Since starting my Genealogy Journey in 2009 I have come a long way and one thing I know for sure is that there is no way to make true Connections without finding your Ancestors a home.
I started out as a Client of Luckie Daniels back in 2009. One thing that she told me was that technology is changing and that there is more to Researching than Ancestry.com Then she said let me show you and she told me to Google her it took me right to OurGeorgiaRoots I knew right then that I wanted a Blog like that for my Ancestors and I wanted to learn the different ways to Research. I knew in my Gut that she was not steering me wrong.
Luckie stressed to me the importance of being online. I was a slow starter like everyone else. I started a Twitter account @MyNolaHeritage first, but my Ancestors would not leave me alone about finding them a home so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and start my Blog.
The only hard part about it was finding a name for my Blog. I did something different and put the question out to the Twitter Genealogy Community and Allum Spence Williams of Spence Lowry Family History named my first Blog MyNolaHeritage and it was started on Blogger. I later moved my Blog from Blogger to WordPress and changed the name to EchoesofMyNolaPast. I found my Ancestors their home. Soon after I started my second Blog and now I’m on my third(not Genealogy Blog).
I call it finding your Ancestors a home because they can’t be seen within the walls of Facebook and Ancetry.com trees. Yes you can make connections through Ancestry by hitting up against another tree but what if other Descendants are not on Ancestry.com and making a page for your Ancestors on Facebook will never be enough because everyone is not on Facebook either. No one will never know who you are and that you are Researching or have been Researching unless they have a place to see your work. You can have been Researching for years and have all the knowledge in the world but if you are not online how is any going to notice you or even learn from your experience if we can’t see your work.
Now you should have an idea of the importance of being online. If you are looking for Descendants and they are looking for your Ancestors as well, if neither of you are online or are in the walls of Facebook, how are you going to find each other?!!! If you can answer that question without having a Blog online then you should bottle that up and sell it.
It takes 5 minutes to get things going on Blogger.com The most difficult is choosing a name, but once you have that everything else will fall into a place. The name and your description must be unique and include Ancestral information so the search engines will lead Descendants and folks researching to your Blog. Tags and Labels do the same.
There are different reasons why we all start our Genealogy Journey. One thing that is known for sure is that we are chosen by our Ancestors to tell their story and after all the things they have been through the one thing we can do for them is to give them a home(Blog)
Since being a part of the new Facebook Group: African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry Research I have meet some new Researchers and Bloggers as well.
Within a 4 week period the African American Genealogy Community has grown with some New Bloggers.
I would like to acknowledge them all New & Old:
and to our GONE and NOT FORGOTTEN Genealogy Sister:
I was listening to Luckie Daniels of OurGeorgiaRoots have a discussion with her daughter and it so reminded me of my Mom and myself.
At that moment it reminded me of something that happened when I was about 5 or 6 years old and I would love to share.
I remember getting in the back seat of my Mom’s car or one of her friend’s car. The seat had to be let down and pulled up for me to get in the back. As I was climbing in the back there were a pack of mints called “Velamints” on the floor. Of course me as a kid was thinking “Candy” and reached down for them. My mom yelled at me “NO” that is Medicine and you don’t eat that.
I’m laughing now because I was well into my twenties when I realized that they were just mints. I took what my mom said to me to be true and carried it with me until I realized the truth.
We as children look to our parents and what they say to us a being Gospel so I know that I’m not the only one that this has happened to.
To Find Where Ancestors Migrated From GA to LA……..
Challenge: To find where my Ancestors Ben Robertson/Robinson & Mandy Bryan(t) were born in GA. Ben was born abt 1844 and Mandy was born abt 1850
Others: Possible Slaveowners Surnames are Hodges and Bryan
Years: 1840 to 1865
Tribe(s): Georgia & Louisiana/Bossier & Webster Parish
What to look at:
Next Step: Where else should I be looking or What am I missing?
As I researched and looked at each year in the census Ben & Mandy’s place of birth never changed. They knew for sure that they were born in GA. My goal is to find out where and to put the pieces to their story together. 2014 is an excellent goal and I plan to make it.
When the March happen 50 years ago my Mom was just 16 years old.
From what she told me, she begged my Grandmother Odessa to take her, but her mom couldn’t afford it at the time.
So when my Aunt Jackie(on the left-mom on the right) said that she was in town and had to work for the march, my jumped at the chance to go. Heck, this time she only lived like 30 minutes away from DC.
Mom said the day started around 6:00am. The bus left the Hyatt Regency around 6:30am, but she said her and Aunt Jackie left around 7:30am. Not unusual for them 2, they are always late. They took a cab over.
Mom was so excited especially when she realized where they were sitting. As you can see they had some really good seats. She said she felt like she was at a concert, especially with all the celebrities that she met and took photos with. (Aunt Jackie has those pictures). Mom said she felt like a kid in a candy store.Mom sais they met some really nice people from all over the United States. She said every one was so friendly. See mom is the type that does not like crowds and she thought that this was going to be to much for her, but once she got there and realized what this was about, she forgot all about her dislike for crowds.
