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


  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 Later, the Mexican town became known as Yanga in honor of its liberator and founder.

Gaspar Yanga statue in Mexico

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Floridians and nearby genealogy researchers: Meet up in Lake County

This wonderful event is from the Wilson Griot Legacy site:


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


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!!


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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Freebie Friday!

Middle Peninsula genealogy group to host virtual talk ‘Tracing Our Ancestors’ | Richmond Free Press

Historian and genealogist Karice Luck-Brimmer will discuss “Tracing Our Ancestors’ Footprints” and how Black people can reclaim their heritage during ...

Historian and genealogist Karice Luck-Brimmer will discuss “Tracing Our Ancestors’ Footprints” and how Black people can reclaim their heritage during a virtual meeting of the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Ms. Luck-Brimmer also will discuss her role in tracing the ancestry of Air Force veteran Fred Miller.

In 2020, Mr. Miller purchased an 1850s-era Gothic Revival-style house near his childhood home in Pittsylvania County. He wanted a large space to host gatherings for his extended family. In doing so, Mr. Miller found hidden information about his family’s past. The house, called Sharswood, was a former plantation where his ancestors once were enslaved. Ms. Luck-Brimmer helped uncover the family’s connection to Sharswood and the story behind the discovery made national news on media outlets such as CBS’ “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post.

As an education and community initiatives program associate, Ms. Luck-Brimmer works primarily in the Dan River/Danville region where she collaborates with local community members and cultural organizations committed to positive change.

A public historian and genealogist, she has conducted extensive genealogical research in the Pittsylvania County area and is the founding president of the Danville/Pittsylvania County chapter of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society.

While the Middle Peninsula African-American society focuses on the history and genealogy of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck, its programs are accessible to anyone throughout the United States.

For more information, email or call 804-651-8753.

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Mental health remedies found in researching ancestors

Maternal Grandfather Eugene Owen, Jr.

For many years, the Good Genes Genealogy team — Mark and Ann Lineve — did not know much about the man pictured above, our maternal Grandfather Eugene Gibson Owen, Jr. The short story is that Grandpa Owen moved away from the Midwest city and state, Omaha, Nebraska, when our mothers — Lyla and Angeline — were small children in the 1940s. The stories that were whispered around the family was that Grandpa Owen followed his desire to be discovered by Hollywood executives and become a music and movie star.

In 1982, Ann traveled to Los Angeles, California to locate her Grandpa Owen. She did. He was living in a nursing home as a double amputee. For three days, Ann and her husband learned all about the once mystery man in the Owen and Wead families. A few years after that visit, Grandpa Owen died. The deep wounds from his absence in the lives of our relatives were still there. Yet, it was made a bit easier to forgive because our ancestor’s explanations for following his passion, was remembered. Therein, lies the glimpses of healing.

There are mental health benefits in learning more about one’s family. The ancestry and genealogy researchers who are our clients and participated in our workshops, have had similar feelings of joy when learning more about their long-lost ancestors.

Here are a few examples from individuals’ recent finds in their family trees:

  • The Good Genes Genealogy team’s aunt-by-marriage located a family Bible that traces her tree through several generations to its African family members. The names and their geographical origins are included in this precious Bible.
  • A deceased father’s family was located and his maternal tree was greatly expanded to include three generations. His maternal great grandfather once owned hundred of acres in western Tennessee, was a decorated military veteran and highly respected in his community.
  • The enslaver and enslaved ancestral families were joined through a truthful communication exchange that was initiated by a novice genealogy researcher. It led to other discoveries that included finding the graves of great grandparents in an abandoned cemetery in Kentucky.
  • The dots were connected for another relative on her deceased husband’s missing high school years. It was discovered that he lived with other relatives as a high schooler before moving to Virginia where he met his wife.

In an ancestry and genealogy workshop conducted in 2022 and this year by the Good Genes Genealogy team, we reminded participants to find mental health benefits from their discoveries. We advise that the deep dives into family heritage is:

  • •A faith walk
  • •A spiritual relationship
  • •A healing experience
  • •Sacred work

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Sad, yet necessary sources for African American ancestry researchers

The last place many African Diaspora ancestors want to research is through the study of slave sales. The writing and imagery are sadly powerful in the historical accounts of financial transactions and public spectacles involving slaves.

