Monthly Archives: February 2017

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Henry Louis Gates explores the untold story of how Africa helped shape our modern world. Premiering tonight on PBS.


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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 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 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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