Joseph Hairston Duff has been doing genealogy research since "Roots II" aired in 1977. He was deeply inspired by Alex Haley's successful quest to find his African Ancestors. Since then, he has embarked on a quest to document the history of the two African American families who make up the Walker-Duff union in Los Angeles. We are from Iowa, Illinois and New York, but our "down-home" roots are in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri and Kentucky.
Our family movements, especially since the slavery times, has been consistent with some of usual Black migration patterns, from field to factory to the city and suburbs. We have no one left in agriculture, but have had made occupational progress directly associated with our educational attainment and community service.
Our story is not unique, but a true American experience.
This is a work in progress.
- The Hunter Family (6 KB)
The family of Norris Hunter, Lillian Hunter and son Harold Hunter and Hazel Hunter. Missing is oldest daughter Norvell Estella Hunter and youngest son Fred Hunter. This photo probably taken in St. Louis, Missouri about 1905.
- Ogletons in Des Moines, Iowa in 1946 (75 KB)
Family and friends assembled in Des Moines, Iowa in September 1946 for the marriage of Marguerite Ogleton and Abelard R. Penn
- Wheeler Family Reunion In Chicago, Illinois - 1989 (124 KB)
Two branches of the descendants of Hiram Wheeler (1807-1867)convened in Chicago, Illinois a got along mightily. About five generations present. all descend from Hiram's son Robert Foster Wheeler (1850-1921) and Mary Christiana Freeman (1852-1926)
- Our Family In Lake Forest, Illinois (3 KB)
Photo taken about 1955 in Lake Forest Illinois. The Ogleton grandparents and family. We had many good times there with visits of extended family.
- Joseph H. Duff, Esq. (6 KB)
Joseph H. Duff, Attorney at Law, photo taken at NAACP Dinner, 1992
- Rev. Robert Foster Wheeler (1850-1921) (409 KB)
Rev. Wheeler was ordained in the AME Zion church and then served more than forty years in the Congregational Church. He was a Chaplain at Howard University and a long-time pastor of Talcott Street Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut from 1885-1916.
- John Herman Duff (19 KB)
John Herman Duff standing in his yard in Nashville, Tennessee about 1985. He said, after his return to Nashville from Evanston, Illinois in about 1923, he "never went much further than East Nashville." A great family man. He worked for the AME Publishing House in Nashville and ended his career as an autopsy technician at Vanderbilt University Hospital.
- Alice Walker Duff, Ph.D. (30 KB)
Alice Walker Duff, Ph.D., photo taken for church directory about 1997.
- The Walker Brothers of Charlotte, NC (14 KB)
Three sons of John Leroy Walker of Charlotte, North Carolina are Leroy Walker, William Walker and John Brevard Walker around 1905. Said to be good baseball players.
- Christiana Taylor Williams Freeman (7 KB)
Born a slave in Jamaica, the Daughter of Barbara Williams and Phillip Henry Livingston, died in New York City and was one of oldest living New Yorkers at the time. She married Reverend Amos Noe Freeman. Her maternal DNA is linked to Sierra Leone, Africa.
- Johnay Walker Weaver (7 KB)
Johnay Walker Weaver became a medical technologist at the Freedman's Hospital of Howard University. She loved Howard University very much.
- Rev. Amos Noe Freeman (13 KB)
Rev. Amos Noe Freeman - fighter for emancipation, civil rights, and temperance. He worked in New Jersey, Portland, Maine and Brooklyn, New York. He was an integral part of the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement and a reconstruction civil rights advocate as a pastor.
- Henry McNeill Family in Smithville, N.C. (16 KB)
Family of Henry C. McNeill. Lived in Smithvillle North Carolina and later in Wilmington, NC. Mother is Lucy Alice Reaves McNeill and her children.
- William Clarence McNeill, M.D. (3 KB)
A fine Howard Medical School and Freedman's Hospital physician. He helped save the medical school's accreditation. He worked to help his siblings gain their own higher education in Washington, D.C. as well.
- Overton (sic "Othrington") Family - 1790 Census (163 KB)
The 1790 U.S. Census (First Census) of Trinity Parish, Charles County, Maryland lists the free colored family of Caleb Overton (misspelled "Othrington"). The family name later came to be known as "Ogleton" in Maryland, Georgia, D.C. and Louisiana.
- Mary Christiana Freeman Wheeler (7 KB)
Taken when she was a student at Oberlin College in the late 1870's. Later, the wife of Rev. Robert Foster Wheeler. She lived with her family in Hartford, Connecticut. First lady of Talcott
St. Congregational Church in Hartford.
- Hairstons come to Los Angeles. (22 KB)
Three generations of Hairston-Duff family members on back stairs in LA circa 1979. Grandma Hazel Hunter Hairston, Lillian Hairston Shepard, Josephine Hairston Duff, Joseph Hairston Duff, Gingi Folayan Duff, Laura Johnnay Duff and Rahsaan Duff-Tatum.
- Joseph Peter Hairston, Jr. (7 KB)
A World War I veteran. He came to Lake Forest, Illinois, from Martinsville, Virginia. He worked for the City of Lake Forest through retirement.
- Hunter brothers in St. Louis (17 KB)
Sons of Richard Hunter, circa 1895. James, Edward, Thomas and Norris Hunter.
- Caroline Blakely Thorne Moore (20 KB)
Coming from Enterprise in Maury Co., Tennessee, she took advantage of her mother's persistence to make a better life for the family. She moved north with her daughter Margarett's family, never to return to the south.
- Laura Wheeler Waring (18 KB)
Famous portrait artist Laura Wheeler Waring taught art at Cheyney State College.