Yet, the mostly oddly written newspaper advertisements and posters, often offer great clues to African American, Caribbean American, Native American and European Blacks’ genealogy and ancestry links.

The best clues to tear down the “brick wall” research are found in the names on the ads by the slave owners. Their imprints are often with first and surnames and identities of their family members who would benefit from the sale. The ad below that was posted in the Savannah, Georgia newspaper in 1859, brought more than $300,000 in revenue for Joseph Bryan, whose name appears in the ad. That’s equal to more than $9 million in today’s dollars.

Also, the location of the sale helps to confirm the researchers are on the right track in identifying African Diaspora family members.

An advertisement published in The Savannah Republican on Feb. 8, 1859, by the slave dealer Joseph Bryan for a two-day auction that became the largest in history. Four hundred thirty-six men, women and children were sold for $303,850, equivalent to about $9.4 million today.(

The advertisements also include information that is helpful when comparing tax and estate records of enslavers and their sales agents. The ad below also includes a signature that is also important when ensuring the slave owners’ records including African Americans in bondage are accurately connected to genealogy documents.

The ad was published in 1851. In today’s economic terms, the $1,200 to $1,250 is equivalent to approximately $50,000 in today’s monetary terms.

In some instances — albeit rare — slave owners listed the first names and primary trade or unpaid work purposes of the African Americans they owned. This helps African American genealogy, history and ancestral researchers identify legacy relatives. In our genealogy research, typically the slaves’ surnames were those of their owners.

This sale also indicates that the slaves would be sold in families. Sadly and happily, this was considered a huge benefit to the African American enslaved population.

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Thoughts on slavery — 1854 or 2023?

There is an active U.S. discussion about whether African Americans benefited from the horrific ills of bondage and slavery. A Florida governor who is a candidate for the Republican Party’s 2024 nomination for U.S. president is proudly touting such in his state education’s rewriting of history. His appointees are doubling down on the claim that there were productive, career benefits from the skills utilized by African Americans who were enslaved.

This newspaper clipping from a century+ ago is among the documents that mirror today’s comments from proponents of the rewritten history that slavery benefited African Americans.

To all ancestry researchers, search the newspapers for articles in the states where your ancestors resided. It is great insight in what policies and practices they endured while being subjected to the cruelties of forced, unpaid servitude.

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How to find your ancestors in historical newspaper articles

Breaking through brick walls to learn more about your African American ancestors

The tall dude to the right of the protest sign is Sampson Luster Wead, the paternal grandfather of Ann Lineve Wead Kimbrough of Good Genes Genealogy Service. It is from Ann Lineve’s perspective that this blog is written about a man born on July 2, 1904 in Helena, Arkansas.

This picture appeared in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper on July 31, 1953. It included other photos including the one below that accompanied an article about the successful boycotting of a popular ice cream shop due to its blatant discriminatory hiring practices. I found the picture (above) of my grandfather a few years ago. What I learned today is that there were several articles and likely broadcast reports about this important protest and boycott.

Breaking through brick walls

In researching African Diaspora ancestry and genealogy, it is widely known that there are likely several brick walls that will be encountered. It is notable that in researching the facts around the Reed’s Ice Cream Shop protest, I learned three new and compelling things about my grandfather’s character and beliefs:

  • He held a great job at a local meat packing plant, yet was willing to risk it all to protest the lack of jobs available to Black persons at another employer. After all, his picture was in the newspaper and widely circulated.
  • Although he closely guarded his past that included his teenage years in Helena and Elaine, Arkansas, where costly racial killings occurred, my grandfather demonstrated that he was not afraid to stand up for civil rights.
  • My grandfather was a member of the DePorres Club, an Omaha-based organization comprised of all races and heritages. Its purpose was to protest and bring about change in employment and civic practices that discriminated against persons because of the color of their skin and ethnic origin.

I learned about the DePorres Club’s purpose from the article found below from the Omaha Star newspaper. Just below the “congratulations grads” ad, is the article about the civil rights organization of the 1940s – today.

Encouragement for the ancestry and genealogy researchers

  • Keep researching your ancestors, even if you are covering the so-called same ground.
  • From the information that you unearth, ask the same and new questions of anyone in your family or institutions that may have more insight about the ancestors’ activities.
  • Cross check your new findings with local and national media reports found in historical clippings and broadcasts. You are piecing together the story about your ancestor that will greatly aid in your genealogy reports to family and importantly, to yourself.

