Thursday, May 20, 2010

In Search of the Mozingo Family - Part 3 of 3

A Mozingo hears the tale of two clans

He wonders how each family — one black, one white — would react to the long-buried fact that their common forefather was black, and that their surname probably was Bantu.

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times
Part three of three
May 18, 2010

The June air in the Northern Neck of Virginia was humid and electric, almost delirious. Big blue dragonflies bobbed over the tall grass, and cicadas sputtered in the forest. A thundercloud was waking up in the distance, and a restless breeze set the entire landscape in motion.

I had first come here in March investigating the origins of my family name. The place then had no color, no life. My mood was equally bleak as I pored over court archives and had terse meetings with Mozingos who didn't know or care about the name.

By now, though, I'd met all manner of Mozingos — white, black, racist, tolerant, generous, loathsome, loner-ish, loyal, tragic — and seen shards of our buried history surface in their stories. Many had been curious about the name all their lives.

I returned to hear the tale of two clans: Rhodie Mozingo's in Virginia and Wiley Mozingo's in North Carolina.

Rhodie's was white. Wiley's was black.

I wondered how each would react to the long-buried fact that our common forefather, Edward Mozingo, was black, and that our surname was Bantu.

To continue reading: Click Here.

Note: This three-part series recounts a fascinating genealogical odyssey. Some authors have linked the name Mozingo to the Melungeons. There is no basis for this in fact, so far as I can determine; however, the parallels with Melungeon origins -- the difficulty of the search for them, the abundance of fanciful origin myths tenaciously clung to by many, and the resistance to the truth -- abound.


  1. Thanks for presenting this excellent article. It was fascinating.

  2. My grandmother is Mary Mozingo of Westmoreland County Va. I've always have wondered about the history of the family name Mozingo. This was a excellent article..