A legacy left unmarked for black Civil War vets

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - For more than a century, the bodies of some 300 black soldiers who died in the Civil War have lain in unmarked graves on the bank of Skull Creek harbor. These former slaves who fled the plantations to fight for freedom on the side of the Union Army are heroes few people know about. The small plot of land where they are buried is overshadowed by multimillion-dollar condos and a private marina -- symbols of the transformation that has occurred in Hilton Head over the last 50 years, changing the island from a predominantly black town to a city of gated … [Read more...]

Avid Genealogy Buff Became Webmaster

PORT NECHES, TX (PRWEB) June 20, 2005 -- Bill Cribbs wasn't always interested in his family history. Not until he met a tall, burly man with his same last name at a refinery back in 1989. Because his siblings and he were all small-framed, Bill couldn't believe that this was a Cribbs from his lineage. Curiosity prevailed and Cribbs began his research journey in a non-conventional way. He visited Clayton genealogy library in Houston and began to scan the census index books from 1790 to 1870. Most researchers begin with recent information and work backward in time. Making notes of every Cribbs … [Read more...]

About 200 are believed buried in old African-American graveyard in Mansfield

Michael Evans stooped over and scratched into the earth as though preparing a future garden instead of tending to the past.Ripping up weeds and sweeping aside sod, the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church illustrated how much attention is needed at the Mansfield Community Cemetery, a graveyard for blacks for more than a century. He uncovered a rusted copper-toned nameplate for a World War I veteran that was embedded into the ground like so many others hidden in brush. Read More … [Read more...]

Records help re-root family trees

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg once joked about friends who can trace their ancestors back to 15th century France and England's Tudor monarchs. She said she can trace hers back to Florida.Goldberg's joke is reality to millions of blacks whose family trees were cut down by slavery. For more than 200 years, blacks in the United States were bought and sold, like cattle, and stripped of any connections with their homeland. Read More … [Read more...]

Breaking Down ‘Wall Of Slavery’

Maddy McCoy’s passion for genealogical connections has some extremely personal roots. The Fairfax City resident, who is compiling a Slavery Inventory Database for Fairfax County, was influenced, in part, by a search for her own family history. Read More … [Read more...]

McWorter memorialized at presidential library

A life-size bronze bust of a former slave who founded a west-central Illinois town was donated by his descendants Thursday to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. The bust is of Francis “Free Frank” McWorter, who established the interracial community of New Philadelphia in Pike County in 1836, becoming the first black to incorporate a town in the United States. Read More … [Read more...]

Coloring Tree

When Gloria Brogdon’s great-grandfather died just after the Civil War, some white folks came to the house in Charlotte County and took away the family Bible — or so the story goes. It’s a tale that’s been passed down through the generations. Brogdon would like to find the Bible, not only to prove the story’s true, but also to reclaim a record of her family’s history. Back in those days, births and deaths were recorded inside the cover and on the blank pages of the Bible, but the identity of the people who took her family’s book could be just as revealing about her family makeup — … [Read more...]

Descendants of slaveholder join to note history

Deborah Bartley said her family always wondered why she liked sugar so much. Or why she always wanted to spend time near the water. Or even why she decorated her home with palm trees and vines. Walking through Jacksonville's historic Kingsley Plantation, she believes she knows why. Years ago, the 58-year-old Atlanta resident said she learned her great-great-great-great-great aunt, Easter Bartley, was a slave at the sugar plantation on Fort George Island. Read More … [Read more...]

Congresswoman takes heroic freedmen stance

Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith and his supporters denounced HR 2824 by U.S. Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif. The bill is designed to strip federal funding from the tribe if it denationalizes Cherokee freedmen citizens. Read More … [Read more...]

African refugees in 1860 burial site remembered in Key West

A recent Black History Month event in Key West honored victims at an oceanfront burial site believed to be the only African refugee cemetery in the United States. The 1860 African burial ground, located on the island's Atlantic Ocean shore beside a Civil War-era fort, was virtually forgotten until historical research and a 2002 ground-penetrating radar analysis revealed the presence of graves. Read More … [Read more...]