A lot of us start researching by jumping online, and we do not start by using our own family archives. You could miss the best information that would keep you routed in the right direction to find your family. All that you need to do to start is look through this checklist and find things in your own house that can tell you about an ancestor. Gather all the records in your house that have a name of a family member on it. If you have never done this, you may not realize the number of items that you will find.
Do you feel like you need to start over or are you getting into family history for the first time? You have come to the right place. Even seasoned family historians can learn something for the first time as we go over the principles of doing family history.
You can look up obituaries for any ancestor who passed away between 1862 to about 1992 in The Online Obituary Index online at the Beaufort County, South Carolina Library. The index includes the names of over 24000 people whose deaths were published in the local newspaper.
African Americans are Documented in FamilySearch.org Database: United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980 – 2014
You can search among the now 34,153,314 index and obituaries for a record of your ancestor. Records are added to this collection as they come available. The database can be found here: United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014. To see results from this database you will need to Find a Family History Center near you.
Isaac Singleton was born 15 January 1883 in Mowberry (sp), Charleston, South Carolina. He applied for this delayed birth certificate on 24 October 1956. He was 65 years old at the time living in Ravenel, SC, the same place where his parents lived.
You might be researching family members and come across one that no one in the family can tell you much about. You know it is your job to tell as much about them that you can find. Sometimes information you can discover from family can link you to historical information online or offline. With African American genealogy, funeral programs are very important.
I visited the room for South Carolina History at the Charleston County Library in Charleston, South Carolina because I wanted to show you that you should not neglect to check Charleston church records back in 1720-1822 for African American genealogy. That’s...
Birth records are usually the documentation that you seek after you have found the existing death and marriage record for your ancestor. Birth certificates are the hardest to find. Here, we will help you learn how to access birth records in SC and suggest substitute records to use in case your ancestor did not have a birth certificate.
In How to Document a Death, we shared a few of the most common resources for learning more about your ancestor’s death. The death event generated many different ways to learn more about a person. Even if a person is not present in a record where they were mentioned consecutively in the past, that can become a clue to the possible date of death. You will learn the most by making it a point of including a few more record types in your search.
One of the most common events that beginning researchers attempt to document is an ancestor’s death. Most become familiar right away with death certificates, but when there are challenges finding or accessing a death certificate, it is helpful to know about additional records. It is a good practice to search these additional records in case there are errors or incomplete information on the death certificate.
This is the final post in the series about mistakes family historians sometimes make. Most of us use a family tree to keep track of the names and events in the lives of our ancestors. How many of us have considered what makes up the foundation of a well constructed tree? Three important elements set certain trees apart from the rest.
In Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned and Relying on One Source Type, we discussed the pitfalls that family historians can unknowingly fall into. Another very common mistake is rushing back too quickly in an imagined race to find direct ancestors. This more often that not creates research challenges. Below we share better principles to follow in discovering ancestors.
This is a continuation of the last post where we began sharing common mistakes family historians make getting started and throughout researching their family history. Advice not to rely on one source type will help you discover more about your ancestor and extended...
Family history research is one of the most rewarding adventures that you can experience. What makes it most rewarding is how it brings family members and communities closer as discoveries are made. There are many ways to have success in the process of finding, recording, and sharing what you learn, but there are also common mistakes that researchers share. Whether you have just begun or if you have been on your genealogy journey for a while, follow the wisdom below to avoid pitfalls along the way.
In Family History in Photographs, we discussed how to gather family history through the photographs in the home of family members. In this series on records found at home, we will remind you of resources that you may already have that provide evidence of...
As we embark on our journey in family history, we sometimes neglect the resources right within our reach. We spend time online searching for records that may already be in the homes of our extended family. Before you set out to look for resources to document your ancestor, you need to exhaust the resources found at home or in the possession of family members. This is a first in a series of posts on resources for family history in your home.
In Avenues of Research from a Will, we highlighted several clues that could help to reveal more about George Epps Tucker (1860-1927), affectionately called Epps, and his son, George Anderson Tucker (1882-1932). You should search to see if wills exist for the...
What do you do with a will when you find one? Wills can reveal a great deal of information that can fuel your genealogy research. Treat each new detail like a clue that will link you to more information. We will use the will of George Epps Tucker...
Many avid researchers hit a stumbling block in identifying more about their ancestors, and they do not know how to overcome it. They get stuck for long periods of time not being able to find historical documentation. You must know how to keep your own research going. What do you do after you have exhausted all the records at your disposal online or in local repositories?
You can discern a lot about the life of your ancestor from the descendants of those formerly enslaved that lived in communities that they established. If you are not fortunate enough to know of living descendants or surviving communities with which to start, search the following resources that mention the locality where your ancestor lived and names of people that lived in those areas.
An auction block at a commercial slave market is probably the most common visual that comes to mind when you think of people being separated from families during enslavement. You may be familiar with the sale of enslaved people through private parties, but numerous people were also sold through local courts with the courthouse as their backdrop. How would you find documentation of such cases, and what are examples of situations that would have brought about this end result? One quick way to find clues would be through historical newspapers.
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.
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.
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.
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.