Story of Americans with Native and black ancestry stirs deep emotions

An exhibition opening this fall at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian explores the identity of people whose ancestry is both African American and Native American. “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas” is an exhibition of 20 banners bearing photographs and text. It will be shown at the museum in Washington from Nov. 10 through May 31, 2010. A symposium on the topic of the exhibition will be held at 3 p.m. Nov.13 at the museum. Read More … [Read more...]

Canady family traces history to slavery

In 1929, Little Jim Canady's family could not afford the luxury of a conventional grave marker, but his son, Ira Canady Sr., took measures to ensure this burial site would never be lost. Though many impoverished survivors traditionally employed large rocks to designate a burial site, Ira Canady Sr. at age 29, manifested his family's ingenious and pragmatic traits by choosing a long iron pole topped with a ring that he salvaged from an old farm implement to identify the grave in rural Little Rocky Cemetery, northeast of Cameron off FM 2095. Read More … [Read more...]

In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475. In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time. Read More … [Read more...]

Woman on crusade to reclaim long-forgotten cemetery

Since she was a girl, Sonya Hodges had been told the cemetery where her grandfather was buried was gone. In July, she went to see for herself. What she found behind Interstate Polymer Group, just outside Columbia, was a scattering of headstones in an abandoned cemetery. Read More … [Read more...]

Historian helps trace Free Hill roots

Starting with her own name and information, Mary Hamilton Bartlett wrote down everything she knew about her family -- dates of birth, records of death, places of burial -- outlining neatly in detail a sort of family tree, but one with several missing links. With much searching, Bartlett, a descendent of one of the early settlers of Free Hill, considered one of the oldest African-American communities in America, has so far traced back to her great-great-grandmother, a Ms. Caroline Hamilton, born around 1830. Her photo is now laminated along with newspaper clippings highlighting Free Hill's … [Read more...]

Genealogy gathering; 420 expected for conference, library’s largest yet

Genealogy and historical research buffs, from the local to the international level, will descend on the Allen County Public Library later this month for “Reconnecting Lost Links,” the International Black Genealogy Summit. The conference, Oct. 29-31, will feature speakers and workshops for the novice genealogist to the seasoned researcher at the library, which is the second-largest genealogy research center in North America. The first day is free, and the final two days cost $100 for both or $75 for one. Read More … [Read more...]