Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Posts in category Book and Movie Recommendations

Slavery in the South

Slavery in the South

I just discovered another terrific resource, and you know I believe in sharing. The book shown at right, “Slavery in the South”, by Clayton Jewett and John Allen, was originally conceived as a textbook for seniors and college students working in the subject area. But it turns out to be a dream resource for African-American […]

Down in The Delta

Down in The Delta

This is one of my favorite all-time family history related movies. It’s called “Down in the Delta” and was released in 1998 and directed by Maya Angelou. It’s about a woman named Rosa Lynn, living in Chicago, who sends her troubled daughter Loretta and her grandchildren down to her family home in rural Mississippi. What […]

Runaway Slaves

Runaway Slaves

I have been intrigued lately with the topic of runaway slaves. I research the Prather family in Montgomery County, Maryland and recently discovered that one of the Prathers I am tracking ran away and was picked up in DC in 1858. I guess that started it all. I pulled out my copy of “Runaway Slaves: […]

Slavery By Any Other Name

Slavery By Any Other Name

One of the best books I’ve read this year was called “Slavery By Any Other Name: The Re-Enslavement of Blacks in America from the Civil War through World War II” by Douglas Blackmon. The book focuses on the convict labor system that developed in the South and the author brilliantly crafts the book around specific […]

Annette Gordon-Reed “The Heming...

Annette Gordon-Reed “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family”

Everyone knows how much I love Annette Gordon-Reed and her award winning book on the Hemingses. I recently found a video of her speech at Monticello about the book, and it was incredible. It’s lengthy–there are 7 segments, but I watched every one. Although I had previously posted a link to the videos, the owner […]

We Shall Remain on PBS

We Shall Remain on PBS

Tonight, I watched two episodes of “We Shall Remain”–PBS’s latest documentary on Native American History. It was both tragic and beautiful at the same time–it bought tears to my eyes hearing the story of Tecumseh and his valiant effort to form a Pan-Indian resistance movement. There is something about the human spirit and its will […]

The Hemingses of Monticello

The Hemingses of Monticello

I have to tell you all about this book that I am reading and finding positively mesmerizing. There’s no other word for it. Now, I read alot of books on slavery. Alot. I was already a voracious reader before the genealogy bug hit, so now it’s just insane. There are many that stand out in […]

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About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh


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