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Ancestry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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MLK Memorial
Nathan Blaney/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on 15 January 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia to a long line of preachers. His father, Martin Luther King, Sr. was a pastor for the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. His maternal grandfather, the Reverend Adam Daniel Williams, was famous for his fiery sermons. His great-grandfather, Willis Williams, was a slave-era preacher.

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First Generation:

1. Martin Luther King Jr. was born Michael L. King on 15 January 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, and was assassinated on 4 April 1968 during a visit to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1934, his father -- perhaps inspired by a visit to the birthplace of Protestantism in Germany -- is said to have changed his name and that of his son to Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King Jr. married Coretta Scott King (27 April 1927 - 1 January 2006) on 18 June 1953 on the lawn of her parents' home in Marion, Alabama. The couple had four children: Yolanda Denise King (b. 17 November 1955), Martin Luther King III (b. 23 October 1957), Dexter Scott King (b. 30 January 1961) and Bernice Albertine King (b. 28 March 1963).

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was laid to rest in the historically black South-View Cemetery in Atlanta, but his remains were later moved to a tomb located on the grounds of the King Center, adjacent to Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Second Generation (Parents):

2. Michael KING, often called "Daddy King" was born on 19 Dec 1899 in Stockbridge, Henry County, Georgia and died of a heart attack on 11 November 1984 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is buried with his wife at South-View Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

3. Alberta Christine WILLIAMS was born on 13 September 1903 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was shot to death on 30 June 1974 while she played the organ at Sunday service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and is buried with her husband in South-View Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Martin Luther KING Sr. and Alberta Christine WILLIAMS were married on 25 November 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia, and had the following children:

    i. Willie Christine KING was born 11 September 1927 and married Isaac FARRIS, Sr.
    1 ii. Martin Luther KING, Jr.
    iii. Alfred Daniel Williams KING was born 30 July 1930, married Naomi BARBER, and died 21 July 1969. The Rev. A. D. King is buried in South-View Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia.

Third Generation (Grandparents):

4. James Albert KING was born about December 1864 in Ohio. He died on 17 November 1933 in Atlanta, Georgia, four years after the birth of his grandson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

5. Delia LINSEY was born about July 1875 in Henry County, Georgia, and died 27 May 1924.

James Albert KING and Delia LINSEY were married 20 August 1895 in Stockbridge, Henry County, Georgia and had the following children:

    i. Woodie KING born abt. April 1896
    2. ii. Michael KING
    iii. Lucius KING was born abt. Sept. 1899 and died before 1910.
    iv. Lenora KING was born abt. 1902
    v.Cleo KING was born abt. 1905
    vi. Lucila KING was born abt. 1906
    vii. James KING Jr was born abt. 1908
    viii. Rubie KING was born abt. 1909
6. Rev. Adam Daniel WILLIAMS was born on the 2 January 1863 in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia to slaves Willis and Lucretia Williams. and died 21 March 1931.

7. Jenny Celeste PARKS was born about April 1873 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia and died of a heart attack on 18 May 1941 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.

Adam Daniel WILLIAMS and Jenny Celeste PARKS were married on 29 October 1899 in Fulton County, Georgia, and had the following children:

    3. i. Alberta Christine WILLIAMS

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