A Google Success Story: Finding Grandpa Jack’s Folks

When I started researching my family history in 1993, I easily traced one of my father’s lines back to my great great grandfather, John “Jack” Bass of Warren County, Mississippi. According to the censuses, he was born around 1845, in North Carolina. Like many, I hit that infamous 1870 Brick Wall after finding him in …

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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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Cluster Genealogy Leads to Slave-owner’s Identity

“Brick Wall” is a metaphor used in genealogical and historical research when one reaches a point in their research where he/she is unable to progress further or “dig deeper.” All researchers and family historians encounter it. For those tracing African-American ancestors, this proverbial brick wall is commonly encountered at the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, a vitally …

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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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