Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identityby Dee Parmer Woodtor Ph.D., Dee Parmer Woodtor
Reclaiming a lost heritage is a task requiring a solid road map. African-American genealogy circles are abuzz, excited byFinding a Place Called Home , a new volume that teaches readers how to sort out their racial and cultural identities, as well as how to begin the step-by-step process of searching for one's family roots. Advising readers on ways to sidestep roadblocks that often hinder black genealogists, Woodtor explains how to access and use census reports, slave schedules, courthouse records, the Internet, and other sources to trace a family tree. She also shares many personal stories of African-Americans who have gone through this experience. And she details the importance of probing the immediate family history with an emphasis on the oldest generation. Once the extended living members are marked on the family tree, the ancestral limbs and trunk must be found through interviews, courthouse documents, grave markers, periodicals, and church records. This book also includes a special section on tracing Caribbean ancestry. For anyone wishing to retrace an African-American family history, Woodtor's fine effort
- Random House Information Group
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Read an Excerpt
Ten Most Important Points for Beginning Genealogists
1. Know that the records about your family's past are there, and your task is
to find them.
2. Try filling out your first set of genealogy forms -- a five-generation
chart and a family group sheet. That will tell you how much you know and how
much you have to find out from family members.
3. Call or write all important family members to let them know you plan to do
the family's genealogy and you pray for their cooperation in this important
4. This is not a do-it-alone project. Ask a close family member to be your
partner, preferably in the state where ancestors lived.
5. Collect and copy all of your own family's records -- birth marriage, and
death certificates as well as other records.
6. Collect and copy form your parents and grandparents all of their old
records -- old funeral programs, employment records, photos, bible entries,
school or military records.
7. Create an address book of all your relatives who are 50 years old and
over. These are the people you will interview first.
8. If you've done the above things, you have already collected quite a bit of
material. Time to get organized! A small two-drawer filing cabinet in which
you file all your materials is a must.
9. Join a local genealogy society.
10: Try your first set of interviews starting with your parents or
Meet the Author
Dr. Dee Parmer Woodtor is an instructor at DePaul University's School for New Learning in Afro-American Family History and Genealogy and at Chicago's Newberry Library. She is the author of the children's book Big Meeting. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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