That’s kind of a mind blowing discovery to make, no?

The New York Times reports:

Tracing His Roots, Georgetown Employee Learns University Sold His Ancestor

As a Georgetown employee, Jeremy Alexander watched as the university grappled with its haunted past: the sale of slaves in 1838 to help rescue it from financial ruin.

He listened as Georgetown’s president apologized for its sins and looked for ways to make amends. And Mr. Alexander observed, with wonder, some of the slave descendants when they visited the campus.

What he did not know at the time: He was one of them.

Mr. Alexander’s paternal great-great-great grandmother, Anna Mahoney Jones, was one of the 272 slaves sold by two Jesuit priests at Georgetown for about $115,000, or $3.3 million in today’s dollars. She and her two young children were enslaved at a plantation in Ascension Parish, La.

“Now I work here — to realize that this is my history, this is my story, blows me away,” said Mr. Alexander, 45, an executive assistant in Georgetown’s office of technology commercialization. “I have been really emotional as I learned about my ties to the university.”

The journey began with Mr. Alexander’s own digging to find out more about his lineage, to find out more about the ties that bind. He wanted to know more not just for himself, but for his 9-year-old son.