Anyone who has done even a tiny bit of research in the distant past, knows how difficult it can be to learn about female ancestors. There is a frequent tendency for women to be identified as Mrs. James Curtis in public documents. This makes it very hard to find women’s first names and often impossible to find birth surnames (maiden).
I have been blessed, in that I know most of the first names and birth surnames of my female ancestors. If you are only researching male ancestors you are missing 1/2 of the puzzle.
Today I’m going to shine a light on Mary Martin Hayes Williams, one of my direct female ancestors. She was born February 1884 in Kentucky and died November 1964 at the age of 80. She married Hubert Hayes and the couple had 5 children. Four girls and 1 boy. According to one of her grandson’s she…
October 14, 2020 — October 17, 2020 Hampton Roads Convention Center
1610 Coliseum Drive Hampton, VA 23666
Virginia, Where African American Roots Run Deep: Correcting the National Narrative
The AAHGS Annual Conference is the largest international African American conference that promotes African-ancestored family history, genealogy, and cultural diversity by bringing together subject matter experts who promote scholarly research, provide resources for historical and genealogical studies, create a network of persons with similar interests, and assist members in documenting their histories.Typical attendees are historians, genealogists, researchers, scholars, educators, preservationists, media, and beginners. Follow this link to find all the details about this amazing conference. https://web.cvent.com/event/375a05f9-62b5-4829-80c7-5560766e1286/summary
Ms. Valencia Nelson was a giant in research for African Americans. Her Afrigeneas.com website and list serv have been used by untold people. May she rest in power with the ancestors. Click on the link to learn more about her extraordinary life. She will be missed. Prayers to her friends and family. http://www.afrigeneas.com/forum/index.cgi/md/read/id/88647
A few weeks ago, I was researching information in the Indianapolis Recorder on the origins of my church. The Indianapolis Recorder is the oldest running black newspaper in the state of Indiana and one of the oldest in the United States. The Indianapolis Recorder is digitized and completely available online. This makes it very easy to search for names or other key words. Using a keyword search for “Thomas Cleveland”, my Great Grandfather, I subsequently found a picture of my Great Aunt Alma when she was 9 years old. I’m always excited when I find information on my family, even when it’s not what I’m looking for. It was so special to find a picture of my Aunt Alma. She was in her 30’s when I can first remember her. So seeing a picture of her when she was a child, was amazing. This is why It’s so important to know the names of all family members, not just direct ancestors.
The article in The Recorder gave me quite a bit of insight into my family in 1935. There were 7 children in the family at this time. My Aunt Alma being the youngest. The article also indicated my Great Grandfather had been unemployed for several years. This article was written during the Great Depression (which spanned from 1929 – 1939). It’s one thing to read about a historic event. It’s another to read about how it affected your family.
Take time to search the newspapers where your family has lived. You might be surprised with what you find. The picture online wasn’t very clear, and I couldn’t manipulate the image. Fortunately, I was able to access the newspaper on microfilm. I was able to adjust the microfilm so that the picture was clear. Looking at the picture I can see her resemblance to other family members. She’s been gone for several decades, but I still think of her often & miss her. Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby Nichelle ~