Georgia Man Plans African Family Reunion

After decades of research, genealogist William Holland invites his African relatives to participate in an African-American tradition. 

Posted: 05/15/2012 11:14 AM EDT

For one Georgia genealogist, this year’s family reunion won’t just be any regular family gathering — he’s expecting some distinguished guests from the real homeland.

After more than a decade of research, William Holland has located the long-lost African portion of his family tree and a number of them from Cameroon will be joining him in Virginia this Memorial Day to meet their other half. reported:

"Memorial Day is a time for remembering the loved ones you lost, right?" Holland said. "So it's a good time to remember all those generations that were lost."

"It's taken more than a decade for the 43-year-old Atlanta genealogist to fill in the story of those lost generations — a story that leads back to Cameroon, and then even further back to present-day Syria. The historical record is so fragmentary, and the genetic analysis is so imprecise, that Holland couldn't possibly achieve iron-clad scientific certainty about the precise family relationships. But the story that Holland has pieced together is consistent with the genetic tests as well as with the tales told by families in Africa and America. And just as importantly, the story finally feels right."

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Courtesy William Holland/MSNBC)