Archives for August 2009

Awareness Of African Ancestry

Many African-Americans, including this writer, have wondered exactly where in Africa our roots can be traced. I had a heritage honor last week. That was to present to my mother’s side of our family DNA results, indicating our origin on the Motherland. Words cannot express my feelings in learning the most probable basis of our family’s lineage. Read More … [Read more...]

For D.C. Family, a Distinguished, if Little-Known, Ancestor

History has a way of sneaking up on a family, changing how its members see their place in the world. Sometimes it's a skeleton that bursts out of the closet. But sometimes, what's lost and suddenly found is sublime and amazing. A few years ago, Raleigh Marshall was finally getting around to sorting through several generations' worth of accumulated stuff in the family's ancestral home at 2710 P St. NW in Georgetown. He found a pair of heavy old lamps. He showed them to his father. Read More … [Read more...]

Abolition Day To Be Commemorated At Key West Florida’s 1860 African Burial Ground

The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition is to be commemorated at an oceanfront Key West site believed to be the only African refugee cemetery in the United States. Presented by Key West’s Bahama Conch Community Land Trust, the observance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, at the 1860 African Burial Ground on Higgs Beach, Atlantic Boulevard and White Street. The commemoration is to focus on the progress of a memorial honoring the African refugees buried in the cemetery and goals for making it a World Heritage Site. Experts believe the burial … [Read more...]

What freedom brings

The walls of Erwin Polk's study are lined with old photographs of men and women who lived over the years of the past two centuries. They track a family whose history is tied closely to that of the nation, but with a twist. Unlike so many blacks whose families have been in America for centuries, the Polk family doesn't look at the Civil War as its great emancipator. Read More … [Read more...]

Starstruck Clare residents scramble to find ties to Muhammed Ali

An Irish heritage center in County Clare is being flooded with phone calls from Ennis residents looking to establish ancestral ties with American boxing great Muhammed Ali. Ali is heading to Ireland at the end of the month to help raise money for his non–profit Muhammad Ali Center and to visit his ancestral home in Ennis, County Clare, from which his great-grandfather, Abe Grady, left for the U.S. in the 1860s. Genealogist Antoinette O’Brien of the Clare Heritage Center in Corofin told the Irish Times: “The phone has not stopped ringing over the past couple of days from people saying … [Read more...]

Historic Stagville in Durham helps family genealogists trace African American roots

The Family Tree project at Historic Stagville, located in Durham County, NC, may be a valuable resource for family genealogists tracing their African American roots. Nine-hundred enslaved persons once worked on 30,000 acres at Stagville plantation, owned by the Bennehan-Cameron families. Through the extensive files of remaining family records, letters, and documents, historians are learning what life on the plantation was like. Read More … [Read more...]

Bradley Academy to begin recording African-American cemeteries

The Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center in Murfreesboro is starting a new project to record all of the African American cemeteries in Rutherford County. “This unprecedented project has never been accomplished before, and we feel a strong urgency to record those that have gone before us to keep our history alive for our community,” Project Coordinator and Bradley Academy Board Member Florence Smith said. Read More … [Read more...]

Ned Broadus remembers slave life in Falls County

Ned Broadus left for future generations his stories of slavery on the Churchill Jones plantation in Falls County. He provides insight into the lives of Central Texas African-Americans during those difficult years. Buried in Bull Hill Cemetery, he is an ancestor of Sharon Styles of Sacramento, Calif., who has been researching her family and Bull Hill for several years. Read More … [Read more...]