Friday, September 9, 2016

New Season, New Ideas, New Directions: Black Pro Gen


Black Pro Gen LIVE New Features

Well a new season is here, and new ideas that have been simmering are arising. So thrilled to share with everyone the new season and some new strategies to work with beginning genealogists and seasoned ones to find the ancestors and break through the challenges we call "brick walls."

Black Pro Gen is a community of African American Professional Genealogists who work together, sharing ideas and strategies. There are quite a few of us out there ready to assist others, and to share ideas with each other as well.

For the past year, there have been regular Black Pro Gen Hangouts - which are live discussions viewed by an audience listening to a fascinating dialogue about research strategies. If you missed them, you can find them on YouTube. Each Hangout session is devoted to a theme---some are focused on various states and resources, and other new features.

As Google is making changes, the Hangouts are now to be known at LIVE, and Black Pro Gen is joining the fun. But in addition to that some new features will be added to the Black Pro Gen events.

ASK MARIAH

Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Is there something that you can't figure out from your many records? Or are you looking for a suggestion on where to go next with your research? If this description fits  you, then you may get some help if you "Ask Mariah". This is a new feature that will be part of Black Pro Gen LIVE. Throughout the year, this group of researchers, gather online to discuss projects, or to explore a common topic and to offer suggestions and strategies to each other. Simply submit your questions to me@whoisnickasmith.com, or to AngelaW859@aol.com, and we will answer them on Black Pro Gen LIVE! Put Ask Mariah in the subject line.

ANCESTRY MAKERS

How can you as a regular person have your genealogy done by professionals? Well Black Pro Gen, will have your genealogy done by professionals free of charge. If you are selected, you only have to be a guest on the BlackProGen Hangout, and find out the results of their research conducted for you. Why not let the team of professional genealogists on Black Pro Gen LIVE do the work? If your project is selected, the reveal will be made to you and your family LIVE online in one of the Black Pro Gen Hangouts. If this interests you, send an email to Nicka Smith and she will follow up with you about your research interest.

Both services are offered for free.

Here are members of the BlackProGen community and where you can find their blogs and websites:

Name:                              Website

Bernice A. Bennett           Research at the National Archives and Beyond

Linda Buggs Simms         Mississippi Rooted

Toni Carrier                       Low Country Africana

Melvin Collier                   Mississippi to Africa, Roots Revealed

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell       Mariah's Zepher

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco     Babilonia Family History

George Geder                    Geder Writes

Taneya Koonce                Taneya's Genealogy Blog

True Lewis                       Notes to Myself

James Morgan III             Afr. American Fraternal and Benevolent Society History

Shelley Murphy               Family Tree Girl

Drusilla Pair                     Find Your Folks

Renate Yarborough-Sanders  Into The Light

Angela Walton-Raji         African Roots Podcast, My Ancestor's Name, African-NatAm.

Nicka Smith                     Who is Nicka Smith,  Atlas Family

Teresa Vega                      Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches

Next year promises to be an exciting year and we hope that you will join all of us!

New Season, New Ideas, New Directions: Black Pro Gen


Black Pro Gen LIVE New Features

Well a new season is here, and new ideas that have been simmering are arising. So thrilled to share with everyone the new season and some new strategies to work with beginning genealogists and seasoned ones to find the ancestors and break through the challenges we call "brick walls."

Black Pro Gen is a community of African American Professional Genealogists who work together, sharing ideas and strategies. There are quite a few of us out there ready to assist others, and to share ideas with each other as well.

For the past year, there have been regular Black Pro Gen Hangouts - which are live discussions viewed by an audience listening to a fascinating dialogue about research strategies. If you missed them, you can find them on YouTube. Each Hangout session is devoted to a theme---some are focused on various states and resources, and other new features.

As Google is making changes, the Hangouts are now to be known at LIVE, and Black Pro Gen is joining the fun. But in addition to that some new features will be added to the Black Pro Gen events.

ASK MARIAH

Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Is there something that you can't figure out from your many records? Or are you looking for a suggestion on where to go next with your research? If this description fits  you, then you may get some help if you "Ask Mariah". This is a new feature that will be part of Black Pro Gen LIVE. Throughout the year, this group of researchers, gather online to discuss projects, or to explore a common topic and to offer suggestions and strategies to each other. Simply submit your questions to me@whoisnickasmith.com, or to AngelaW859@aol.com, and we will answer them on Black Pro Gen LIVE! Put Ask Mariah in the subject line.

