcomes of discipline and scholarship, clearly demonstrated during the evening. His genealogical research has been exhibited at the National Archives and Records Administration in Atlanta.

Henderson is the only African American member of the Georgia Society, SAR. He is the past president of the Button Gwinett Chapter, SAR and is a member of the General Society of the War of 1812 and of the Order of Founders of North America. His recognition for excellence in research and writing resulted in his being featured in a PBS segment, “History Detectives.” He is a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Xavier University. He lives in Atlanta.

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