Family Buys House Where Their Ancestors Used To Pick Cotton

by : Julia Banim on : 02 Jan 2018 18:03

Buying a new house is meaningful for many people but for one family buying a property together was particularly significant.


Decker Ngongang and his family were visibly delighted as they posed for festive photographs outside a house with very poignant connotations.

Generations of the Giles family had picked cotton at this location – based in Jonesville, South Carolina.

Decker’s mother Dorothy and her siblings had lived in a sharecropping hut just across the street from the beautiful, spacious home.


Decker took to Twitter on Boxing Day to share how their family history had led to the purchase of the property, with its three acres of land:

My mom and her nine siblings grew up sharecropping in SC.

A while back they found out the land our family worked was for sale, so they pooled their $ and bought the house+land where gen’s of our family picked cotton.

This was the first Giles family holiday in the old/new house.

He later tweeted:

Being there made me think quite a bit about growing up in Charlotte (not even 60 miles away), how my mom got there, and how big an impact that 60 mile distance had on my life.

Speaking with BuzzFeed, Dorothy explained how she and her siblings had received a phone call from the family selling the property, and soon hatched an exciting plan.

The siblings decided to put their money together to purchase the house which held so many important memories for them.


Dorothy said:

We were playmates as children, and we played with white children who lived within close proximity to us,

She added:

We reminisce about playing under the porch, and how we just love looking at that beautiful white house with the wraparound porch,


And it seemed the family selling the house shared similar happy memories. They wanted the house to go to the siblings because of the close childhood connection the families had shared.

The Giles family now intend to use the beloved house for various purposes including creating a place for relatives to stay while visiting, for caring for sick relatives and for re-connecting with former classmates.

And by the looks of the photographs posted by Decker on social media, they had the perfect first Christmas at the special house.

People have been deeply touched by this story of family ties, with many taking to Twitter to offer sincere congratulations to the Gileses.


One person said: ‘So cool! What a great story and legacy for generations to come’ while another said: ‘What a wonderful conclusion and what a beautiful family. Wishing you all the blessings and good fortune in this next chapter of your family’s story’.

Social entrepreneur and writer Khary Lazarre-White‏ tweeted:

So powerful brother. Respect to you and your family for doing this. Poetic, radical and affirming.

Should bring tears, warm hearts and belly laughter to your kin. And a deep restful quiet peace.

Here’s wishing the Giles family many more happy celebrations together at their not-quite-so-new house.

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News


  1. BuzzFeed

    These Siblings Bought The House Where Their Ancestors Used To Pick Cotton