Mom said there were some really powerful speakers there. She couldn’t name them all, but she received a message from each and every one of them. She said that she realized how important it was back then and now. She knows how important it is that she has the right to vote and she said that she will do everything in her power not to let anyone take that away from her.
She said she didn’t have a story to pass down to her children about Marching 50 years ago, but now she has a story to pass down to her Grandchildren and her Great Grands, as she say “Lord Willing”……
It has been a while since I have done any research or even thought about my Family History. Not because it wasn’t important to me, but Life just gets in the way sometime and our hobbies always end up taking a back seat. Now that the Ancestors are stirring again, there is no way for me to ignore them.
My Nola line has always been the most funniest and sometime easiest line to Research considering that the family stayed in the same Geographical area in LA. But there are some unanswered questions about this line that I am determined to find out.
Here they are:
1) Throughout the census my Ancestors stated that they were born in GA. It seemed so important for them to state their area of Birth. My question is where in GA. and when did they migrate to LA.? The why is simple, but with whom did they migrate and did Ben and Amanda migrate together? Were they married when they migrated? Were they from different Plantations or Farms? Also to find a Slaveowner for this line.
2) My Grandmother’s Surname was Amos. I know who her father was(James Manuel Amos), but I have not looked into this line at all. I know Amos is a well known name in Minden, LA, and very hard to research because the Ancestors had several families in Webster Parish(not uncommon after slavery). My goal is to get to know James Manuel Amos and to find the year he passed. My Grandmother Odessa stated that her father died before she was born. I also want Research the other family that James had at the time he was with my Great Grandmother Amanda.
3) My Grandmother Odessa left Webster Parish, LA married to Augustus Banks. They left the area and went to Philadelphia where my 2 oldest Uncles Earl and AJ were born. My mom recently told me a story of how my Grandmother probably ended up in Chicago, so I will be looking into this as well. Any Philly Researchers out there, I need some assistance.
4) A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of speaking with my Grandmother’s Step-Brother Frank Levingston Jr. who is over 100 years old and has an excellent memory. He remembered my Grandmother Odessa and my Great Grandmother Amanda and I will be sharing our conversation in a Blog Post soon.
5) Last but not least, I need to find the real last name of my Nola family. when I first started my Research 4 years ago my mom told me the families Surname was Robinson. In the 1870 census it was listed as Roberson, and through the rest of the Census it was listed as Robertson. I recently obtained a Great Grand Uncle’s Death Certificate and he used Robinson. I need to know which one it is and I am looking forward to giving my Ancestors the correct Surname.
I know none of the questions above might not never get answered. There is no magic Genealogy Pill that can be taken and all your questions will get answered, but I will be putting in the work and will exhaust all the resources that there are for me. With the new Genealogy group on facebook: African-American Genealogy & Slave Ancestry I look forward to collaborating, exchanging, & helping others getting started or just Researching their Family History as well.
See that’s what Researching is all about. Sometimes the information comes and Sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why we take breaks and sometimes help others, but my Ancestors are stirring again and I have to follow their Spirit and Direction.
As a little girl growing up, I always heard my Mom say that she had a sister that died during Child Birth.
Of course when I started my Research, a lot of the stories I heard growing up were and are still not proven.
For sure now I am able to prove one.
I was on Ancestry.com and noticed that my Grandmother had a leaf and her information was bumping up against the information that someone had in their tree(actually it was the owner of Red River Sankofa) we are kin, just not sure how.
He had on his tree Baby Girl Banks under a child for my Grandmother.
I immediately went to Cook County Death Index which lead me to Cook County Genealogy website and this is what I found:
When I told Mom she was so excited, knowing 1 of the stories that her mom told her as a child hold some “Truth’.
It is true, my Grandmother had 5 children!!! 3 by Augustus Banks(her 1st husband) and 2 by Robert L Smith(her 2nd husband).
There is no doubt in my mind that if my Aunt was still living she would be living with us and would have spoiled my Mom, Brother, our children, and myself Rotten.
Since there is no name on the Death Certificate, Mom and I decided to give her a name.
I recently had the pleasure of communicating with an “Amos” descendant. Thats right a “New Cousin”
Her Great Great Grandfather Daniel Amos was Father of my Great Grandfather James Manuel Amos.
Let me share what I know about James:
James Manuel Amos was born about 1870 in Minden, Louisiana. He had 4 children by my Great Grandmother Amanda Robertson from Cotton Valley, LA. Not sure if they were married or not, I have yet to find a Marriage Record. There names were James, Willie, Joseph, and Odessa(My Grandmother).
The records show that James had another family also. He was married to a Woman named Ruth and had two children with her, their names were James and Rilla. Looks like there were 2 James Jr with Ruth’s son being the 1st.
In 1900 he was found in the census in Richland, Arkansas living with my Great Grandmother Amanda. Amos was mispelled as Amoes and Amons, but everything else about them matched up. The Census Records shows that they had been married for two years and had 1 child but was not counted in the census. I’m thinking that was my Great Grand Uncle James.
