Wednesday, January 26, 2011

African American Genealogy

I have decided to focus my genealogical intentions on my dad's side of the family. I am starting with Huell and Walls; the names of my grandmother and grandfather respectively. This is proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought. My grandparents know very little about their parents and ancestors. I was able to get partial names from them and approximate death dates. My grandmother was able to give me some locations, which is helpful, but they know a lot more about cousins, aunts and uncles than direct ancestors. I never realized how difficult this was going to be. Fortunately, I have made some headway and have been able to find information that they didn't even know. My grandmother is enjoying the different things that I am finding, especially about her mother's line, since she died when my grandmother was only 4 months old. Another thing that has helped me has been the stories I did for the Advent Calendar. My grandmother unknowingly gave me a bunch of details that I have been able to use to form a partial time line. She doesn't even realize she knows these things until I point them out. I guess that is the power of story telling. You get so immersed in the memory that you are able to access information that you didn't even know you had stored. There are certain pieces of information that can only be accessed through the process of telling a story.

Anyway, the real point of this post was to share this helpful video for people starting out on their African American genealogy adventure. It may not be super helpful. I'm actually partial to Darius Gray because I have read the books he has authored with Margaret Blair Young and watched their movie called "Nobody knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons" when they screened it in Hyde Park. Ben and I even got to Chauffeur them around after church. Do I sound like a groupy? Anyway, it is helpful if you are starting out on this journey. I hope you enjoy it!

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