ANCESTRY MAKERS

How can you as a regular person have your genealogy done by professionals? Well Black Pro Gen, will have your genealogy done by professionals free of charge. If you are selected, you only have to be a guest on the BlackProGen Hangout, and find out the results of their research conducted for you. Why not let the team of professional genealogists on Black Pro Gen LIVE do the work? If your project is selected, the reveal will be made to you and your family LIVE online in one of the Black Pro Gen Hangouts. If this interests you, send an email to Nicka Smith and she will follow up with you about your research interest.

Both services are offered for free.

Here are members of the BlackProGen community and where you can find their blogs and websites:

Name:                              Website

Bernice A. Bennett           Research at the National Archives and Beyond

Linda Buggs Simms         Mississippi Rooted

Toni Carrier                       Low Country Africana

Melvin Collier                   Mississippi to Africa, Roots Revealed

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell       Mariah's Zepher

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco     Babilonia Family History

George Geder                    Geder Writes

Taneya Koonce                Taneya's Genealogy Blog

True Lewis                       Notes to Myself

James Morgan III             Afr. American Fraternal and Benevolent Society History

Shelley Murphy               Family Tree Girl

Drusilla Pair                     Find Your Folks

Angela Walton-Raji         African Roots Podcast, My Ancestor's Name, African-NatAm.

Nicka Smith                     Who is Nicka Smith,  Atlas Family

Teresa Vega                      Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches

Next year promises to be an exciting year and we hope that you will join all of us!

New Season, New Ideas, New Directions: Black Pro Gen


Black Pro Gen LIVE New Features

Well a new season is here, and new ideas that have been simmering are arising. So thrilled to share with everyone the new season and some new strategies to work with beginning genealogists and seasoned ones to find the ancestors and break through the challenges we call "brick walls."

Black Pro Gen is a community of African American Professional Genealogists who work together, sharing ideas and strategies. There are quite a few of us out there ready to assist others, and to share ideas with each other as well.

For the past year, there have been regular Black Pro Gen Hangouts - which are live discussions viewed by an audience listening to a fascinating dialogue about research strategies. If you missed them, you can find them on YouTube. Each Hangout session is devoted to a theme---some are focused on various states and resources, and other new features.

As Google is making changes, the Hangouts are now to be known at LIVE, and Black Pro Gen is joining the fun. But in addition to that some new features will be added to the Black Pro Gen events.

ASK MARIAH

Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Is there something that you can't figure out from your many records? Or are you looking for a suggestion on where to go next with your research? If this description fits  you, then you may get some help if you "Ask Mariah". This is a new feature that will be part of Black Pro Gen LIVE. Throughout the year, this group of researchers, gather online to discuss projects, or to explore a common topic and to offer suggestions and strategies to each other. Simply submit your questions to me@whoisnickasmith.com, or to AngelaW859@aol.com, and we will answer them on Black Pro Gen LIVE! Put Ask Mariah in the subject line.

ANCESTRY MAKERS

How can you as a regular person have your genealogy done by professionals? Well Black Pro Gen, will have your genealogy done by professionals free of charge. If you are selected, you only have to be a guest on the BlackProGen Hangout, and find out the results of their research conducted for you. Why not let the team of professional genealogists on Black Pro Gen LIVE do the work? If your project is selected, the reveal will be made to you and your family LIVE online in one of the Black Pro Gen Hangouts. If this interests you, send an email to Nicka Smith and she will follow up with you about your research interest.

Both services are offered for free.

Here are members of the BlackProGen community and where you can find their blogs and websites:

Name:                              Website

Bernice A. Bennett           Research at the National Archives and Beyond

Linda Buggs Simms         Mississippi Rooted

Melvin Collier                   Mississippi to Africa, Roots Revealed

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell       Mariah's Zepher

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco     Babilonia Family History

George Geder                    Geder Writes

Taneya Koonce                Taneya's Genealogy Blog

True Lewis                       Notes to Myself

James Morgan III             Afr. American Fraternal and Benevolent Society History

Shelley Murphy               Family Tree Girl

Drusilla Pair                     Find Your Folks

Angela Walton-Raji         African Roots Podcast, My Ancestor's Name, African-NatAm.

Nicka Smith                     Who is Nicka Smith,  Atlas Family

Teresa Vega                      Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches

Next year promises to be an exciting year and we hope that you will join all of us!

