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 suffering from contagious diseases, such as smallpox. Built in 1872, it’s been empty for decades. But efforts to convert it into a research center for county African-American history would take the old stone building beyond its dreary past into a brighter future, provided fundraisers can obtain more than $300,000 for the renovation job. …Read More…

Remnants of an African-American Past Found Beneath Central Park

About two-thirds of the residents of Seneca Village were African-American, while the rest were of European descent, mostly Irish. The community was settled in the 1820s, a few years before slavery was abolished in New York. Despite old news reports that the village was a squatter camp, it was, in fact, made up of working- and middle-class property owners. …Read More…

Genealogy brings descendants of slaveowner, slave together

For 21 years Sacramento genealogist Karen Burney – the descendant of slaves, American Indians and a Revolutionary War hero – has been tracing her roots back to Africa. “They’re lost family heroes,” Burney says of the slaves who helped build this nation and survived so that she and millions of other African Americans would someday taste freedom. Burney celebrated America’s birthday by finally meeting the great-great-grandson of Louisiana planter Henry Marshall, a founder of the Confederacy who owned Burney’s ancestors. …Read More…

Ben Carson Finds Rare Proof of African Ties

Benjamin Solomon Carson was born on Sept. 18, 1951, in Detroit, the second son of Sonya Copeland Carson and Robert Carson. Both parents came from large families in rural Georgia and were living in rural Tennessee when they met and married. His mother was only 13 on the day of her wedding. His father, a Seventh-day Adventist minister, was 28. Neither saw any future in the Jim Crow South, so when his father finished military service, the couple moved north to Detroit. Carson was born shortly afterward.  …Read More…

 Slave descendants meet owner descendant at family reunion

Cornered by crazy uncles, meeting new in-laws, reuniting with estranged kin — nothing says “awkward moment” like a big ol’ family reunion. It’s just a part of that scene.But few families have faced a moment like the Hunter family of Pamplico-Virginia Beach-New York-Memphis-Florida-Darlington and various points inbetween faced when gathering for their annual shindig this weekend. …Read More…

Researching race requires more than census records

For much of America’s early history, sexual relations and marriage between members of the white and other races were forbidden. But as with other issues, passing a law simply gave individuals something to violate — often it didn’t change reality. Thus, through miscegenation, over generations the skin color of some families lightened to the extent that many individuals were able to migrate from their birthplace and blend into white society.  …Read More…

Noisettes celebrate family

The Noisettes have been around the Charleston area since the first decade of the 1800s, when Philippe Stanislas Noisette, his mulatto wife, Celestine, and their two children, Philippe and Alexander, left their Caribbean home to avoid the St. Domingue Slave Revolt and its aftermath (which bode ill for any whites or others of privilege living in what would be renamed Haiti). …Read More…

Gone but not forgotten

It may not merit designation and restoration as a historic site. But it is an interesting piece of Tallahassee history out there at the east end of the runway at the Tallahassee Regional Airport: a cemetery containing more than 109 bodies of black people, including presumably many born into slavery. The cemetery has been there — unnoticed by most passersby — since 1940. But it’s only recently that Delaitre Hollinger, a high-school student, history buff and journalist, began efforts to have the cemetery restored and recognized as a slave cemetery. …Read More…

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