Join | Login

Meet the Author: Laurie Constantino

Laurie Constantino J.D. has been researching her Perkins family for over 30 years, building on decades of family history research compiled by her father, Earl Patterson Otto 1921-2009. She is co-founder, with Ramona L Young, of the Joshua Old Jock Perkins Research Group on Facebook and the Driggers-Perkins Y-DNA Project at Family Tree DNA. Laurie is grateful to the many Perkins family members and researchers, past and present, too numerous to mention individually, who have shared their research and family stories. Laurie’s Perkins lineage has been accepted by the Society of the First African Families of English America and the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

­Her article Joshua"Old Jock" Perkins and His Son George: From Virginia to Iowa, From Indentured to Free, From Black to White describes how ”Old Jock” was born in Accomack County, Virginia to  a “free moletto” woman, and an unknown father. In records created during his life, Joshua was consistently referred to as either a “mulatto” or “free person of color;” after his death he was called a "Negro." Joshua's oldest son George was also referred to as a “mulatto” or “free person of color” until the 1830 Kentucky census in which he was first listed as white. “This article follows the journey of Joshua’s first-born son George’s family as they transformed themselves into “white” pioneers on the Iowa frontier, descendants of a celebrated Revolutionary War patriot.” George was the only member of his family who made this early transformation; his brothers and their descendants dealt with significant persecution because of their African ancestry, particularly in the years leading up to the Civil War.