Alex Haley and Roots

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Descendants of Kairaba Kunta Kinte

1  Kairaba Kunta Kinte
.+Yaisa Unknown
........2  Omoro Kinte
............+Binta Kebba
...................3 Kunta Kinte
.......................+Bell None
..............................4 Kizzy Waller
..................................+Thomas (white) Lea
.........................................5 George (Chicken) Lea
.............................................+Matilda McGregor Lea Murray
....................................................6 Tom Lea Murray
........................................................+Irene Holt Lea
Murray
..............................................................7 Cynthia
Murray
..................................................................+William E
Palmer
.........................................................................8
Bertha George Palmer
............................................................................
+Simon Alexander Haley
............................................................................
........9 Alex Haley 

I receive a lot of questions about Alex Haley and "Roots".

The world appears to have accepted Haley’s research showing the Waller family was the original American owner of the slave, Kunta Kinte. I certainly have no evidence to the contrary. Waller is the name used in the book but it was changed in the mini-series made for television. According to Haley, Kinte arrived in Maryland aboard the vessel Lord Ligonier in 1767.

Descendants of John or Dr. William Waller may want to argue the point, and I will be pleased to publish their viewpoint on this page. There are a great number of people critical of Haley. Accusations range from his work being fiction, to outright fraud. At present I am treating his work as genealogy.

Many Wallers seem to be confused about the biological relationship between Haley and our family. To the best of my knowledge there is none. (New information, see below.) Haley was descended from Kizzy Waller but all knowledgeable parties seem to agree Kizzy or her descendants, simply adopted the name following the Civil War. Haley shows Kizzy being the daughter of Kunta Kinte and the slave, "Bell". Haley also claims Kizzy’s son, "Chicken" George, was sired by a white man named Thomas Lea. (or Lee)

It now appears (July 1998) that Tom Lea, father of "Chicken George," may have been a Waller descendant. I have information that Tom Lea (of Caswell Co, NC) was the son of Major Lea, grandson of James Lea and Anne Herndon, great grandson of Edward Herndon and Mary Waller. This Mary Waller (1674-1716) was the sister of Colonel John Waller of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, founder of the "Endfield" branch of the American Wallers.

Mary was the Great Aunt of John Waller (c1741) and Dr. William Waller (c1739.) These are the two brothers who, according to Haley, were the original owners of Kunta Kinte. Through their father William they were grandsons of Colonel John.

If this new information is true Haley was a biological Waller descendant. This is contrary to what has been believed in the past and is controversial, new and exciting. ( I lead a pretty mundane life) If you have anything to contribute, pro or con, I would appreciate an email.
Email Ali

I would not want any of the above to leave the impression I am denying African blood in the Waller family. Any serious researcher must admit to many instances of mixed races in a number of branches. I have no evidence but am under the impression this is true with a number of "old southern families."

We need a researcher to do a lot of work here. It seems to me it could be a fascinating hobby.

Much of the African blood probably came from what we think of as our "Cherokee links." Runaway slaves had been living with the Cherokee for generations.




Please consider a donation to help keep the Waller pages on line. The Waller Family pages will be preserved here for as long as we can keep it going. Thank you. Ali.

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