Unlock Hidden Family History Gems with these Free Genealogy Resources in Libraries

Discover a treasure trove of free resources for genealogy enthusiasts with our latest WordPress post. From printable family tree templates to online databases and tools, unlock the key to tracing your family history and uncovering valuable information. With a diverse range of offerings and user-friendly interface, this guide is perfect for all levels of researchers. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your genealogy journey and get started for free today!

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Unlocking Your Family’s Past: A Beginner’s Guide to Ancestry Research

Discovering and exploring your ancestry can be a fascinating and meaningful journey. In our latest WordPress post, we provide novice genealogists with the essential tools and tips to get started in ancestry research. From navigating through online databases to organizing family information, we uncover the key elements for a successful quest into your family’s past. As we highlight the advantages of tracing your roots, we also showcase the distinctive qualities that make ancestry research a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Unlock your family’s history and begin your journey today with our comprehensive guide on how to get started in ancestry research. Uncover your family’s past and trace your roots with ease – learn how to kickstart your journey in ancestry research with WordPress. From building your family tree to finding historical records, this post offers practical tips and essential tools to help you dive into your genealogy. Unlock a wealth of information and connections, and embark on a fascinating quest to discover your identity and heritage. Don’t miss out on this must-read guide for all those curious about their family history.

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Bishop Jack Bomar shares his family's history and spreads the love

Genealogy Group Think: It works

Initiating a genealogy group is an awesome endeavor. On Sunday, March 10, 2024, it happened at my home church, Hillside International Truth Center.
I expected about 25 persons; we more than doubled that number. We had a common interest: To explore and gain ground in learning our collective and individual family histories. The majority of Atlanta’s Hillside International Truth Center’s congregants are African American. That’s why the forming of our monthly in-person gatherings to share and learn more about how to effectively locate our ancestral loved ones, is vitally important since African Diaspora family history researchers experience the greatest hurdles in obtaining our honest histories.
Here’s what we accomplished in our first meeting:

  1. We gathered for the divine purpose of briefly sharing our stories, new information, exchanging research tips for newbies to seasoned researchers.
  2. We learned more about the genealogy journey from one of our members, Valerie Tolliver, whose story was told in an informative video segment, as part of a recently released documentary, “Roots Revealed.”
  3. We were blessed and encouraged by our Presiding Bishop and Pastor Dr. Jack L. Bomar, who also experienced breakthroughs in his family history.
    Bishop Jack Bomar shares his family's history and spreads the love
    Bishop Jack (white suit) greets fellow family ancestry and genealogy researchers

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  4. We established that our hourlong+ meetings will be held every second Sunday (except for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) from noon – 1 p.m. Our meeting location is the King Chapel, named in honored of the church’s founding minister, leader, and historic ancestor, Dr. Barbara Lewis King.
  5. We will set our future agenda, share online resources, encourage knowledge sharing, provide deep support for our newest researchers, collaborate with each other on our established projects, and  celebrate successes, especially when “brick walls” are broken through.
  6. We will learn more about joining relevant genealogical societies and related groups, visit historical sites, and invite our local library genealogy leaders to assist us.

In all, we will share more insight on how to access online learning, and also provide a supportive and exhuberant genealogy group that will aid us in sharing our family histories.
Stay tuned: The best is yet to come.
Thank you.

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Keep digging: Finding African Diaspora genealogy stories in Mexico

Today’s freebie is straightforward: Keep researching your ancestry in all regions of the world.

Around the globe, the remnants of African Diasporan appear in most cultures. In this quick installment, see the results of the African American slaves finding safety in Mexico.

When slave owners demanded that Mexico send back African Americans, the official response from Mexican government officials responded that there are no slaves in its country, only citizens.

Keep digging and learn of the great Gaspar Yanga. A huge statue in Vera Cruz, Mexico, is dedicated to the “Primer Libertador de America or “first liberator of the Americas,” (1545 – 1618) who led one of the first successful slave revolts in colonial Mexico. For years he negotiated with Spain on eleven points, including the ability to establish one of the Americas earliest free black settlements. The town, San Lorenzo de Los Negros was “officially recognized by Spanish authorities as a free black settlement,” according to BlackPast.org. Later, the Mexican town became known as Yanga in honor of its liberator and founder.

