Descendants of Norwich slave, owner meet

Descendants of Norwich slave, owner meet

Norwich Bulletin
Norwich, Connecticut

Adam Benson

Norwich, Conn.—When descendants of Norwich slave Guy Drock and the man who owned him met  for the first time Thursday, they weren’t sure what would happen.

Grant Hayter-Menzies’ fifth-generation great-grandfather, Capt. Benejah Bushnell, owned Drock for a decade in the mid-1700s in Norwich.

Hayter-Menzies, of British Columbia; Daryl D’Angelo, of Amherst, N.H.; and her cousin, Donald Roddy, of Spokane, Wash. — all of them white — came to Karen Cook’s U.S. history class at Norwich Free Academy with a story they said had to be told.

“I don’t have any of the cultural and social legacies of someone who grew up identified as an African-American, and I still had a moment of, ‘What does this guy want from me,’” D’Angelo said of meeting Hayter-Menzies.

Hayter-Menzies was apprehensive, too…

… Roddy, a retired airline pilot, said he stumbled across his Drock lineage several years ago, while doing genealogical research on his family.

“I had no idea I had African ancestors until a few years ago,” Roddy said. “No one in my living family had a clue about that.”

Hayter-Menzies said he’s forged a unique bond with D’Angelo and Roddy, and quickly felt a kinship with them once they finally met.

“My first reaction was to reach out and hug you,” Hayter-Menzies told D’Angelo. “We feel like friends already.”…

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