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Poindexter Descendants Association Poindexter Descendants Association Screen readers, skip to the Table of Contents

African American Descendants of the Poindexter Family

Emancipation of slaves during the American Civil War moved many people from slave to freeman. Free people in our culture at that time had surnames, many of the emancipated citizens did not. They were required by the federal government to select a surname for them and their children. Many selected the name of their former master, in this case, a Poindexter. Some of these masters did father children with their female slaves, and often those children, as adults becoming free, chose to use Poindexter as their surname.

Genealogy for African Americans

There are many resources on the Web today for those researching their African American family history.

Ruth Hunt is a PDA member and is a professional genealogist with an interest in African American family history. You may email her for ideas or to hire her to research your lineage. Send an email to Ruth.

You may also join our Facebook group and post your research questions there.

DNA Testing

DNA can help the descendants of slave in some cases to prove that somewhere in their past a white Poindexter did contribute to the descendant's DNA. This test requires a male subject that inherited Poindexter as a surname from a son to father to grandfather to great grandfather lineage. The test is Y-DNA and we have more information if you are interested in doing a test.

Unfortunately, DNA tests by females will not prove a blood connection to the Poindexter family as it is a Y chromosome test, Y being carried only by males. Some African Americans today do not know who their grandfather was, the family history hasn't survived the generations since the 1860's. A Y-DNA test may be helpful to prove the male to male connection. If there is no connection, the Poindexter name carried by a person today, may have had the name come down from a female, perhaps a grandmother or mother.

Read about one male who took our DNA test and found his connection to the Poindexter family.

Family Research Resources:

If you have additional resources you have found helpful, please contact the webmaster so we can add them here.

Individuals Researching their African American Poindexter Roots

Following is information provided by African American descendants of the Poindexter family. If you do not have data to add to the gedcom, but would like to post information for others to contact you if they have common information, please contact the webmaster.

South Boston, Virginia area researcher:

Kellee Poindexter is looking for information for her family tree which descends from the South Boston , Virginia area and possibly Louisianna before that. If you have information on slaves that were taken to or lived in the South Boston area, please contact Kellee.

Kent Poindexter researching slave owner W.R. Poindexter of Macon, Mississippi:

Kent emailed the PDA saying, "I noted in the 1860 Census that there is a W.R. Poindexter, who owned 14 African slaves. I have to assume that this is how I came to get the surname. I wonder if you or anyone could help me and my family find out who this person is, and how far back his descendants can be traced?"

The PDA database does contain a William Rice Poindexter in that area and that time period. If you have information, please contact Kent Poindexter.

John Poindexter of Christian County, Kentucky in 1860:

Phillip R. Brown of Madisonville, Ky. reported on Rootsweb that John Poindexter "owned more than 50 slaves in 1860.  I believe he moved from Virginia to Ky. between 1830 and 1840.  I am doing some research for a local African-American family by the name of Poindexter and feel sure that there is a connection to this John.  Any help would be greatly appreciated." 

Send an email to


You may also join our Facebook group and post your research questions there.


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Updated July 3, 2017

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