SHARING A TENDER MOMENT with her young son, Ruth Ann (Minerd) Kennedy and her extended family faced a lifetime of hardship in and around the Chestnut Ridge community of Philippi and Grafton, WV due to the color of their skin. As with her brother, Civil War veteran William Minerd (our Photo of the Month for July 2011), as children of a Pennsylvania German father and Native American mother, they were considered "colored" and in the eyes of society was neither white nor black, even though they could "pass for white." This included exclusion from attending school with white children; paying extra taxes; being called such derogatory terms as "guinea" and worse; and losing certain legal rights because their birth records were willfully destroyed by local government officials.
Sadly, Ruth Ann died at an age far too young, in 1900, at 48 years of age, having brought 11 lives into the world. She rests today in an unmarked grave.
Over the years, her offspring have been among the more than 190 Minerd cousins who intermarried with the Mayle-Male clan. In 2014, some of her descendants appeared on the PBS Television program Finding Your Roots with Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. to explore their common Mayle-Male connections. Among them, Brenda (Cook) Tabler, will be a guest panelist with our cousin Irita (Goins) Canady at our upcoming Minerd-Minard-Miner-Minor Reunion to share their amazing experiences with Dr. Gates and the show. More>>>