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Freebie Friday for Genealogy Hunters

Back by popular requests, we’re offering genealogy and ancestry seekers will find the following freebies to delve into:

  • Visit the National Archives for countless images, text, blogs, other helpful resources about Black ancestors.
  • Inquire about home movies captured by members of your family. Ask about those reels that may still be around someone’s home in attics, basements, desk drawers. You may have to transfer the media to another source, yet it is worth it. Why? Many of the videos end up in thrift stores and discarded. Guess what? Those same videos are picked up by government and private agencies and become rich content. Take a look at a short of videos from personal and public videographers.
  • Check the 26 free genealogy websites. You may wish to sign up after giving the sites the test drives.
  • Check out the “Story of Black Folk” … tracing family histories in the Hudson, NY area.
  • The above referenced Black family history site is part of the larger, free calendar community of genealogy conferences, events and more. Check out Conference Keeper Calendar.
  • Join your hometown or regional Black genealogy groups such as this large one in Pennsylvania.
  • Geneanet has 44,000 free postcards without subscription. You can just put in your location of your ancestor and they will show you what they have for that town. — Submitted by Karen Harrison 

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Changing the world through the unsung missions of Black midwives

About 80 miles southeast of Atlanta, Georgia, lies Greene County. In Greene County, Georgia as it was in Greene County, Missouri, and across the nation, Black women midwives were and still are highly regarded.

It was widely proved that midwives saved lives — babies and their mothers. They birthed presidents, preachers, teachers and several family members who will attest to their value in caring for mothers in many communities where healthcare facilities were miles away or nonexistent.

The worth of midwives is especially highlighted in recent data that was shored up with the release of 2021 data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that showed a sharp increase in infant mortality, especially among African American women. A century ago, the infant mortality rates were much more severe, yet midwives were credited in successfully bringing babies into the world and saving their mothers. Even slave owners knew this truth.

A study published by the National Library of Medicine found:

We estimated that, relative to current coverage, a substantial increase in coverage of midwife-delivered interventions could avert 41% of maternal deaths, 39% of neonatal deaths, and 26% of stillbirths, equating to 2·2 million deaths averted per year by 2035. Even a modest increase in coverage of midwife-delivered interventions could avert 22% of maternal deaths, 23% of neonatal deaths, and 14% of stillbirths, equating to 1·3 million deaths averted per year by 2035.

Nove A, Friberg IK, de Bernis L, McConville F, Moran AC, Najjemba M, Ten Hoope-Bender P, Tracy S, Homer CSE. Potential impact of midwives in preventing and reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths: a Lives Saved Tool modelling study. Lancet Glob Health. 2021 Jan;9(1):e24-e32. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30397-1. Epub 2020 Dec 1. PMID: 33275948; PMCID: PMC7758876.

Midwives Matter

Early African American midwives were important members of their community, even among enslaved individuals. Slave owners used these medical practitioners to ensure the health of their reproducing enslaved women and their newborn infants to expand their labor force. It was also common for midwives to attend to the slave master’s wives during birth as well.,to%20expand%20their%20labor%20force.

This midwife account describes the importance of recognizing Black midwives for their contributions to societal good: “… the story of a poor white boy delivered by a black midwife slave that grew up to be the president that freed 3.5 million black slaves in the United States, and was killed for doing so.” — From The Midwife Slave

What ancestral researchers should consider

There are documentaries, articles, scholarly works and stories within families about the importance and legacy of midwives.

  1. All births — whether at home or in hospitals — are recorded in each municipality’s Vital Records Division. The attending midwife, parents and/or physician are allowed to sign the paperwork.
  2. Time frames are usually required to register births. If the time frames are not adhered to, or should errors appear on birth certificates based on sources authorized to make the changes, the municipalities are allowed to issue delayed birth certificates.
  3. Because midwives have more than records to report, their stories are important to learning more about families’ ancestors. Some midwives kept journals, shared birth stories with family members and were the keepers of intimate secrets, the midwives are great sources for breaking down brick walls.

Historically, Black midwives are archived among famous global citizens. Check out this site for more information.

Read more: Changing the world through the unsung missions of Black midwives

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