Taking Back What Was Once Lost

Posts in category Book and Movie Recommendations

Slavery Studies

Slavery Studies

As I have researched more and more enslaved ancestors, I have become more immersed in researching slavery itself. I have a friend who is a Ph.D. and professor of African-American studies and he has really helped me understand the history in a different way. We’ve clocked tens of hours of conversation about the institution of slavery. Although […]

Advanced African-American Genealogy C...

Advanced African-American Genealogy Class

It’s that time again! I will be teaching my “Advanced African-American Genealogy Class” at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. The class is 4 weeks, one night a week (Tuesday) May 21-June 11 from 7-9pm, and I hope those in the local DC/MD Metro area will consider coming. The class is geared for those who have […]

NGS Issue on Thomas Jefferson and Sal...

NGS Issue on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings

I read an article a few weeks ago that I think every single genealogist should read, and I was excited about sharing it with you all. It is a special issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly from September 2001 (Volume 89, No.3). This issue was completely devoted to discussion of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings […]

Preserving Local History: Caroline Co...

Preserving Local History: Caroline County, Virginia

My good friend Marion has completed her book about the segregated Union High School of Caroline County, VA. I was lucky enough to share in many of the ups and downs of her two-plus year research journey, and I know what a labor of love this book is. As soon as I got my copy, […]

Slave Housing

Slave Housing

I just finished reading a wonderful article on slave housing in Montgomery County, Maryland, where one of my branches is from. A small part of the article is posted here. I’ve been pondering alot lately how we need to reconsider how our enslaved ancestors lived; the physical dimensions of that space and what it said […]

HOT Genealogy Recommendations

HOT Genealogy Recommendations

I thought I’d share a few genealogy-related recommendations which I haven’t done in awhile. If you don’t have my friend Michael’s “Online State Resources for Genealogy” yet, then get it now. It is a great addition to any genealogist’s collection—all the links are arranged by state and are free. The guide is $15 and well […]

Black Newspapers Break a Brick Wall!

Black Newspapers Break a Brick Wall!

Recently, I solved a genealogical mystery that I’d had for many, many years. As fellow genealogists, you can imagine how immensely satisfying this was. The solution utilized many tools, but black newspapers and the ease with which we can now search some of them deserves the biggest praise for solving the puzzle. My friend Tim […]

Write Up Your Family History!

Write Up Your Family History!

We love genealogy. We spend years and years researching in every direction. We go to conferences and lectures, we read books, and we develop a network of genealogy buddies to discuss every tidbit of information. We collect marriage licenses and deeds, wills and inventories, pictures and other data. So the question is—when you’re gone, what […]

Men of Color, To Arms!

Men of Color, To Arms!

My cousin, David Briddell, and Dr. Clara Small just finished and published the wonderful 300+ page book, “Men of Color, To Arms!“.  This book details manumitted slaves and freed blacks from the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (Worcester and Somerset Counties) who served in the Civil War. This compilation is truly a gem, and represents […]

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 […]

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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."
-Unknown

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

"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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