5 GENERATIONS: FROM ENSLAVEMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE IN ATLANTA
The documentary 5 Generations: From Enslavement to Public Service in Atlanta is a commemoration of the achievements of five generations of African American women in the Metro Atlanta area from Reconstruction through the 20th century. By exploring genealogy, family lore, and historic documentation, viewers will become familiar with various historical philanthropic, educational, and political institutions within Atlanta’s African American communities through the lens of the women in one multi-generational family.
Genealogist Robin Foster shares research tips and keeps you up to date with what’s happening at the IAAM Center for Family History.
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View our growing collections of funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents and family histories.
Learn from the experts! View guest posts written by experts in the field of African American genealogy.
Would you like to contribute funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our collections? Here’s what you need to know to get started on preserving your family’s history at IAAM!
View featured videos. Ramp up your research skills with video tutorials. Learn more about the rich Gullah Geechee cultural heritage of the Lowcountry. Our video gallery has lots to sink your teeth into. View on any of your devices!
CONTRIBUTE AN ANCESTOR PHOTO OR DOCUMENT
Would you like to contribute Bible records, funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our digital collections? We will cherish your contributions. Here’s what you need to know to get started on preserving your family’s history at IAAM!
LATEST BLOG POSTS
I could not wait to take another look at “St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 1873-1987 114 Anniversary Celebration,” which I first went through in 2007 when my daughter and I visited Salt Lake City. At that time, I scanned through quickly for the name of my great great grandfather, Beverly Vance, because I knew his family went to church here early on after emancipation if not before. I saw somewhat disappointed because his name was not mentioned. Neither did it mention his son, Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance, who would have attended when a child.read more
Have you ever gotten stuck searching a female ancestor in African American genealogy because you did not know the name she used before she was married? Well if you remember Martha Vance (1884-1978) in Emory W. Vance, Sr. is Among the Richland County, SC Grantor Deeds,...read more
Have you ever thought about how an old African American cemetery got started? It is usually hard to tell, but newspapers, libraries, and funeral homes are places you can start to find the history of a cemetery. I came across one such cemetery in Greenwood County, SC. It was called Save All Cemetery. I am always curious about when these cemeteries were used. Jim Ravencraft, photographed all the headstones, and I took a look at the birth and death dates that I could make out.read more
Rev. Ulysses S. Rice, Jr. (1925-2014) was the great grandson of Henry and Mary Smith. Emory Wallace Vance, Sr., my grandfather, was Henry’s sister’s, Jane Smith Johnson McCoy’s grandson. With African American genealogy, the simplest relationships have to be scoured...read more
African American Genealogy: Finding Descendants of 2nd Great Uncle, Henry Smith of Laurens County, SC
African American genealogy is not easy. Having an enslaved family makes it so difficult to trace your family, but I have been blessed to discover that they my family knew branches of the family back then. They kept in touch without the modern-day technology that we have today. I am more blessed to realize that my strong desire to piece my family together does not go unnoticed by those unseen visits I get when I am in the middle of figuring the relationships out. I am not alone in this research, and I am indeed grateful that I can prove it using historical documentation. This extra help, I believe, can be had by you if you so desire.read more
After I had discovered that Henry Smith was the brother of Jane Smith Johnson McCoy from the letter of my grandfather, Emory Wallace Vance, Sr., grandson of Jane, I decided to look into the descendants of Henry and Mary Smith and the enslaver of Henry Smith, John Skinner Smith of Laurens County, SC. When working with African American genealogy, I knew I was so fortunate to have been given more clues with yet another interview.read more
When you conduct African American genealogy, you must consult oral history interviews, those you took and ones that exist before you began. I would be remiss if I claimed to do all this research on my own. On the Johnson-Vance side of my family, I was very fortunate...read more
This is the best African American genealogy oral history interview that I have shown you so far. I interviewed the interviewee before and after meeting her, and now that she has passed, I am still finding more.read more
Of all my finds thus far, finding my grandfather, Emory Wallace Vance, Sr. among the Richland County, SC grantor deeds has been the greatest to date. The thought that I could find out what happened with him came into my mind in 1985. I had heard my grandparents talk of their life in South Carolina, and I had heard reminisces from their children over the years. The answers I needed were not forthcoming.read more
Remember in Tracing the Lemon’s from Columbia to Greenville to Charleston Using City Directories I found Rev. R. I. Lemon and his wife, Virginia Vance Lemon, who is my great aunt. I was able to see that they lived in Columbia and moved to Greenville and Charleston. Virginia is someone whom I am definitely interested in learning more about; she is my grandfather’s sister. A study of her life will help reveal more about myself.read more
Hopefully, you have seen how much city directories have helped in finding family especially when they moved from place to place. I first shared with you how I use city directories in African American Genealogy: Comparing City Directory Resources. Now, I would...read more
Antebellum church records can be an important resource for African American genealogy as the records often predate public records founds that document births, marriages and deaths. Last week, I shared three resources at the room for South Carolina History at the Charleston County Library, Register of St. Philip’s Parish, 1720-1758, Register of St. Philip’s Parish, 1754-1810, and Register of St. Philip’s Church, 1810-1822. This week I would like to also share another resource which can help identify enslaved ancestors and free persons of color who attended Bethel United Methodist Church from at least 1804 until 1880.read more
Gallery: Santee-Cooper Relocation Project
The Santee Cooper Power and Navigation Project, begun in 1939, did much to stimulate South Carolina’s economy after the Great Depression. The project improved navigation on and provided hydroelectric power from the Santee and Cooper rivers to Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. During the project, 900 families were relocated and more than 6,000 graves were relocated or buried beneath the waters of Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.
ON DEMAND LEARNING LIBRARY
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THE INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM
Coming in late 2020 on one of the most important sites in American history, the place where almost half of all African captives arrived in the U.S., the IAAM will present the largely undertold experiences and accomplishments of Americans of African descent.