Confronting Slavery-In an African American Family

Every African American family has a history but not every African American family knows much about their family history. Slavery tore black families apart and thus made a continuous history linked with one particular family line very difficult to track. Stories linked to the past are most often oral passed down through generations by family members who are “keepers of the stories”. On my family history journey, I discovered the importance of listening to those old family stories as told by the “keepers”; using the stories as road maps to find my way more and connect the dots of my family’s … [Read more...]

DNA testing helps Hampton women search for African roots

Back when Mamie Locke was growing up in Rankin County, Miss., she had a great aunt who seemed to know the whole family story. Not only could she tell who was who for several generations back but she also remembered where they came from and who they were married to. Combined with some rare surviving plantation records, that long family memory enabled Locke and her clan to do something not many African-Americans can do — trace their history from modern Mississippi to slave-era Alabama — and then even further back to early 1800s Virginia. But beyond that they ran into the same brick … [Read more...]

Special resources await black families researching ancestry at Pascagoula public library

Researching black family history presents special challenges, and in response, the Pascagoula Public Library's Local Genealogy and History Department continues to grow its specialized collection for black genealogists and family researchers. It offers reference books, guides, databases and websites. Public-use computers are available for online work. The library's subscription to Ancestry.com and other databases gives patrons free access. They include Slave Narratives taken during the Federal Writers Project funded by the Works Projects Administration; Louisiana Slave Records, 1719-1820; … [Read more...]