Read the Entire Probate File: Don’t Miss the Storytelling Gems

North Carolina Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina; Picture taken on 28 June 2013 while researching there. When slave-owners died, their estates had to be probated in order to properly distribute their property to lawful heirs. The executor, who was named in the will or who was appointed by a judge, has to prove the validity of …

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Colorado’s First Black Licensed Female Barber

Entering a barbershop, people usually see a business full of men who specialize in cutting and styling men and boys’ hair, shaving faces, and grooming facial hair. Barbering is and has always been male-dominated. In fact, a USA Today article published that only 16% of the 135,000 barbers on record in the U.S. in 2017 …

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DNA Makes the World Incredibly Small

Source: Detroit Free Pass, "Flint mayor wins praise for highlighting water crisis," 22 March 2016, page A5, accessed from newspapers.com. I take time weekly to check my DNA accounts for new DNA matches that are worth investigating. While browsing the new matches in my uncle’s AncestryDNA account, I saw “Cousin Weaver.” AncestryDNA identified her as …

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Grandma Lucy and Her Puzzling History

Believed to be my great great grandmother, Lucy Kennedy Cherry of Leake County, Mississippi (Picture courtesy of Perry Bishop) When my cousin Perry e-mailed this picture to me, he was wondering if this was a picture of his great great grandmother, Isabella "Bella" Kennedy Hansford Dillard (1851-1930) of Lake Providence, Louisiana. Aunt Bella was Grandma …

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Just Another Cool DNA Story

Ms. Hattie Abram (1909-2002), Picture courtesy of Angela Moses Many people are often captivated by their admixture results from Ancestry.com, 23andMe, MyHeritage, FTDNA, etc. However, I am most fascinated by those revealing autosomal DNA matches – people who share identical DNA with me and my family. DNA can also be heart-breaking. It can certainly unearth …

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Fishing for Roots in a Lake

I'm at Lake Cavalier in Madison County, Mississippi. Nestled in the rural southwest corner of Madison County, Mississippi is a 200-acre lake called Lake Cavalier. Until 29 December 2018, I had not seen it, but I always knew that it was there from county maps. Located a mile from the Hinds-Madison County line, Lake Cavalier …

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Newspaper Research Can Be Very Tale-telling

If you are conducting historical or genealogical research, you may be doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t researching old newspapers. In recent years, many old newspapers have been digitized and are accessible online. Check out FamilySearch’s list of online newspaper databases here. Newspapers can enrich your family stories by painting a fascinating or revealing …

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