I am always looking for my family, but I often see other people’s ancestors that amaze me as much as mine. They used to live in the same communities at one time. They are buried in the same places my ancestors are and sometimes life takes them to faraway places.
When I used to live in Greenwood, SC, I researched The Dial. The men who ran that newspaper were preachers, teachers, and masons. It got my attention because people who should have known about The Dial told me it did not exist. I knew we needed to highlight it because the newspaper staff was forgotten.
To have an African American newspaper during the period of Jim Crow would have been important to the community. I spotlighted the editor, Conley Lincoln Henderson, here and two weeks ago we had the grandson, Ramon Tang to write to us.
He told me that he and his niece were glad to learn their ancestor was the editor for The Dial. They will provide a family tree and photos to Toni Carrier. Greenwood, SC is just one place that I came to love someone else’s ancestors beside my own. Conley Lincoln Henderson is just one of those ancestors, but I feel he has descendants who have the missing part of the story.
Interview with Descendant of Dr. Conley Lincoln Henderson
I am sharing with you a portion of an interview with Ramon Tang:
Robin: How did you learn about the blog post?
Ramon: My niece, Annette Britton, who lives in Chicago, Illinois, told me about the article you wrote. She called me up and told me about it. She said grandpop was the editor of The Dial. It was news to her, and it was news to me. So then, I went online, and with her instructions I found your article there. That just started it, and I found about the museum. That was all the result of your article.
Robin: From my understanding, you have taken on doing more research from there. Do you want to tell us a little more about what you have been working on?
Ramon: On archives.com in order to find out a little more about my grandfather’s grave site, I did not know where he was buried because I was not alive when he passed. He passed in 1923. It seems to me The Dial had trouble trying to find anything about him after South Carolina. I found more information by doing some research on the grave site, also some of the information that I got from The Dial, your research about the census and family that was still alive.
Where is Conley Buried?
Robin: Can you tell us where he is buried and that whole experience?
Ramon: Rosehill Cemetery & Mausoleum is where Grandpa Henderson was buried according to FindAGrave.com. He was 56 years old. The headstone inscription reads Father Conley L. Henderson (1867-1923) and Mother Mary J. Henderson (1873- 1968). He was born 10 Oct 1867, and he died 28 September 1923. He was a young man. He did not live as long as my grandma.
I was just look at some censuses earlier today: 1900, 1910, and 1920.
Robin: Have you found anything on The Dial?
Robin: We will keep looking. People living in Greenwood, SC said they had issues, but no one has come forward yet. You found he was a mason?
Ramon: Yes. It was in the Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (page 112). I had so much information.
Mt. Sinai A.M.E. Church
Robin: You know that he was an AME minister?
Robin: I sent you two articles.
Ramon: That is the same article I received way back years ago, but you found it yourself.
Robin: Yes. I have had them. I reread both, and Conley is in here with Lafayette.
Ramon: Right. Thank you. This is good when we share back and forth.
Here are the two articles that I shared from Newpapers.com. Conley Lincoln Henderson and Lafayette Franklin Vance, who were both presiding elders of the AME Church where stationed at Mt Sinai AME Church, situated in Bradley, SC as ministers for a time.
Later after this interview, I found another article about the MT. Sinai AME Church dedication, and it mentions Conley Lincoln Henderson and Lafayette Franklin Vance as well.
Greenwood County, SC Used to be Abbeville County, SC
Robin: Newspapers.com has the Index-Journal. The newspaper changed names so just look up Greenwood County, SC, and you’ll find it.
Ramon: Tell me this, there was a name change for Greenwood County, (SC)?
Robin: Yes. From 1897 forward it was Greenwood County, SC. Before 1897 it was called Abbeville County, SC. Our people were in the same place but different county name.
Ramon: Same place different name.
Sharpen the Saw
What a refreshing interview! The fact that we can still find resources to document our ancestors especially now with both our families doing the research and reporting back makes me want to try even harder to find more. Have you ever met a descendant of a contemporary of your ancestor? Have they worked with you like this to make finding easier? Let us know out on the Facebook Group.