AFRICAN FAMILY GENEALOGIES...

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by Isaiah, May 25, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Has anyone here ever done one? If so, how'd you go about it beyond trusting the oral history and memory of relatives? Did you consult any agencies, or websites, or read any books about how to do a genealogy of your beloved family? Would like to talk with anyone who has, as I would like to do one on both sides of my family.... Also, I am writting a book about my father's experiences as a young man during Jim Crow, so it is important that I get things accurate... If anyone can HELP me, and serious insights would be appreciated and entertained...

    Thank You!
    Isaiah
     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Brother Isaiah ... i went and found this thread, Starting My Search, that i posted way back in 2001 ... and i have not really done anything else since ... toward this particular goal.

    One of our Members, Sister Doll, has a wonderful, long standing web site ... http://www.dollsgen.com/ ... which provides lots of information to help you get started.

    This thread may be the stimulus i need, to get started on this again. Thank you Brother.

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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  4. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    There was a thread on here a while ago talking about a company that is supposedly able to link what African tribe you came from based on a DNA sample.
     
  5. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Sister KarmaShines ... i think this is the thread you're talking about:

    Find your actual Tribe and Region of Africa

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Lady Destee and Karmashines, thanks for your responses... They are greatly appreciated :terrific: (smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  7. Sun Ship

    Sun Ship Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    here is the quick...down and dirty about genealogical research...

    Brother Isaiah, I’ve been working on my families genealogy on both sides of my family, off and on, for quite sometime…your ability to do genealogical research now, is better much than it was just a few decades ago…first of all, you can access every Federal census from 1930 and before, for there is always a 70 year gap between the viewable census records and the present date. This release is allowed every 10 years and the 1940 will be released in 2010. Also, you can go to some local libraries and go through books for all the states, called census indexes and then you can search the actual census rolls. If the rolls are not available, they can be ordered through interlibrary loans (remember most if not all of the 1890 federal census was destroyed and 1870 is the research DMZ for Black folks, everything before than was in the era of slavery-1860 census and before).

    Secondly, the internet is the new powerful resource for genealogical research…all the states have genealogy pages, vital statistics web pages and there are many genealogical web pages by organized groups and especially other individuals (be careful of most commercial genealogy sites, they are usually a lot of hype)

    Brother, you may have relatives you don’t know posting information about your ancestors! Also, the Latter Day Saints (LSD) or really the Mormon Church are the king organization in this field, there resources are immense and thorough, even for Black folks!

    Thirdly, technology like digital still and movie cameras, tape recorders, and many other technologies including CD’s, scanners and all PC attributes can make documentation way more easier than in the past.

    First things first, start talking to and documenting (recording) your folks!! All the stories! Family reunions and holidays are excellent times, find the oldest members of your family first, before they become senile or expire!!! (Use the telephone, fax, email…etc!!) Collect photos or make copies now (a lot of stuff start disappearing after people die!)

    Man, I’ve missed some grand opportunities. In genealogy the same rule still applies, “you wait long, you wait wrong”.

    You are going to have to deal with white folks genealogy and history just as well…what can I tell you…this is the slavery and sharecropping issues, even if there wasn’t any white/black miscegenation African Americans many times were still connected directly to their family histories, especially in the south.

    Get birth and more importantly death certificates. Make copies of obituaries, old rent receipts, marriage licenses, awards, newspaper articles and any documentation pertaining to your family…you can sometimes nail down dates of residency and movement from some of the most insignificant records. You will be surprise what you or even the family didn’t know!! Here is one that will surprise you… “A lot of times in the old rural south, people won’t get legally divorced, they would just move to another county and get married to their new spouse!” …In genealogy “you can’t take nothing for granted and you can’t ignore anything.”

    After doing about a few years of genealogy research you should be ready to find the hidden scrolls in the Sphinx, Brother Isaiah..:lol: …it really sharpens your researching and investigative skills…it is almost just as much as an art, as it is research

    There is lot that can be said about this research and if you’re not willing to pick at it for years, then you may not get a lot out of it… (or you may) You have to almost approach it as a hobby…you can go the investigative research route and enjoy the hunt, or you can probably get bigger results if you hire professionals or other hobbyist who sell their services… (maybe, maybe not...?) the federal government has many resources and depositories of information, if you are super-serious, you will do the traveling. From any approach, I think you will learn more about your personal family story and the more complex story of Black folks than you have ever known in your life…

    Peace…
     
  8. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good tips.

    The only thing I will add is to find as much as possible concerning names and dates of birth and location of all 8 great-grandparents then use the 1870 census for the state of births as a bench-mark.

    1870 is the first major census after the civil war and contains data concerning where folks may have moved to immediately afterwards.

    In many instances, your great-grandparents will not have been born yet, but your great-great grandparents were reaching adulthood, with some beginning to bear children.
     
  9. Desert Storm

    Desert Storm Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Isaiah, I would try a DNA sample seriously as well. It might make things a little bit easier.

    I recently found this website called http://www.genebase.com


    It is all free. It basically has a family tree and different other things to store online as you are finding out about family history. It also provides the links to getting DNA samples and stuff. It's pretty cool it will help you store all the information more neatly. When you go on the site, you will see what I mean. I briefly started my family tree. It can get pretty extensive, there are lots of strands to black peoples history, that it can get pretty crazy.

    My great-great grandfather was either Puerto Rican, Cuban, or mixed with Spanish and black. He fought in the Spanish-American War and had an accent but ran away from home when he was 14. He told the family that he had some sisters but that was it. He told my dad that he was Castillian and gave me a rifle from the war. He changed his whole name, however my great grandma, his daughter, came out with hazel eyes and red hair and freckles. We used to call her "carrot top". My great grandmothers mom was half Blackfoot Indian and Black.So, it drives me nuts to know that I may never find out what he trully was, my great-great grandfather. So all I have to rely on it a DNA sample. I have no clue how to find out exactly who my great-great grandfather was or what he was. I have tried researching about south america in the 1800's and the list of infantry but I feel like I'm going no where.

    There is a maternal one that I can take and the paternal one my brother would have to take to get the paternal line of DNA.

    My other great-grandfather on my moms side was Cherokee and black. I always wondered why we never knew about the Cherokee side. I recently found out from a friend of mine who is Cherokee and white, that the Native Americans became "blood brothers" with the African Americans by cutting their rists and sharing blood. They were of course told not to talk about but I found my grandfathers last name in the Native American Registry.

    My friend who is Cherokee and white said that his brother traced their heritage to their black family members in Oklahoma. I have another white co-worker who has traced their family to black family members as well. I found this pretty interested. This has been the first time I've ever heard anyone acknowledge that so anyways.

    Destee, I'm going to use those sites that you provided. That would be very helpful. It's hard knowing exactly where to start. Man, I'm almost scared to try to uncover the African descent in my family. I thought that it could get really expensive cuz, I've only heard of black celebrities finding their ancestors. I guess theres a sort of heartache and dissappointment and anger mixed in with finding the search of your people from Africa. Its frustrating. I'm glad that someone is trying to find there ancestry.

    Isaiah, let me know what you come up with and how its coming. I would like to find out my African Descent too.

    Thanks.

    Desert Storm
     
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