Gaspar Yanga statue in Mexico
https://susanives.com/2020/07/27/mondays-monument-gaspar-yanga-statue-yanga-mexico/

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How to begin your ancestry/family history research

My* mother, Angeline Cecil Owen, approximately one-year-old, with her parents, Helen Wilks Owen and Eugene Owen, Jr., in Springfield, Missouri (*Ann Wead Kimbrough)

For many, the question of where to begin the hunt for their ancestors, is huge.

Here are a few of the questions and comments the Good Genes Genealogy Services (GGGS) team receives from our prospective and new clients:

I am adopted and I don’t know anything about my birth family.

I don’t know my mother’s maiden name.

I don’t know my Dad or his family.

Since the U.S. Census doesn’t have any official records about Black people until 1870 and even that is incomplete, how am I supposed to trace my family back to their arrival in the United States?

I started my family research but then I hit that “brick wall” and cannot move forward. I am ready to give up.

I don’t know anything about my family past my maternal grandmother and my great grandfather on my father’s side.

I heard that my entire family is buried in cemeteries in South Carolina and that’s where I’m from but I don’t know my family’s history.

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

For African Diasporan-connected family members, the quest to begin the ancestry search may appear to be even more daunting than our counterparts. Yet, we all had to begin somewhere. That’s our first tip:

  1. Begin where you are (see our March 20, 2023 post). Some begin with a picture like the one above. Just one photograph, in this case taken in 1938, is the start of the family tree building.
  2. Interview living relatives. Someone knows a nugget of a story that can lead to greater discovery. For instance, asking a family elder what s/he remembers about their childhood home, will likely lead to extended dialogue based on responses such as “uncle Jim used to bring home melons every Saturday after he cashed his check from working as a “soda jerk” in a hotel kitchen in Omaha.”
  3. Follow any lead and visit a federal government website for expansion of your findings. Using the hint provided in #2, you may be able to gain the once “lost” uncle’s name — even if it’s just the first name — and begin there. Use his first name and the family name in the online research tree search. If it doesn’t work, it is likely an online hint will arrive to give you more clarity. Also, knowing that the uncle worked as a “soda jerk” during your elder’s childhood, can lead you to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website. From there, you can research the number of soda jerks working in the 1940s, for instance. Also, you may be able to locate the exact hotel in Omaha with a lead from the federal site to the local, Omaha newspapers and historical societies.
  4. Sign up on social media sites, websites, and engage with other virtual or in-person groups to learn more about how others are conquering their ancestry research.
  5. Remember to write and record your results. This is the start of building your family tree and hopefully, other family members are doing the same. Be sure to link with those family members to make your family tree even more robust.
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Those are just a few tips offered to help anyone get started or re-energized to keep up the research for one’s family heritage.

Everyone’s journey is different. Yet, there are similarities in our collective ancestry research efforts based on our listening skills, questioning of relatives, learning new techniques, and jumping in the swim of family research.

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Floridians and nearby genealogy researchers: Meet up in Lake County

This wonderful event is from the Wilson Griot Legacy site:

WILSON GRIOT LEGACY

The Wilson Griot Legacy is a modern enterprise to create new sacred storytelling to unravel information inherent in our genealogical past.

RESEARCHING BLACK FAMILY HISTORY

Posted byWILSON GRIOT LEGACYSeptember 9, 2023Posted inUncategorized

I will be joining with the Kinseekers Genealogical Society of Lake County, Florida in conjunction with the Leesburg Public Library in a special event on Saturday, September 23, 2023.

Both in-person and virtual event:

Saturday, 23 September 2023

9:45am – 3:30pm EST

Informal meet ‘n greet at 9:30am EST.

Event is free & open to all!!

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Presented by Kinseekers Genealogical Society and the Leesburg Public Library.

