Tracing Your Ancestors
Are you ready to begin a journey?
A journey that will perhaps influence, if not change some
aspect of your life.
A journey that will surely:
Tracing your ancestors is such a journey. Utilizing actual cases
this series will hopefully provide a roadmap.
- Help you discover your family's roots.
- Enhance your knowledge of American history.
- Enlighten the present by connecting you to the past
- Foster within you an appreciation of slave and free people of
color suffering and endurance.
Even if you have already begun the search for your ancestors,
perhaps you will find useful tips in this series of articles.
Let Us Begin!
- Decide whether you want to trace your maternal (mother's
side) lineage or paternal(father's side) lineage.
- Contact your oldest, living relative who is willing and able
to talk with you. Life is like a vapor- so easily gone.
Therefore, I admonish you to start your search with elderly
relatives if possible.Once the opportunity to obtain
valuable information from an elderly relative slips away, it can
never be regained.
- Use courtesy and your own discretion when talking to your
older relative(s). Use whatever device you have available
to record notes from your conversation.
- Let your relative speak freely, but
you might want to consider asking the following:
- When and where were you born?
- Where did you grow up?
- What type work did you do?
- What was one of the most memorable events in your life?
- What were the names of your parents? grandparents?
- What type of work did your parents do?
- What were the names of your parent's siblings?
- Do you have any old obituaries that I can copy? This is where
a phone with a camera/scanner app or digital
camera comes in handy.
Let us consider the case of M. Walker, a fifty year old black
male who resides in central Georgia. He wanted to trace his
mother's side of the family. Although his mother and grandmother
were now deceased he remembered the following
from previous conversations with them:
- His grandmother Mattie Stuckey was born around 1909.
- She lived in Wilkinson County, Georgia in a community called
- She lived and worked on a farm.
- She had siblings called Robert C, Pearl, and Harm.
- She was kin to the Creek Indians.
He further stated that his grandmother died in 1989 and was
buried in Mt. Cilla Church cemetery, Wilkinson County. He could
not locate his copy of her obituary. He believed she owned the farm
on which she worked. He was not sure about her marital
Go now, start your journey!
Last updated 1-March-2017
Webmaster: Suzanne Pearson
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