Monday, June 14, 2010

Samford Institute Classes Underway

Well today was a full and busy day, the first of five days of genealogy workshops at the Samford Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research. I am participating in the African American track which is focusing on slave and reconstruction era research.

After an orientation, the first session got underway with Dr. Larry Spruill of Morehouse College setting the tone for this week's track.  He is an historian and also a genealogist as well, so he fully understood much of what we as researchers need to tell our family stories.  He spoke about remnants of African culture found in African American culture today.  He also shared some features of Transatlantic Voyage Database.

Dr. Larry Spruill: "New World African and the Transformative
Experience of the Transatlantic Slave Trade"

Timothy Pinnick, of Chicago then took the group into an overview of the resources for studying the Reconstruction Era. His session can be described as being a primer for researching the Reconstruction Era. He focused on the various populations that endured the reconstruction era---former slave, former slave owners, alike.

In the afternoon, the second  part of his presentation consisted of utilizing resources in the university computer lab. In this session, he presented strategies, tips and online resources. 

In the afternoon, Sharon Battiste Gillins of Galveston Texas,  gave a thorough analysis of the various types of data that one can find in the Freedman's Bureau Labor Contracts.  Because the records vary from one field office to another, and that there is no name index, one must methodically look at all records that pertain to the region where ancestors lived. 

Session on Freedman's Bureau Labor Contracts

The Final Session of the day was an overview to the many Tax Lists that can be found. This session by Kelvin Meyers covered the early years after the Civil War.  Some of the states with better tax records, include, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky Mississippi, New Jersey, No. Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

The first full day ended at 5:15 with our having assignments and tomorrow, during breaks we will meet in smaller groups to work on brick wall projects that we have been assigned.  I will share more about that later in the week.

Time to rest after a long and interesting day.

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