Families reconcile, heal a history of slavery

Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby live the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream every day. In his famous and oft-repeated “I Have a Dream” speech, given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in 1963, he spoke of a day when “the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” For Baldwin and Kilby, that day was in 2007 on Jan. 15 — King’s birthday — and it wasn’t at a table but across cyberspace.  Read More … [Read more...]

Genealogy News Roundup – August 4, 2011

Catonsville family traces roots to Virginia settlers in 1600s A century ago, the Page family settled in Catonsville, founded a church and operated the neighborhood grocery out of the front rooms of a home on Winters Lane. Still, the family's 99-year-old matriarch, Eva Page Brooks — whose living room was once that family store — could not trace its history back more than a few generations. But thanks to the Internet and a DNA sample, the Catonsville clan has become the first black family — and the first Baltimoreans — to verify their descent from two 17th- and 18th-century settlers of Virginia … [Read more...]

Genealogy News Roundup – August 1, 2011

Early African American Landowners From the end of the Civil War to the turn of the century, Fairfax County counted 66 African American landowners. In that short time span, those new owners accumulated substantial holdings and were both remarkably productive with their land use and remarkably supportive of their burgeoning communities. ...Read More... Giving African-American history a home in Baltimore County It's easy to miss the little two-story, boarded-up house behind the Historical Society of Baltimore County in Cockeysville. Known as "the Pest House," it was once a haven for patients … [Read more...]

News Roundup: Bermuda Genealogist, New Slave Database, Brazil Slave Market Uncovered

Digging up family trees When Glen Ming started researching his family tree in 1995 he didn't know his grandfather's name. Since then he has become an expert on Bermudan genealogy and is working to complete an index or births, marriages and deaths in Bermuda up to the year 2000. Grant funds creation of online slave database The Virginia Historical Society recently received a $100,000 grant from Dominion Resources and The Dominion Foundation to fund the creation of "Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names." This free, online database will contain personal information about … [Read more...]

African American Genealogy News Roundup

Jean Toomer's Conflicted Racial Identity @ The Chronicle Review Did Jean Toomer consider himself black, mixed or American? Rudolph P. Byrd and Henry Louis Gates Jr. commissioned biographical research that included census records, two draft registrations, his marriage license to the white writer Margery Latimer, and his statements to the news media in an effort to disect Toomer's conflicted racial identity. New exhibit looks to unravel 'Red/Black' connection @ Indianapolis Star A new exhibit that opens Saturday, Feb. 12 in Indianapolis at the Eiteljorg Museum. The exhibit stems … [Read more...]


Two years ago I purchased a fancy microfilm reader.  Here it is, sitting on a table in the back of my office: And here is the microfilm collection I planned to work on transcribing, tucked away in a corner of my office: This past Christmas I bought myself a fancy scanner with the intention of scanning my photos and documents. Here's a picture of it sitting on my desk: I have Family Tree Maker 2000 (?) installed on my computer, which means my GEDCOM file is outdated by about 9 - 10 years (hangs head in shame). I have a lot of the new births/deaths/anniversaries/divorces that occured in … [Read more...]

Search for roots leads one man to Cedar Grove

When Raymond Reddick began going through his grandmother’s attic after she passed away in 1985, he stopped to look through a box of pictures. Inside were photographs of his family members going back several generations. For Reddick, it was just the beginning of an investigation into his family’s history that would take him from Boston to Connecticut to Chicago, and finally to a grave in Dorchester’s Cedar Grove cemetery. His imagination fired by the photographs, Reddick immediately wondered how he could match names to the unidentified faces. “I decided to take advantage of all of the … [Read more...]

Remarkable Story of Slavery, Civil War, Forbidden Love, Implicit Relations, and the Decision That Forever Changed a Family in The Knight Family Legacy: One Family’s Story

Pembroke Pines, FL, August 13, 2010 --(PR.com)-- Historical Biographer/ Autobiographer Marilyn R. Hill-Sutton today announced the release of The Knight Family Legacy: One Family’s Story published by Outskirts Press. This remarkable true-life story tells the tale of Major John Knight Jr. - a White plantation owner, attorney, and decorated Confederate Civil War veteran and reveals the Knight family’s slave-owning history; Major John Knight’s valor during the Civil War; the forbidden union between him and his mulatto slave, Violet Knight; his decision to leave his estate to Violet and their … [Read more...]

New Alex Haley museum lets visitors search their own roots

Author Alex Haley, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning Roots: The Saga of an American Family sparked a surge of interest in genealogy in the 1970s, is the subject of a new museum opening today. The Alex Haley House Museum and Interpretive Center is in tiny Henning, Tenn., 45 minutes north of Memphis, and includes the 10-room bungalow that was home to his grandparents, along with a new $1.2 million interpretive center where, fittingly, visitors can research their own roots. The 1919 house where Haley spent many boyhood summers (and where he's now buried), has been open for tours in the past, but … [Read more...]

Gullah Geechee People, Maroons & Seminoles to Reunite in Florida August 19 -22

On Saturday, August 21, South Floridians will have the opportunity to experience an authentic Black culture that can be traced directly back to the enslavement of Africans from the West Coast of Africa. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah Geechee Nation, and a contingent of Elders from the Gullah Geechee Wisdom Circle; fishermen; cast net and basketmakers; musicians; historians and artists will convene for a great reunion with Africans from the diaspora and our Seminole and Miccosukee brethren. The African American Research Library and Cultural Centered, located in the Rev. Samuel Delevoe … [Read more...]