Blog Archives

Is Genealogy Racist?

“Is genealogy racist?” I typed into the search engine.

I had just received results from an ancestry DNA test. No surprises there — 99.9% northwestern European genetic heritage. I immediately wondered how many neo-Nazis use DNA tests to reinforce racism and claim racial purity.

As I typed my question in to the search engine that day, I was excited to find Coming to the Table. But it didn’t seem to apply to me. I come from a lower middle-class background: my ancestors were preachers, teachers, and laborers. None of my ancestors were slaveholders!

I later learned that I was wrong. Months later, once I knew where and how to look, I did discover slaveholding ancestors — among my working-class northern ancestors! But I didn’t make that discovery that day.

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Slavery & its legacies

Gathering African American Families’ Oral Histories – The Getting Word Project: African American Stories from Monticello – Part Three of Three

Part 3 concludes this blog series on conducting oral history research through the story of the Getting Word project. If you want to know more about the project and the historians, you can find it on the Getting Word web

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research

Gathering African American Families’ Oral Histories – The Getting Word Project: African American Stories from Monticello – Part Two of Three

Part 2 of the Oral History post describes the kinds of impacts that oral history research can have, regardless of the circumstances of the family whose history is being woven together. The Getting Word project’s impacts and aftermaths are an

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action

Gathering African American Families’ Oral Histories – The Getting Word Project: African American Stories from Monticello – Part One of Three

So many of us want to know our ancestors’ stories and find out more about where we’ve come from. DNA research has advanced our ability to find and learn about our family members to an extraordinary extent, but family stories

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Slavery & its legacies

Science May Enable Reparations

Reviewing a Book Review A few days ago, I got an email from a friend who has become a leader in the field of researching African American family histories, up to and beyond the “brick walls” of slave lists that

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action

BLEAK HOUSE – LINKED FIRST BY PLACE, THEN BY HEART (3)

Part 3 – Connecting with the Descendants of the Bleak House African American Community               Part 1 narrated what happened when Alice and Jon Cannon bought Bleak House, the remnant of Bleak House Plantation, and then found a book with the

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, Linked Descendants

BLEAK HOUSE – LINKED FIRST BY PLACE, THEN BY HEART (1)

Part 1 – Finding the House, Looking for the People    At the Telling the History of Slavery conference, the woman I sat next to looked to be about my age, and like most of the attendees, not someone I knew.

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants

End of the list

A blessing of tracing genealogy back to colonial America is that so much of its documentary history has been so richly excerpted in published histories or reproduced in full in a variety of formats that it’s not always necessary to

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Linked Descendants

BLACK RUG/WHITE RUG; A DIALOGUE AMONG THREE LINKED ANCESTORS

By Joyceann Gray, Sarah Brown and Monique Hopkins Joyceann Gray, Monique Crippen-Hopkins and Sarah Brown are “linked through slavery”. Joyceann and Monique’s ancestors were enslaved by Sarah’s ancestors, the Washington family. When Sarah published her most recent post, about her

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies

Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey, Part Two

Part One of this series is titled “Paper”. It explains my family background, and how I was launched on this journey.  Many thanks to the members of Bittersweet, for your stories and your support.  Part One: https://linkedthroughslavery.com/2015/02/01/redrawing-a-community-a-washington-descendants-journey/ PART TWO – “PEOPLE

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Posted in Finding documents & doing research, Healing, repair & action, History & culture: people, places & events, Linked Descendants, Slavery & its legacies