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Searching Family African American Research

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African American Family History Research
In search of your roots, I offer an in-depth look at the African American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history. Because enslaved African Americans were prohibited from reading, writing, marrying, owning land, and voting, few of the documents, that I as a genealogist, depend on, will even exist for them.

Even when I am researching recent ancestors, segregation has left a series of obstacles that make the process more of a challenge. The route I choose to begin with is by taking oral histories from you, and I help you to take oral histories from the people closest to you. By delving into the past; your older relatives can give you a window of direct experiences, and evidence of the past, left behind by those who lived it. Together, we can gather family heirlooms, photographs, excerpts from family bibles, legal documents, marriage and birth certificates, death certificates and funeral notices. All are extremely valuable tools for understanding the lives, legacies, and stories of your ancestors and the worlds in which they lived.  These resources will be used as an important starting points for me to perform further genealogical research.

Once we have gathered as much information as we can, to establish your family's geographical background to some extent, I will go straight to city and county records, library and archival work. I will document your family's existence back to 1870, the first year in which formerly enslaved African Americans were listed by name in the Federal Census. The paper trail often runs cold at that point, I will then begin to investigate other sources in those communities such as churches and cemeteries.

Working back to the 1850 and 1860 Censuses, which do not include enslaved African Americans by name, but do list them, under the name of their owners, by age and gender on slave schedules. I will locate their slave owner, and do further research through will and estate records to document ownership, as well as, locate and name the farm or plantation, your ancestors worked on.

I will show you how to reconnect your ancestry prior to the slave trade using DNA. You will be able to trace your maternal lineage by analyzing the mitochondrial DNA, and your paternal lineage by analyzing the Y-chromosome of your African descent. While DNA testing doesn't take the place of published records, it adds another dimension to understanding your family’s way of life.

Within your ancestry you will learn about your family's health history. The more you know about it, the stronger your family’s preventive health plan can be.

As I gather data, I record it on a computerized genealogical software program. Where I create, compile and upload scanned research documents, photos, and records into your family tree. I cite the source for all information. I am passionate about accuracy. My list of facts from legitimate sources gives your research validity and credibility. When I am finished with your family history, I provide you with a family history book, to have and enjoy for many generations to come.

Resources used for Genealogical research

My Genealogy research Methods

My Genealogical Reports

Concluding the Genealogical Research

    How do you know when research on a given line or problem should be stopped?  Some persons eventually see a line traced back to a point that satisfies them. If this happens, let me know. In other cases, I will report that all available documents have been exhausted. In all cases, understand there are diminishing returns in research, and it is possible that some records remain, but chances of success are small compared to the cost.  At some point, a decision to end genealogical research altogether, will be made. Notify me of this decision so research can then be concluded and a final report prepared. In the end, creating biographies of ancestors with the historical context of events they lived through; locating lost relatives and making meaningful family connections; even publishing the results of the research to preserve this heritage for others.

 Research costs and method of payment

Genealogical Research Information Request

Please send me an email to:

Subject Line: African American Family History

Please be sure to include the following...

Ancestor's Name(s):
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I will contact you with any further questions I might have by email.

Thank you.

Contact Information

Office Telephone: (803) 530-1717
Postal address: 1341 Saint Matthews Rd, Swansea, SC 29160
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