“Roots tracing for African Americans”

Did you miss the show “Roots tracing for African Americans” with Nichelle M. Hayes?
Click here to listen to the podcast https://t.e2ma.net/click/1kxrehb/pbywvjc/h9azxxk

February 9, 2019 Roots tracing for African Americans

Even with renewed, widespread interest in family history research – and the explosion of genealogical tools in recent years – challenges remain for those researching African American ancestry. Many of the challenges involve ancestors who were enslaved during the 19th century and earlier.

Nichelle M. Hayes

As Hoosier History Live salutes Black History Month, Nelson’s studio guest will be one of Indiana’s top experts on African American roots-tracing. Indianapolis-based genealogist and librarian Nichelle M. Hayes is a past president of the Indiana African American Genealogy Group. Currently, she is the leader of the Center for Black Literature and Culture of the Indianapolis Public Library. Nelson will be asking Nichelle to share advice and tips for tracing African American family histories. As a genealogist for more than 25 years, Nichelle conducts workshops about African American family history research and blogs about it and related topics.In a recent blog post, Nichelle described her research into the death in 1933 of a great-aunt who lived in the Brightwood neighborhood of Indianapolis and died of tuberculosis. Information on the death certificate opened doors for Nichelle to learn about her ancestor’s civic life.

Book cover: Discovering your African American Ancestors.

“Genealogy is more than just birth and death dates,” Nichelle writes. “It’s fleshing the person out, so to speak.”To people beginning family history research, she recommends: “Start with yourself and work backwards.”In addition to examining U.S. Census data, records related to property ownership, probate and pensions also can be extremely helpful in illuminating the lives of ancestors, Nichelle says.Among the resource books she recommends to African Americans are Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree (Simon & Schuster, 2001) and A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering your African-American Ancestors (Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003).Ancestory.com, another resource popular with genealogists for its extensive database of family tree information, has published Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner’s Guide (2001).With Nichelle on hand to respond to questions from listeners embarking on roots-tracing adventures, we will open our phone lines earlier than usual during this show. The call-in number to the WICR-FM studio is 317-788-3314.

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 9

  1. Find a Grave  http://www.findagrave.com/

R   S   FREE

Dig up ancestral burial information from millions of tombstone images here. Search by an individual or cemetery name. Users are encouraged to upload additional tombstone photos and submit biographical information for memorial pages. You can even create virtual cemeteries to connect loved ones buried in different places.  I was able to find my paternal grandmother using this site. I also found the headstone of a civil war soldier. We were blessed that the Company and Regiment were marked on the grave.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

This is the last  day of the review of my top 9 genealogical websites.e Thanks for hanging in there with me and reading all the posts.   Please continue to share what you are learning from the reviews of the websites. Or maybe you have a website that you think SHOULD have made the list. Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 8

  1. FamilySearch.org  http://www.familysearch.org/

H   R   S   FREE

This is one of the best free online resources available. Search millions of digitized and indexed records from around the world. Some results point to offsite sources for digitized records. Don’t ignore the Learn tab; it’s packed with keyword-searchable articles and online courses. The Catalog tab takes you to the most extensive genealogy library catalog in the world. Microfilmed holdings can be rented for use at a FamilySearch Center near you (see the FamilySearch Centers tab). Share your family tree at the bottom of the home page; learn how you can contribute to online records access under the Indexing tab.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

This is day 8.  Including today’s post, we have 2 resources to go. I would love to hear what you are learning from the reviews of the websites. Or maybe you have a website that you think SHOULD have made the list. Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

9 Top FREE Genealogical Websites – Day 4

  1. Vital Rec  http://www.vitalrec.com/

R H Free

The most comprehensive resource for locating vital records. This site will show you to how to obtain vital records (such as birth certificatesdeath recordsmarriage licensesdivorce decrees, naturalization, adoption and land records) from each stateterritory and county of the United States. See the guidelines for information on how to order vital records. If you are looking for vital records from a foreign county, see links to international vital records web sites.

Access contact information for each state’s vital records office to request Vital Records (birth, death) from across the United States.

Code services offered: H 
=how-tos, R =records; S =share your data and T =tools.

vitalrec

This is day 4.  I hope you are enjoying the resources. Vitalrec happens to be one of my favorite websites. It makes it very easy to find out costs and contact info when you are researching in different states. Feel free to share your insights any and all of the websites. It will help me and others to about aspects we might not been aware of.

Happy Hunting!

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grandbaby

Nichelle ~

Who would you talk to ?