New Season, New Ideas, New Directions: Black Pro Gen


Black Pro Gen LIVE New Features

Well a new season is here, and new ideas that have been simmering are arising. So thrilled to share with everyone the new season and some new strategies to work with beginning genealogists and seasoned ones to find the ancestors and break through the challenges we call "brick walls."

Black Pro Gen is a community of African American Professional Genealogists who work together, sharing ideas and strategies. There are quite a few of us out there ready to assist others, and to share ideas with each other as well.

For the past year, there have been regular Black Pro Gen Hangouts - which are live discussions viewed by an audience listening to a fascinating dialogue about research strategies. If you missed them, you can find them on YouTube. Each Hangout session is devoted to a theme---some are focused on various states and resources, and other new features.

As Google is making changes, the Hangouts are now to be known at LIVE, and Black Pro Gen is joining the fun. But in addition to that some new features will be added to the Black Pro Gen events.

ASK MARIAH

Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Is there something that you can't figure out from your many records? Or are you looking for a suggestion on where to go next with your research? If this description fits  you, then you may get some help if you "Ask Mariah". This is a new feature that will be part of Black Pro Gen LIVE. Throughout the year, this group of researchers, gather online to discuss projects, or to explore a common topic and to offer suggestions and strategies to each other. Simply submit your questions to me@whoisnickasmith.com, or to AngelaW859@aol.com, and we will answer them on Black Pro Gen LIVE! Put Ask Mariah in the subject line.

ANCESTRY MAKERS

How can you as a regular person have your genealogy done by professionals? Well Black Pro Gen, will have your genealogy done by professionals free of charge. If you are selected, you only have to be a guest on the BlackProGen Hangout, and find out the results of their research conducted for you. Why not let the team of professional genealogists on Black Pro Gen LIVE do the work? If your project is selected, the reveal will be made to you and your family LIVE online in one of the Black Pro Gen Hangouts. If this interests you, send an email to Nicka Smith and she will follow up with you about your research interest.

Both services are offered for free.

Here are members of the BlackProGen community and where you can find their blogs and websites:

Name:                              Website

Bernice A. Bennett           Research at the National Archives and Beyond

Linda Buggs Simms         Mississippi Rooted

Melvin Collier                   Mississippi to Africa, Roots Revealed

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell       Mariah's Zepher

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco     Babilonia Family History

George Geder                    Geder Writes

Taneya Koonce                Taneya's Genealogy Blog

James Morgan III             Afr. American Fraternal and Benevolent Society History

Shelley Murphy               Family Tree Girl

Drusilla Pair                     Find Your Folks

Angela Walton-Raji         African Roots Podcast, My Ancestor's Name, African-NatAm.

Nicka Smith                     Who is Nicka Smith,  Atlas Family

Teresa Vega                      Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches

Next year promises to be an exciting year and we hope that you will join all of us!

New Season, New Ideas, New Directions: Black Pro Gen


Black Pro Gen LIVE New Features

Well a new season is here, and new ideas that have been simmering are arising. So thrilled to share with everyone the new season and some new strategies to work with beginning genealogists and seasoned ones to find the ancestors and break through the challenges we call "brick walls."

Black Pro Gen is a community of African American Professional Genealogists who work together, sharing ideas and strategies. There are quite a few of us out there ready to assist others, and to share ideas with each other as well.

For the past year, there have been regular Black Pro Gen Hangouts - which are live discussions viewed by an audience listening to a fascinating dialogue about research strategies. If you missed them, you can find them on YouTube. Each Hangout session is devoted to a theme---some are focused on various states and resources, and other new features.

As Google is making changes, the Hangouts are now to be known at LIVE, and Black Pro Gen is joining the fun. But in addition to that some new features will be added to the Black Pro Gen events.

ASK MARIAH

Do you have a genealogy brick wall? Is there something that you can't figure out from your many records? Or are you looking for a suggestion on where to go next with your research? If this description fits  you, then you may get some help if you "Ask Mariah". This is a new feature that will be part of Black Pro Gen LIVE. Throughout the year, this group of researchers, gather online to discuss projects, or to explore a common topic and to offer suggestions and strategies to each other. Simply submit your questions to me@whoisnickasmith.com, or to AngelaW859@aol.com, and we will answer them on Black Pro Gen LIVE! Put Ask Mariah in the subject line.

