Researchers Use DNA to Identify 72 Men Buried at a Convict Work Camp Site

95 African Americans whose remains were discovered in 2018 at a Fort Bend Independent School District (Texas) construction site. As the community has debated the future of the site and how to honor the dead, little has been known about those buried there except that they were likely part of the state’s brutal convict-leasing system.

That changed this month, when Fort Bend ISD released a 500-page report providing more information about the discovery and tentatively identifying 72 of the persons believed to be buried at the previously unmarked cemetery.

DNA analysis is now starting to reveal the names of the bodies.

You can read more about the working conditions these people endured as well as the modern technology and intensive genealogical investigation will allow them to find descendants. All this is contained in an article by Brooke A. Lewis in the Houston Chronicle web site at

My thanks to newsletter reader Don Brownlee for telling me about this story.

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