By Angela Y. Walton Raji
Many people are inspired by the recent programs on television reflecting people who have a chance to learn their family history. Yet, there is a feeling among many people that the black family can’t be easily researched. But the real truth is that it can be done, and one can go back with the right methods, over 150 years in their family history! And with careful strategy, even further back in time.
Most importantly it should be remembered that everyone leaves a record behind them. There is a paper trail to follow on most individuals, even those who were once enslaved. Unless someone has totally lived “off the grid” with no contact with anyone, then there is a record that will provide clues to the past. The key is to find the right documents to get started, and then connect the dots taking you further back in time.read more
Millions begin their online genealogy searches hoping to strike family history gold quickly and easily. The online genealogy environment has almost ensured this. On the other hand, one quickly learns that they definitely can’t guarantee lasting results without avoiding common pitfalls.read more
When you begin researching, one of the first events that you should look to document is the most recent in your ancestor’s life. The most common recent events are death and burial.read more
In “Where a Death Certificate Can Lead,” we showed how you can use the census and city directories to learn more about the spouse and children of a deceased ancestor. We were able to identify the children of Joseph Barnett from census records, and we used a city directory to locate his daughter, Janie, and her husband. Hopefully, you also submitted the records you were able to find using the death certificate. We will now discuss other details on a death certificate that could make your genealogy come to life.read more