To attend virtually, register here

To attend in-person, contact the Leesburg Public Library at 352.728.9790

MORNING SESSION (9:45am – 12:15pm EST)

Welcome & Announcements

– Researching Black Family History, 1900-1950: Essential Foundationspresented by Taneya Koonce

Context Matters: Researching World War Two Black Ancestors:presented by KB Barcomb

LUNCH BREAK (12:15pm – 1:00pm EST)

AFTERNOON SESSION (1:00pm – 3:00pm) 

–  Colleges, Clubs, & Cotton Fields: Researching Black Women, 1900-1950:presented by Adrienne G. Whaley

–  Open Round Table Discussion

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Babysitting for a song

Working in the Right Place, Right time

From her top hit, Loco-Motion: https://open.spotify.com/album/7eFaSwgKnu9uBoUQ5A58jv

Eva Narcissus Boyd was a teenager who was a babysitter to the young child of the Brill Building songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. They heard her sing and also loved her dancing. “Little Eva” was asked by the team to sing a demo of their anticipated song for Dee Dee Sharp.

Eva was so good that King and Goffin decided to release her first song, “The Loco-Motion,” and it became a #1 pop hit and sold a million copies in 1962. She ended her nanny career and became a singer. Sadly, her entertainment career suffered many setbacks after the popular song.

Good Genes Genealogy tip: Ask your relatives whether they know of any ancestors who traded one job or career for another one. Find out why and how they chose to work in certain jobs

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Remembering sports ancestors who broke color barriers and overcame hate

The
The ‘American Pastime” brought brutal results to Jackie Robinson and other African American professional baseball players
Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

Often, reviewing the hatred and violence suffered by African American ancestors, are tough matters to endure and often neglected in history books. Yet, the examples of persevering despite the sad circumstances, can spur on genealogy and ancestry researchers to compare and contrast the past with today’s societal practices.

Good Genes Genealogy Tip: Interview your family members about their sports histories. Some may share the good and also the unhappy times that they or their parents may have endured. Learn how they survived the taunts and personal risks to their families and themselves.

Overcomer Robinson

He broke the color barrier in United States’ Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson did it all, including suffering physical and verbal wounds from his colleagues:

Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg from Enos Slaughter.[135] On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players and manager Ben Chapman called Robinson a “nigger” from their dugout and yelled that he should “go back to the cotton fields”.[136] Rickey later recalled that Chapman “did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men.”[137]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Robinson

Overcomer Coachman

https://www.blackhistory.com/2021/03/alice-coachman-first-black-woman-win-olympic-gold-medal.html

On her first attempt in the high jump during the International Olympics Games in 1948, Albany, Georgia native Alice Coachman won the gold medal. She became the first African American of any country to win a gold medal. Despite her instant fame and large celebrations back home in the United States, her hometown leaders treated her differently:

Yet these latter celebrations occurred in the segregated South. In the Albany auditorium, where she was honored, whites and African Americans had to sit separately. The white mayor of Albany sat on the stage with Coachman but refused to shake her hand. She had to leave her own celebration by a side door.

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/alice-coachman

Overcomer O’Ree

https://theathletic.com/630279/2018/11/09/willie-oree-comes-to-the-hockey-hall-of-fame/

Willie Eldon O’Ree was a youth when he met Jackie Robinson. It helped to inspire O’Ree to pursue his sports passion and became the first African American to join the National Hockey League in 1958. He continues to speak positively about his experiences as a hockey player. Yet, O’Ree suffered many indignities by his fellow league members and fans before retiring in the late 1970s:

O’Ree faced racial taunts throughout his hockey career, including in the NHL, especially in the United States. [11] He noted that racist remarks were much worse in the U.S. cities than in Toronto and Montreal, the two Canadian cities hosting NHL teams at the time, and that “Fans would yell, ‘Go back to the South‘ and ‘How come you’re not picking cotton?’ Things like that. It didn’t bother me. I just wanted to be a hockey player, and if they couldn’t accept that fact, that was their problem, not mine.”[12]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_O%27Ree


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