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.
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Would you like to contribute Bible records, funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our digital collections?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
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
We had a lively discussion on last Tuesday's episode of BlackProGen LIVE! "Biology of a Document: From Analysis to Plan," about getting the most from the documents we have gathered in our African American genealogy research. The episode focused on analyzing each...read more
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...read more
This is how African American genealogy moves forward: slowly, methodically. When I moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 2005, I came across Lowry Ware’s name among the library book shelves at Richland Library. I looked for what I could find there on Beverly Vance (1832-1899), and I found the person who was his half brother and former slave owner. I found several books written by Lowry Ware and others. I learned early on that researching Beverly would be very hard on me emotionally. It involved reading books by Lowry Ware and others that were well spoken of except the formerly enslaved like Beverly.read more
Historic newspapers are an important resource for African American genealogy. Runaway slave ads, jailor's notices of captured runaway freedom seekers, notices of estate sales, private sales and sheriff's sales that include the names of enslaved ancestors are all...read more
Gallery: Santee-Cooper Relocation Project
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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.