September 2021


This is just a quick thank you to the Grands in my life! I love you all, think of you often, and I am so happy to be able to talk to one of you still.

Older Black Couple sitting on a couch with 3 grandchildren--toddler, grade school age, and baby around 1979-1980.
Me, Grandma Elnora, my cousin, Grandpa Levie, and my brother.
Older olive-complected woman and two darker skinned children, all dressed for summer.
Grandma Ethel, Me, and my brother.
Older Caucasian man sitting watching darker skinned toddler playing on the ground and baby lying down on front. All in front of a Christmas tree.
Grandpa Bill, me, and my Brother
Older gentleman seated in a dark paneled room and in front of a window.
Grandpa Bailey, who Mom sat me down next to when I started working on our genealogy for a Girl Scout Badge.

Happy Grandparents Day!

Jess

Hey! This is happening!

Clipped image from Event Page including Photo of Bernice Alexander Bennet, with date and cost information.

I feel pretty strongly about supporting this group and program. Ms. Bernice Alexander Bennett will be the featured speaker at the Michigan Genealogical Council’s Virtual Fall Family History Seminar on Saturday, September 18th. Ms. Bennett is a MAAGI Instructor, Blog Talk Radio Host, Author of Tracing Their Steps: A Memoir–the winner of the 2021 New Generation Indie Book Award and the Phillis Wheatley Award. A recent project has also including helping African American descendants identify their Homesteading Ancestors–which resulted in this nifty page documenting my 3rd Great Grandfather Samuel Lindsay.

Sessions for the day include:

USCT Civil War Widows Pension Records Tell the Story will discuss the anatomy of a Civil War Widows Pension file and several examples to illustrate the value of using these records. 

Black Homesteaders at the Crossroad of Freedom will answer these questions: Who were the homesteaders? What is the Homestead Act of 1862? What are the eligibility requirements? What is the application process? and What can you find in the land entry papers? 

What can you find with your Library of Michigan Card? (Presented by Tim Gleisener) Learn about resources available to Library of Michigan cardholders for family history research including the Grand Rapids Press historical archives, the Michigan Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Toronto Globe and Mail, and Michigan Sanborn maps.

Writing and Telling Your Story. Do you have a story to tell and don’t know how to write or tell it? This session will explore how you can turn your genealogical research into a compelling and engaging family story. 

Follow the Witnesses will show how following witnesses on documents can reveal the community history.

Researching Your Family’s History at the Archives of Michigan. (Presented by Kris Rzepczynski) An introduction to the Archives of Michigan, this program will explore the genealogical collections available there.

Register for the event here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-virtual-fall-family-history-seminar-with-bernice-alexander-bennett-tickets-165251498681

Join us!

Jess

As always, I’ve fallen behind here but also have a ton of blog post ideas running around in my head. This one took a while to mull.

Many of you know I attended the Midwest African American Genealogical Institute this year and even though virtual, it was a wonderful experience. I started off right at the beginning in Track 1A Fundamental Methods and Strategies (the equivalent of an intermediate course) run by Dr. Shelley Murphy. Speaking as someone who has been at this since high school and presenting for 8 years, I still got a lot out of MAAAGI and would highly suggest the institute to everyone. I used the time and classwork to step back and really look at how I approach my research and organization.

The courses at MAAGI are such that people may choose to repeat tracks, but also could jump around based on their education needs. But I felt like it was worth knowing how they present the fundamentals before jumping out into the other courses. I think it was a great place for me to start. And again, even virtual, the week afforded me time to learn and reflect on my research surrounded by people who also love genealogy and the challenge of African American research—a major plus of genealogy institutes in general.

My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Murphy, Judy Russell, Nicka Sewell-Smith, Toni Carrier, and Ric Murphy and all my classmates. I hope to catch up with you all at Allen County Public Library for an in person track soon.

A mortgage I finally spent time transcribing and studying from Aug 1870. This section reads: State of Arkansas, County of Bradley
Be it known that I Sandy York of the State and county aforesaid being indebted to E. B. Turner in the sum of sixty-two dollars fifty cents being
one half the value of one certain roan mare colt an in consideration of the sum of one dollar to me in hand paid the receipt where of is hereby acknowledged have bargained and sold and by these presents do grant bargain…

Happy hunting!

Jess