Research Tip: Check Your Assumptions

Researching and documenting many of my ancestors have not been accomplished without mistakes from time to time. Mistakes can easily come from drawing the wrong conclusions from one (or more) sources. In other words, some historical conclusions, assertions, or assumptions may be drawn from what many may feel to be from "obvious" research findings. However, …

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That Infamous 1890 Sinkhole

In 1921, a huge chunk of the stored 1890 census was destroyed in a fire at the Commerce Building here in Washington, DC. More can be read about that fire here. Genealogist Robyn Smith calls it “The 1880 Donut Hole,” as she brilliantly demonstrates its effect on her research in her blog post. However, I …

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Veterans Day Tribute: Honoring My Look-Alike and Others’ Service in World War I

When I first posted this picture of my great-uncles, John Wesley Davis and Jessie Franklin Davis of Panola County, Mississippi, a number of people, including family members, remarked that I bear a strong resemblance to Uncle John Wesley. I see some resemblance, but I wasn’t surprised by their observation. I am known to bear a …

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Slave Ancestral Research: Unearthing Your Family’s Past Before the 1870 Census

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) published this in their newsletter, BCALA News, Summer 2015, Volume 42 Issue 3, pp 41-46. I am reposting it here on my blog. You have thoroughly researched your African-American roots all the way back to the 1870 U.S. census. You have even read an article, book, …

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African American Genealogy: Unearthing Your Family’s Past, From the Present to the Civil War

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) published my article in their newsletter, BCALA News, Spring 2015, Volume 42 Issue 2, pp 56-60. I am re-posting it here on my blog. This article answers the question, "How Do I Get Started?" The late Dr. John Henrik Clarke so eloquently stated, “History is not everything, but …

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