ANCESTRY MAKERS

How can you as a regular person have your genealogy done by professionals? Well Black Pro Gen, will have your genealogy done by professionals free of charge. If you are selected, you only have to be a guest on the BlackProGen Hangout, and find out the results of their research conducted for you. Why not let the team of professional genealogists on Black Pro Gen LIVE do the work? If your project is selected, the reveal will be made to you and your family LIVE online in one of the Black Pro Gen Hangouts. If this interests you, send an email to Nicka Smith and she will follow up with you about your research interest.

Both services are offered for free.

Here are members of the BlackProGen community and where you can find their blogs and websites:

Name:                              Website

Bernice A. Bennett           Research at the National Archives and Beyond

Linda Buggs Simms         Mississippi Rooted

Melvin Collier                  Mississippi to Africa, Roots Revealed

Vicky Daviss-Mitchell     Mariah's Zepher

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco    Babilonia Family History

George Geder                   Geder Writes

Taneya Koonce                Taneya's Genealogy Blog

James Morgan III             Afr. American Fraternal and Benevolent Society History

Shelley Murphy               Family Tree Girl

Drusilla Pair                     Find Your Folks

Angela Walton-Raji         African Roots Podcast, My Ancestor's Name, African-Native American

Nicka Smith                     Who is Nicka Smith,  Atlas Family

Teresa Vega                      Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches

Next year promises to be an exciting year and we hope that you will join all of us!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I Shall Not Forget My Ancestors' Past



Earlier today, in a recent thread on social media, a statement was made in reference to America's "peculiar institution" that we know as slavery, and it was suggested that as a nation we should simply "get over it" and move on.

Now, I normally ignore such statements that trivialize the history of people of color, and I usually ignore those who cry "get over it" their blatant dismissal of my history. They usually come from individuals whose opinions are not important to me,  I "get over" them and their dismissal of my history and move on.

However, the one I saw today came from someone whom I know, and I was compelled to respond and to share why I shall never "get over it", I responded with an explanation of how I am honored to remember what happened to those whose history I study every day. And in addition, I am obligated to teach future generations also to never "get over it" because that term suggests, that the history of an entire people should never be mentioned, and their lives should never be consider as worth remembering.

I shall never subscribe to anyone forgetting their history and definitely not a critical institution in America, such as the enslavement of Africans upon this soil. Now that does not mean walking around with a grudge, but to ask anyone to dismiss and forget and get over it trivializes something that was vital to this country. If we cannot get over it that a war was fought then end slavery then those who descend from the enslaved dare not "get over" what happened! Remembering the painful past instills even deeper respect for the ancestors and their survival for they lived within the confines of a terrible system. I then gave some thought about what that statement to just "get over it" means to me, and so, I replied.

I have since been asked to post my reply so that it can be shared. It follows below:

I shall always honor my ancestors who went through so much! No discomfort of those who are "tired of hearing it" can ever impede my honoring them, nor mentioning it. I work with records from the slavery era every day. Every single day from slave schedules to probate records, to old newspapers, to Freedmen's Bureau. That does not mean that every where I go I bring up history. But---my history lives with me, and every person carries pieces of their history with them.

Every day, when I see the post Civil War records of people begging the Bureau to retrieve their children still held in bondage, years after the war ended, I know that freedom did not come easily and Lincoln did not "fix it". I research every day.

When I see the peonage records that reflected forced labor of men and women into the 20th century---no----I shall not forget it, and it SHALL be mentioned. I would never tell anyone to "forget" their history, simply because someone unaffected by an evil system is tired of hearing about it.

You know me enough to know that I don't "wear it on my sleeve." But clearly it shall not be forgotten and as one who sees it in records every day--as a researcher---the impact of what I research and see and learn is humbling and I am honored to call the names of my enslaved ancestors. I am also not ashamed to say that they were enslaved, for their fate in life was the result of an evil system, and their ability to live in spite of it, speaks to their resilience. 

Their strength makes me stronger when life challenges me. So yes, I shall call their names, and I shall point out that these courageous people were once enslaved.

To "get over them" is the ultimate insult to those who were legislated into "nothing-ness". By my continuous remembrance of them--I become a better person, because I must still live a good life as I move through life and interact with the sons and daughters or the descendants of those who enslaved others.


I have met the descendants of those who enslaved my ancestors. I remember, and they remember and we now work together.

I stand upon the shoulders of many people---among those were enslaved men, women and children, who survived. 

And I shall always remember.


