Death Records: a bit grim but worth accessing

Ok, in Western societies, death is a taboo subject. We don’t like it and we don’t…

Southern African-American 19th Century naming conventions

Understanding 19th and early 20th Century naming conventions – the structure and method of naming children…

Mystery#1: Getting to grips with James Mitchell Zachariah Sheffey [Mitchell Sheffey]

James Mitchell Zachariah Sheffey, Dicey Brock, Jersey (or Judy) Clark, Emily Cook, Martha Ann Hill and…

What’s in a maiden name? When cousins marry

In my previous post I covered the importance of accurately recording maiden names.  And this post…

““Does it bother you your ancestors were slaves”?” – A truth I did not expect to find

Since I began this journey into my family’s history, my family and friends find it an…

Register of Colored Persons cohabiting together as Husband and Wife, 1866 Feb.

The Library of Virginia has an extensive digital collection.  This is a collection of documents that…

Getting started with Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org

I use two online genealogy services: Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.  Each has its strengths and weaknesses.  I…

Pushing the clock back for your slave ancestors

Your search for African American ancestors needn’t end at 1860 or 1850.  Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have…

Getting to grips with the 1850 & 1860 Slave Schedule census – Part 2

What’s the detective work when searching for your ancestors in the Slave Schedules? A bit of…

Getting to grips with the 1850 & 1860 Slave Schedule census – Part 1

If you’re an African American, the chances are you will come up against Slave Schedule census…