On This Day (September 27, 1861)

From the Mass Moments website:

On this day in 1867, a Worcester newspaper announced that “in accordance with the desire of a number of citizens,” a freedmens’ office would be established to make it easy for white employers to hire African Americans, newly arrived from the South. As a result of contact with soldiers and teachers from Worcester County, escaping and later emancipated slaves gravitated to central Massachusetts. The city’s black population doubled in the 1860s, and the Civil War-era migration continued into the late nineteenth century. With help from the northerners who had befriended them, the local African American community, and the area’s abolitionists, the refugees began to build families and institutions. The cultural traditions these southern migrants brought with them made Worcester’s small black community a vibrant one.

Read the rest of the story here.

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AAHGS National Conference Registration Now Online

The AAHGS website has information on the 35th national genealogy conference that will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The announcement and theme are below.  Click the link to be brought to the registration page.

35th NATIONAL GENEALOGY CONFERENCE
October 9-12, 2014
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania –Double Tree by Hilton Hotel

Weaving Our Past, Present and Future: Slavery, Abolition, Freedom and All That Jazz 

For more information, click here.

DNA Testing Links Descendant of Enslaved Grandmother County Founders

An attempt by the local historical society to preserve an antebellum house in a Chapel Hill neighborhood revealed more than expected.  Deardra Greene-Campbell tread in the footsteps of her enslaved third great-grandmother when she entered the basement of the house in the Rogers Road neighborhood.  Read the full story here.

This is a great story of serendipity in genealogy.

Photo of Dwight Wilson, African American Archivist Sought

The Society of American Archivists Anniversary Committee is making archivist trading cards in celebration of their 75th year.

The Committee has not been able to locate an image of Dwight Wilson, Fisk University archivist and the first African-American to chair a SAA Committee. Fisk University does not have an image.

Can anyone help? Wilson was a professor at Morris Brown in 1935-1936, but the yearbook for that year has not been located.  Has a copy slipped in to your collection?

Mr. Wilson attended Kitrell College, Shaw University and Howard University and a member of the Allied Forces Records Administration during WWII. His obituary from the American Archivist can be found here http://archivists.metapress.com/content/a0v2744223598546/fulltext.pdf

Anyone with any information on the location of the yearbook for 35-36 or who may have a photo of Mr. Wilson, please comment on the blog so that we can forward the information to the SAA Committee.

Thanks!

Boston’s Museum of African American History Program September 9th

This just in from the New England Chapter of AAHGS regarding a program on September 9th at the Museum of African American History on Joy Street:

In Search of Your African American Roots – An introduction to research methods and sources for African American and Cape Verdean family research. Topics include Collecting Family Traditions and Records, Researching Pre-Civil War Records for Enslaved and Free Persons of Color. Participants will learn about websites, databases and digital collections for researching African American families. Our speaker will be genealogist Mary Blauss Edwards of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Ms. Edwards has degrees from Brown University and Northeastern University. Her interests include New England genealogy, African American genealogy, Boston Irish, and gravestones and cemeteries.  This program is in collaboration with the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

RSVP: 617-725-0022 ext. 14 or rsvp@maah.org

Tim Pinnick Launches The Black Genealogist and Black Newspaper Notes

Tim Pinnick, a very talented genealogist from Illinois, has added two more publications to his roster of writings:  The Black Genealogist and Black Newspaper Notes.  These ezines are his latest offerings to interested researchers of African American history.  You may remember Tim as the author of Finding and Using African American Newspapers, a handy volume detailing the availability of black newspapers and the gems they contain. Once again he has come out with a useful set of publications filled with links, stories, and reviews of interesting books and materials  pertaining to the history and culture of the black American.

In the inaugural issue of The Black Genealogist Tim reviews the book  Here I Lay My Burdens Down: A History of the Black Cemeteries of Richmond, Virginia.  You will have to judge for yourself, but I know I want to read it. Black Newspaper Notes doesn’t disappoint either — the ezine is loaded with links to sites containing black newspapers as well as explaining why you should visit them.  An article at the bottom reviews the Indianapolis Freeman and particularly its stories on the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers which details the types of genealogical and social history information found in these newspapers that really puts the flesh on the bones of your ancestors while in many cases giving you a family structure.  Fascinating.

You can find out more about Tim and sign up for his publications here:

http://www.blackcoalminerheritage.net/

Black Abolitionist Papers Now Online

According to the American Library Association’s African American Studies Librarians Section:  Covering the time period between 1830 and 1865, this collection of primary source records “…is the first to comprehensively detail the extensive work of African Americans to abolish slavery in the United States prior to the Civil War.”

The record set, put online by ProQuest, covers about 15,000 works of approximately 300 Black abolitionists in the U.S., Canada, the British Isles, France, and Germany.  It does not appear that one would be able to access this at home without going through a public library access account or visiting your local library, but it is a great collection and one worth perusing if you have a chance.

The urls are:  http://bap.chadwyck.com and is part of the Black Studies Center at http://bsc.chadwyck.com

 

Forgotten Patriots wins the Jacobus Award

At its meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 10 October 2009, the American Society of Genealogists voted to give their annual Donald Lines Jacobus Award to FORGOTTEN PATRIOITS, AFRICAN AMERICAN AND AMERICAN INDIAN PATRIOTS IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR: A GUIDE TO SERVICE, SOURCES, AND STUDIES, edited by Eric Grundset, Director of the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and published by the DAR in 2008. wins the Jacobus Award

Researched by Briana L. Diaz, Hollis L. Gentry, and Jean D. Strahan, as well as by the editor, this substantial reference work has a general introduction, state-by-state introductions, sources, and bibliography, an alphabetical list of names with source codes, maps, photographs, and a glossary of obscure words found in the original records. Many appendices deal with topics such as documenting the color of soldiers and using names as clues to finding them. It is not a collection of biographies but a compilation of source references for individual soldiers that will greatly improve the breadth and accuracy of research.

Since Revolutionary War service is often the starting point for research on families of color, this book opens new doors in an increasingly compelling field of genealogy.

The Donald Lines Jacobus Award was established in 1972 to encourage sound scholarship in genealogical writing. It is presented to a model genealogical work published within the previous five years. A list of the books receiving the award in previous years appears on the American Society of Genealogists website (www.fasg.org). Anyone planning to publish their own research, especially as a compiled genealogy or family history, would do well to study the format and style of these books.

Author Tony Burroughs Comments on Michele Obama’s Genealogy

Tony Burroughs has written a commentary on the story of Michelle Obama’s genealogy which has seen quite a lot of press lately.

You can find the article here:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/10/14/burroughs.obama.genealogy/

Pullman Porters

AARP’s magazine had an interesting article this month on Pullman Porters.  Within the magazine, they had profiled three gentlemen who worked as porters, including Lee Gibson who is 99 years old.

Unfortunately the article is mostly photographs and brief encapsulated histories of the three men, but there is a short five-minute film on the website at bulletin.aarp.org/Pullman_Porters that is worth watching.

At the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Arkansas in September, I picked up a book Rising from the Rails:  Pullman Porters and the Making of the Black Middle Class by Larry Tye, Henry Holt & Co, LLC, New York:  2004.  It looks promising.

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