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...]

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...]