By 1910 Amanda was living with her sister Martha Bell and her Family with all 4 children.
From what my Grandmother told my Mom she never knew her Father and that he died before she was born. Not sure of this either because I was not able to find a Death Record for James yet.
My new found cousin had just about as much information as I did. She is just starting out on Ancestry.com and is trying to fill in the voids of what she was told by her Family.
This is one Branch of my Tree that I have not done much Reaearch on, but I want to wish her much Luck in her Research and look forward to colleberating with her and putting the pieces to this line of our Family Tree together.
I have researched my Maternal and Paternal lines of my Ancestry back to 1870.
Sometime we as African American Researchers can get stuck at this point because prior to 1870 our Ancestors was considered property.
I refused to be stuck and pressed on in pursuit of a Slaveowner for my Nola Ancestors.
I previously did a post asking was the “Hodges” my Ancestor’s Slaveowner. I assumed this to be so because I was going on the theory that they were considering they were the nearest White Family living next to my Ancestors on the 1870 census.
Keeping that theory in my head I recently made contact with an “Hodges” Descendant that shared some very interesting information and took my Research in a totally different direction that leads to more questions.
According to the information that I recieved in the early 1840′s John and David Hamiter and several other families(including Matthew Hodges and family which I am a descsendant from) moved to Louisiana. Altogether there were 30 Whites and about 200 Slaves. They departed Haynesville, Houston County, Georgia and arrived in Minden, LA on Christmas Day(the year is unknown).
By the time the 1850 Bossier Parish, LA 5th Ward Census was taken there were 11 Surnames listed that were from Georgia. They were: Hodges, Hortman, Carter, Codwell, Bryan(my Great Great Grandmother’s Surname), Cross, Lister, King, Boon, Wight, and McKine.
Then there was Edmund William Hodges son of Matthew Hodges that lived in Houston and Randolf Counties in GA. It is written that he invested all his available cash in 60 Slaves and moved with the Slaves, his Family, and Father to Cotton Valley Plantation, 20 miles North of Minden, LA. He arrived there February 1858.
It is written that Edmund William Hodges left Georgia because he was concerned about the potential for Civil War and did not want any part of it
By the time the 1860 Bossier Parish, LA Ward 6 Census was taken(this is the area that turned into Cotton Valley and where my Ancestors were found in 1870) there were 22 Surnames listed that were from Georgia. They were: Schesheir, Stanton, Sandlin, Robers, Dellafield, Mitchel, Lewis, Conutts, Cole, Okley, Hendricks, Martin, Mcdaniel, Jordan, Crownover, Bryan, Smith, Mathewes, Young, Jones, Tarey, and Hodges.
After I reviewed this information here are my questions:
1. What year did my Ancestors move to LA?
2. What are the connections that the Hodges have with my Ancestors or is there a connection?
3. Did all the Surnames from Georgia have Slaves?
4. Is there a listing of the names of the 200 slaves and who has it?
5. The Robers Surnames on the 1860 census is it short for Roberson and Robertson? Are those Ben’s Slaveowners?
6. Should my next step be to Research those GA counties or Bossier Parrish, LA?
7. Are the Bryans my Great Great Grandmother’s Slaveowners and do they have any connections with the Hodges or Robers?
I’m sure there are more questions that I need to list. I will not give up until all my questions are answered.
One thing I know for sure, my Ancestors were among one of the groups that traveled from GA to LA and their Slaveowners are among the Surnames that is listed. I feel that I am on the right track and the Ancestors have guided me this way and I have to go by their guideness. Thanks for Listening.
Source cited: All information obtained in this post about the Hodges was given to me by Ken Hodges Descendant of Edmund William Hodges. The Surnames were obtained from Ancestry.com 1850 and 1860 Census
I wrote this post in October 2010 and never posted. I now want to share what my thoughts were at that time:
WoW, it has been a while since I posted on my Blog.
In November of 2009, I became unemployed. At that time I knew I wanted to take sometime off, so I got to travel, read, and do some research.
When I started to look for work again, it turned out to be harder than I imagined and I had to take a break from doing anything with my Faimly’s History.
Although I have not done any Research, I have made some significant discoveries and made some connections. I will be Blogging about them in the future.
Now that I am somewhat settled, I want to get back into doing my Research, but I didn’t know where to start, especially since I can’t remember where I left off.
It turned out to be much more than that for me. I didn’t have anything going on in my own Research, but now I have an opportunity to help someone in theirs.
We all come to some point when our Family Research is stalled, but why should someone elses be. I have a chance of helping a Descendant connect with an Ancestor. This is imortant to me. I have a chance to pay it forward. I have been wanting to get involved in something for quite sometime.
Now I am working on my 5th set of records. I know there is more to be done and will stick with the project until it is complete. Until every record have been indexed.
If you are reading this and have not done you’re 10, “Please Volunteer”!! These records are so important and will become a great resource for Researching(especially for African Americans) once they are completed.