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Meet the Author: Gigi Best Richardson

Gigi Best Richardson is a Historian (Phi Alpha Theta), Genealogist, Speaker, and a Virginia Humanities Scholar. An award-winning author of "Thomas the Melungeon: His Locust Family of Free Persons of Color Civil and Revolutionary War Patriots - Vol 1.” Ms. Best Richardson attended Morgan State University's Graduate Literature Program. She served as a Board Member of many national hereditary societies:  Historian General of Society First African Families of English America; Past Vice President, Sons and Daughters United States Middle Passage and Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society.  Gigi has held leadership positions in Daughters of the American Revolution; Colonial Dames 17th Century; Governor of National Society of Sons & Daughters of Pilgrims; Colonial Dames of America; and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Gigi is also a member of Order of the First Families of North Carolina and New England Women. She is Co-Owner and Curator of Best Richardson African Diaspora Literature and Culture Nonprofit Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. Gigi is a rare bookstore owner since 1987, a member of the Association of African American Museums, and Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  As a museum Docent she utilizes research and primary records to teach genealogy classes locally and virtually.

Her article Destined to Move: The Roberts Family describes how the Roberts family descends from tri-ethnic people of African, Indigenous, and European descent who trace their origins to the early Virginia colony. These ancestors were referred to as Free People of Color, Melungeon, Other Free, Mulatto, and other such related terms. The family initially lived in what is known as the Tidewater area of Virginia before settling in Northampton County, North Carolina in the early 1700s. They were forced to relocate many times by people who wanted their land. Many local Europeans feared Free People of Color, including enslavers who thought the Roberts family and others would spirit away their enslaved people.