Archives for February 2009

Afriquest, the Free Online Database for African And African American Genealogy, to Launch February 28, 2009

February 26 -- After a successful beta period, Afriquest (, the free online database for records of African and African American genealogy and history, will officially launch on Saturday, February 28. The Afriquest database will allow anyone to add records, including both text and images. Furthermore, anyone will be able to access, print and use the records for research purposes - absolutely free. The software is easy to use and has a powerful search engine to help readers quickly find what they are looking for. Access to the entire content of the Afriquest database … [Read more...]

White senator discovers family’s African-American roots

It's often said that a real Southerner can "claim kin" with anyone. Tony Rand realized the same could be true for him. Rand, whose family can trace its roots back to the 1700s, is a Democratic state senator in North Carolina. Until he watched the 2008 CNN documentary "Black in America," he had no idea that some of his relatives were black. Read More … [Read more...]

South Carolina African American Historical Records to be Published Online

Lowcountry Africana, and The South Carolina Department of Archives and History today announced plans to digitize and publish freely online more than 25,000 historic documents of interest to researchers of African American genealogy and history. Under the new agreement, Colonial and Charleston, South Carolina estate inventories dated 1732-1867 will be digitized and indexed in detail, including the names of more than 30,000 slaves. Inventories of estates in early South Carolina probate records often listed slaves in family groupings. They also detail the material possessions so important for … [Read more...]

Living a white lie

Three years before MCPS officially opened its doors to integration, Jim Queen was a student with a mixed heritage - part white, part black, part Native American - studying at a school comprised entirely of white students. For over two years, Queen maintained this façade, keeping his racial background a secret from friends, teachers and classmates. Read More … [Read more...]

Former Lithonia mayor traces ancestry to Sierra Leone

After a decade of drawing on faded death and marriage certificates and old census and slave records, Marcia Glenn Hunter traced her ancestors back to Samuel Wood, a slave born in 1790 in Africa and then brought to work a plantation in Newton County. Read More … [Read more...]

Before Tuskegee, There was Bullard

He's probably the most famous African-American combat pilot that you've never heard of. His name was Eugene Bullard, and he didn't fly in Vietnam or Korea or even with the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame. Bullard, a Georgia native whose father had once been a slave, flew in World War I. And he flew for the French. Read More … [Read more...]

Very Rare Slave Quilt Still Survives In Bristol

Slave-made and used quilts are very rare, but there is one here in Bristol. It was made by slave women on the Stoney Point plantation in what is now part of Bristol, Tenn. Read More … [Read more...]

Stories of early Natchez from a slave named Toney; his role in Revolt of 1781

Toney said he was "a great big boy" when he was taken from Africa -- the "old country." He held his hand four feet above the ground to display his height when he debarked a slave ship in Charleston. He said he was just big enough to plow. Read More … [Read more...]

Blackwell Family History

Thelma Doswell, Certified Genealogist and Blackwell Family Historian, has traced the African-American Blackwell Family back to the slave auction block when, in 1735, an African woman named Amar (Ama) (Amah) and her daughter, Tab, were purchased by white plantation owner James Glenn Blackwell. Read More … [Read more...]

Slave history often whitewashed

The Joel Lane Museum House in downtown Raleigh is where one of the state's most prominent families lived, sipping tea from expensive china and overseeing an empire of 6,000 acres. It is also where slaves cooked and scrubbed and worked the fields -- but that gets scant mention at the privately owned museum. Read More … [Read more...]