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I just saw a great picture on one of the social media platforms that I frequent. The picture is shown above. My answer to this question would be, my Dad and my Granny.  My Dad because there’s so much I didn’t even know to ask him about his life growing up and what his parents were like.   My Granny because I miss her and she was so loving and we always had a great time together.

In a lot of ways family history is a way to “speak” to those who have passed on. We learn about them, where they lived, who their parents were etc.  Don’t wait till someone has passed away to think about questions to ask them about their life.  Sit down now with the people in your family and ask them questions about their life. In addition to that, let them talk. Don’t interrupt unless you need to clarify . You would be surprised what you can learn when you let individuals “ramble” on.

Develop a list of questions to ask your relatives.  Allow the interviewees to use the questions as a guide. Let them become comfortable so they can open up.  Some interviewers like to do audio or video recording.  (Ask their person if you want to record the interview.) Taking notes can, sometimes, distract from what the interviewee is saying.

Think about what you would like someone to know about you and start from there.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand baby

Nichelle ~

Female Ancestors 1/2 of the puzzle

ImageAnyone 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 was a kind and loving woman who cared deeply for her family.

I learned Mary’s full name from one of her grandson’s. From there I was able to find her death certificate which gave the full names of her parents.

When Mary was born women didn’t have the right to vote. According to Historyorb.com  on,  “Mar 8th – Susan B. Anthony addresses the U.S. House Judiciary Committee arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Anthony’s argument came 16 years after legislators had first introduced a federal women’s suffrage amendment.”  And the Civil War had only been over for 19 years. I can only imagine what life was like for a woman of African descent living in Kentucky. How I wish I knew some of her thoughts and feelings.

This is just a tiny bit of the story of her life. I challenge you to document the story of the women of your family. Learn their birth names and that of their parents. I am blessed to speak her name and have her picture. For today that will be enough.

 

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Free Memorial Day Records Available

There are quite a few websites that are making some of their military records available for free this weekend. Today I took a sometime to review the records at http://pages.myheritage.com/memorialday/  .

I attempted to find records for a few of my ancestors. When performing a search of an online collection, it helps to keep the search broad and then narrow it to find valuable information. The is also a good time to introduce the concept of a research log or notebook. By documenting what collections you have searched and for what individuals you can avoid duplicating your work months or years later. It can also help to illuminate areas you might have overlooked or want to review more closely.

For example according to your current research you believe that your ancestor’s name is James L. Curtis, date of birth (dob) Kentucky, 1927. If you limit your search to those parameters, the search results might miss the person you are searching altogether for  or return no results at all. Utilize the option of using a range of years (if available) , ie.  + or – 5 years, within the search function. It normally is better to omit middle names or initials. Middle names or initials, may or may not be mentioned in the record.

Every collection you search will not necessarily contain information on one of your ancestors. It’s good to remember that records are not always accurate, nor do they all contain the same information. The information is only as accurate as the person who provided the information.  The person could be wrong, misinformed or trying mislead the person or organization collecting the information.  That’s why it’s important to use more than one source to verify information. I often say that, “genealogical research is often about finding a preponderance of evidence, rather than a direct smoking gun with fingerprints and gunpowder residue.” (I watch a lot of crime shows. LOL)  Just because a piece of information conflicts with what you’ve previously learned, doesn’t mean it’s false. It might be good idea to file it under “further research needed”.

Shortened Transcript of Record that I was able to find on one of my ancestors.

TC
Birth: 1921

Residence:
Enlistment: Apr 9 1943

Serial #: xxxxxxxx
Grade alpha: Pvt
Grade code: Private
Branch alpha: No
Branch code: No Branch Assignment
Term of enlistment: Enlistment For The Duration of The War or Other Emergency, Plus Six Months, Subject To The Discretion of The President or Otherwise According To Law
Army component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Race and citizenship: Negro, Citizen
Education: 2 Years of High School
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled Chauffeurs and Drivers, Bus, Taxi, Truck, and Tractor
Marital status: Married
Source: Civil Life
Box #: 0900
Reel #: 3.322

I was told previously that he served in the military, however I didn’t know what branch or when he enlisted. This gave me quite a bit of additional information. Excited!!!  His birth certificate states he was born in Louisiana. However I know he lived in Texas for part of his childhood. The name, birthdate, residence and enlistment information all match. This tidbit will encourage me to request his full military records from The National Personnel Records Center. Previously, I’ve requested and received my father’s and my maternal grandfather military records.

Happy Hunting! I hope this blog has inspired you to do some research or perhaps preserve some stories from a veteran in your family.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~