Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Celebrating Our Family Roots With Antoinette Harrell

On February 15th, 2011 I was honored to be asked to speak about my family history research on Antoinette Harrell's radio talk show "Nuturing Our Roots."

At this time she mentioned that there were not many male Black amateur geneaologists available to speak and I was pleased to share my story during Black History Month.

I was at work and the phone system would not let me call outside of the area. So I got on a few minutes late on my cell phone and we talked for an hour. I wish it was more! I had a great time talking to her and answering people's questions. My friends and family listened in on this broadcast.

At the 62:00 mark I get on during the 2 hour broadcast. I really appreciate Antoinette for taking the time to interview me for her show. I enjoyed the conversation and would love to do it again. Her blogspots and Talk Shows are very informative so please sign up and listen to her podcasts.

Please click the link below to listen to the broadcast.


Friday, December 6, 2013

First African Baptist Church of Savannah, GA

My ancestor Rev. Andrew Bryan was the founder of the first official African-American church in the United States! He was my 7x Great Grandfather on my father's side of the family. Please enjoy these 2 videos about the formation of his church.

St. James The Greater Catholic Church

This video is about St. James the Greater Catholic Church in Ritter, SC. The Jackson side of my family is buried there going back 5 generations. They lived one block down the street from there. We still own that land to this day. This church was built African-Americans and rebuilt after the Civil War. I have to confirm if my ancestors were in this picture or not.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cope, SC.

The church my Livingston ancestors built (and re-built after a fire). Three generations of Livingstons are buried in the graveyard adjoining the church going back to 1855.

May they rest in paradise

When you think you are right, you were all wrong

It took me 6 hours to fix 3 generations (1750-1820) of one branch of family last night. I am disappointed in myself for making the wrong assumptions and never bothering to double-check my work after all these years. Luckily someone asked me about my Jackson branch which made me look at the tree again. Unfortunately I have some work ahead of me to get further down the line. Here are some famous DON'TS:

1. STOP CLAIMING EVERYBODY AS FAMILY - We are all guilty of that while doing research. Picking every person with the same last name ask kinfolk. Even if your family is on one side of the state and the rest are 100 miles from there. Its isnt always the case they are related. Especially if you have a common last name. 

2. DON'T LATCH ON TO SOMEONE ELSE'S WORK - Life would be so simple if someone did all the work for me. Then what fun would that be? If your names do not match in someone else's tree (especially in ancestry.com), DO NOT ADD YOUR OWN without consulting the original owner. You need proof, try and find some. People hate that and I am one of them.

3. STOP RUSHING - Impatience never solves anything. You cannot condense hundreds of years in minutes no matter how fast technology is. If you run into a brick wall, go do another branch. 

4. STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND REVIEW YOUR WORK - Have someone look over your work. Two eyes are better than one. Perhaps you missed something in the wee hours of the night you spent going through file after file. Revisit your old data periodically in case something new has appeared recently.

5. STOP USING THE SAME METHODS AND CHANGE YOUR STYLE - Your methodology for finding lost ancestors might work for one branch or generation but it might not work for all of them. Ask for suggestions on different tricks of the trade, research sources and techniques to uncover important information without the help of a census, bible or family reunion booklet. 

This pretty much explains what I do