Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity

Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity

by Dee Parmer Woodtor Ph.D., Dee Parmer Woodtor


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375405952
Publisher: Random House Information Group
Publication date: 02/09/1999
Pages: 452
Product dimensions: 8.47(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.18(d)

About 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.

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

Table of Contents

A Note About the Photographsviii
Chapter 1Regaining Our Collective Memory, Reclaiming a Lost Family Tradition2
Chapter 2Beginning Your Genealogical Pursuit: Defining Family Traditions16
Chapter 3Techniques and Tools46
Chapter 4Your Ancestors on Record: The Importance of Documenting the Life Cycle68
Chapter 5A Place Called Down Home: In Search of the Ancestral Home96
Chapter 6Unraveling the Ties That Bound: 1870 to 1920122
Chapter 7Finding Freedom's Generation: Your Ancestors During the Civil War, 1860-1865146
Chapter 8Close to Kin, But Still Waiting for Forty Acres and a Mule: Searching for Your Ancestors During Reconstruction170
Chapter 9A Long Way to Freedom: The Genealogy of Your Slave Ancestors204
Chapter 10The Last Slave and the Last Slave Owner220
Chapter 11The Records of Slavery244
Chapter 12Reconstructing Families and Kinship in the Slave Community276
Chapter 13The Records Freedom Generated302
Chapter 14The Last African and the First American324
Chapter 15Conclusion: Family Reunions and Regaining a Collective Memory346
Special Topic 1Sources for Advanced Research in Slave Genealogy358
Special Topic 2African American Institutional Records374
Special Topic 3Caribbean Ancestry390
Special Topic 4American Indian Ancestry396
Special Topic 5World Wars I & II408
Special Topic 6What to do with Your Research: Writing Family Memoirs or the Family Story, and 101 Genealogy Research Projects Waiting to Be Done416
Special Topic 7A Further Note on County Courthouse Records430
Personal Recordkeeping with Exercises for Beginners440
African American and Genealogy Web Sites455
African American Genealogy Societies in the United States and Canada458

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