5 Lies About African American Genealogy and Family History Research

Checkout the lovely Nicka Smith discuss Five Lies about African American Genealogy and Family History Research.

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BlackProGen LIVE: DNA

If you missed last night’s episode of BlackProGen LIVE on DNA be sure to take a look at the video below.

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Asking Ancestors


I saw this post on Ancestry’s Instagram account the other day and I would ask if they are proud of the research I am doing? I often wonder if they are looking down on me and saying thank you, thank you for looking for us, thank you for trying to share their story, thank you for not forgetting us.  What question would you ask your ancestors?

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BlackProGen LIVE!:DNA


Shannon Christmas and Melvin Collier will join the crew this Wednesday for our last episode of our 2017 Black History Month series for BlackProGen LIVE! Tune in LIVE at https://youtu.be/yso0hkQQ9uY at 6pm PST/8pm CST/9pm EST as we talk the craziest, oddest, amazing, and life changing parts of the people of color DNA journey! Watch on your computer to join our live chat. Need a reminder? Click the link above and click “set reminder.” See you later!




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Slavery On The Tracks 

The other day I was looking for slave owners in Baldwin County, Alabama and I came across BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA LARGEST SLAVEHOLDERS FROM 1860 SLAVE CENSUS SCHEDULES and SURNAME MATCHES FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS Transcribed by Tom Blake, March 2003 on roots web.com. As I look down the list of slave holders I see NORTHERN RAIL ROAD COMPANY, 41 slaves. You mean to tell me a railroad companies owned slaves? Yes, according to the site Railroads and the Making of Modern America “By 1860 the South’s railroad network was one of the most extensive in the world, and nearly all of it had been constructed with slave labor.” I knew slave labor built the railroad along with other infrastructures but to see a company listed with individuals as slave holders was a little strange to me. Then again slavery was a big business “Railroads bought and sold slaves with contracts and elaborate, printed bills of sale. They recorded these events in balance sheets and company account books. Railroads also developed forms for contracts to hire enslaved labor from slaveholders. Because the company was liable for the “loss” of enslaved “property,” contracts often spelled out detailed provisions for accidents and the conditions of labor.” The image below is a Receipt for Sale of Slaves to the Mississippi Central Railroad Company, March 5, 1860



Source: Railroads and the Making of Modern America:

Document source: Newberry Library, Chicago, IL, Illinois Central Railroad Collection, Newberry Library, IC 6 M6.55, Box 27

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BlackProGen LIVE-Black History Month Series

I know it’s been a little bit but i’m back! Checkout the latest BlackProGen LIVE episode. The third in the Black History Month Series – “we’ll be talking Free People of Color, current events, and our latest Ask Mariah case.”

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Inside My Search Process


Missed BlackProGen LIVE on Wednesday? No worries checkout the video below to see what you missed.


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BlackProGen LIVE!

2017 is going to be super exciting for BlackProGen LIVE! Check out this quick video about what you can expect and make sure you join us for our first show of the year on Wed. Jan 11 at 6pm PST, 8pm CST, 9pm EST!

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Private or Public?


Last Friday night I decided to stay in and surf ancestry.com I stumbled upon a tree for my grandfather. To my surprise the owner of the tree had the same exact information I had on my tree for my grandfather, his siblings and some of his relatives. My first thought was, was the owner a relative of mine? The next thought was why didn’t the owner contact me? When I say the same information, I mean the owner even had my pictures, like a copy and paste tree. I am all for sharing, that’s why I leave my trees public, I want to contact with possible relatives. But I now understand why some folks make their trees private, why they don’t disclose everything detail about a relative or why some even put wrong information about a family member on purpose. When I find my ancestors or relatives in someone else’s tree, I reach out to the owner of that tree, most get back to me but a few don’t but I still reach out. Well I reached out and found out the owner of the tree is doing research for a number of people and the owner said one of the folks their researching for is possibly related to the people on my tree. This still makes me think, why didn’t the owner of the tree contact me to see what information or to see if it was accurate? Maybe the owner was and I just beat them to it or maybe the owner and or person whom they were researching for was satisfied with the information that was on my tree. I am wondering is there a thing as family tree etiquette? Even if your tree is public should someone have to ask you to add an ancestor or relative on their tree? Should they ask you to use your pictures? Is it free range since your tree is public? Since this little incident it has made me think twice about making my tree public on ancestry. I did the work in finding these documents, creating my tree and even adding pictures and someone takes what I did without a word is a little wrong to me.

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Dock Walker’s Homestead

This past October I took a trip with most of my mom’s siblings to Bromley, Baldwin County, Alabama. In an earlier blog post I posted pictures of them going to the Westview Cemetery,(Click Here). The seven minute video shows of two of my mom’s order brothers visiting the homestead of their grandfather Dock Walker Sr.


Bromley from Tasia on Vimeo.

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