* * * * * * * * * * * * *
And so----today I shall call their names:
-Irving and Nancy Bass, enslaved by John Bass of Giles County Tennessee
-Patrick Drennen, enslaved by John Drennen of Van Buren Arkansas
-Kitty Perry, enslaved y Nail Perry, Choctaw Nation
-Amanda Perry Anchatubbe enslaved by Emeline Perry, Choctaw Nation

-Jackson Perry Crow enslaved by Nail Perry, Choctaw Nation
-Sallie Perry Walton enslaved by Emeline Perry
-Mitchell Bass, enslaved by Henry C. Pride, Horatio Arkansas
-Minerva Houston, enslaved by Elizabeth Houston Millwee, Horatio Arkansas
-Georgia Ann Houston enslaved by Elizabeth Houston Millwee, Horatio Arkansas
-Martha Campbell, enslaved by Robert Campbell, Maury County Tennessee
-Amanda Campbell Young enslaved by William Tandy Young, Ripley Mississippi
-Harriet Young Martin, enslaved by William Tandy Young, Ripley Mississippi
-Berry Kirk, enslaved by William Tandy Young
-Lydia Walters Talkington, enslaved by Mary Walters, Dripping Springs Arkansas
-Samuel Walton, enslaved by Josiah Harrell, Dripping Springs Arkansas & Jim Davis Choctaw Nation


           .......and I honor those whose names are yet to be discovered as I continue my genealogical journey.





Thursday, May 12, 2016

Gems from the Black Press: Remembering Western Baptist College


Today's Focus
Advertisement for Western Baptist College in Missouri
from The Missouri Messenger January 26, 1900

Source:
Ancestry.com. U.S., African American Newspapers, 1829-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Negro Newspapers for the American Council of Learned Studies. Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress.


One of the pleasures that I enjoy when conducting research is to explore the amazing articles and ads that I find in old publications. I am particularly attracted by the articles from the African American press that reflect many aspects of the African American Community over a century ago. I have noticed that a good way to learn about one's local community is to examine the classified section of early black newspapers for they reveal businesses, churches and schools in their early years. Some of the ads reflect activities of institutions long forgotten, while others reflect schools that have morphed into larger entities.

I decided to take a look at "The Missouri Messenger" a publication that was said to be "the organ of 35,000 Baptists". In that particular edition, I learned about an institution with which I was unfamiliar. The classifieds of a 1900 edition of the paper brought to my attention an ad reflecting Western Baptist College, a small Baptist college located in Macon, Missouri.

(Source: Same as above)

The college offered Christian education, and elementary and a normal school, with training for the ministry as well. Western Baptist was a boarding school as well as as a day school. Upon researching the history of the school, it was amazing to find out that the school still exists to this day. It is the first and only religious affiliated institution west of the Mississippi founded exclusively by African Americans.

The history of the school goes back to 1889 when a special meeting of  Baptists took place in Sedalia Missouri, and from the series of meetings in that state, it was decided to lease an old church building for 5 years for the purposes of establishing a school. After arrangements were made, the school opened in January of 1890 enrolling 14 students. Within a year's time an offer for a permanent location of the school was accepted from parties in Macon Missouri. There was immediate interest in the school and its legacy was established. Petitions for funding for the college were met and granted from multiple parties including endorsements from local white Baptist churches in the local area, as well as the Baptist Home Mission Society based in New York that donated $1200 to the school. (Source of historical information.)

The school was strongly supported by the Baptist church and it was common that members of the Church's hierarchy often visited the school. The same edition of the Missouri Messenger reflected the visit of pastors from St. Louis to the campus.

(Source: Same as link from above image)

Like many Historically Black Institutions, Western Baptist offered a preparatory school in addition to the normal college programs. The school began offering programs to both males and females, and eagerly sought assistance for the erection of a dormitory for girls on the school's grounds.

(Source: Same as above.)

For over 30 years the school thrived in Macon, and in 1920, the school moved to Kansas City Missouri. It was located at first on Woodland Avenue of the city and later Tracy Avenue in the city. Over time the focus became centered on higher education and that became the focus and continues to this day.

Today the school still operates as Western Baptist Bible College as a four year institution devoted to Christian education. The school has also expanded now to operate on several campuses throughout the states of Missouri and Kansas. In Missouri campus are located in Kansas City, and St. Louis. In Kansas campuses are now located in Topkea, Wichita, Olathe, and Junction City. College Commencement will take place this year on May 12, 2016 on the at 8th Street Baptist Church in Kansas City Missouri.

The Missouri Messenger is a unique paper reflecting not only the Baptist community that it served, but also a unique school with an interesting legacy and history. It can be viewed on Ancestry in the collection of African American newspapers.