I recently got back from my research trip to Youngstown, OH. I went to Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center located in the downtown district of Youngstown. I must say they have a beautiful new facility, the building houses the archival library in the basement. This is where I found my great great grandmother Minnie Belle Stacks in the 1924 city directory and I got to take pictures of old street maps in the of East Youngstown. The archivist was able to show we where Minnie Belle, and Georgiana (great grandmother) lived on the map which I thought was pretty cool. I looked at a few old high school years but I didn’t see my grandmother in any of them (she moved back to Alabama during her 11th-grade year she graduated).
I didn’t get quite what I wanted but I got cool some stuff and got some tips on what my next move should be. All in all I had a good trip, so I encourage you to take that research trip you’ve been talking about for years this summer. Even if you don’t go on your research trip, visit your local archival library, courthouse, cemetery, interview family members or just spend time with you family sharing and creating memories. You never know who or what you might find when you step from behind the computer.
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I was able to visit one of the streets my Great Great Grandmother Minnie Belle and my Grandma Clittee lived on in the mid 1920s and early 1930s in Campbell Ohio formally known as East Youngstown. Campbell is where my grandma spent majority of her adolescent years before heading back down to Alabama. The 1919 steel strike brought hundreds of black southerners to Youngstown, Ohio. This influx of black southerner was part of the Great Migration, most of them settled in East Youngstown which was home to one of the Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube plants. Edward Stacks, Minnie’s husband worked at the Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company. Its was pretty cool to be able to go back to the place my grandma, great great grandma called home for over ten years.
I don’t know much about my maternal great grandmother Georgiana Beck so when I see documents other than census records with her name on it I get a little happy. What I do know is Georgiana was born about 1899 in Jefferson County, Alabama to Minnie Belle Burke.Georgiana got pregnant by a man named James Luther Christian (also a mystery) with my grandmother Clittee at a very young age. She had to do domestic work to help provide for herself and daughter. By January 21st 1920 Georgiana, mother and daughter were living in Youngstown, Ohio. After 1920 I have no idea what happened to Georgiana. I don’t know if she got married, if she stayed in Youngstown, her cause of death or where she’s even buried. It’s all a mystery I hope to one day solve. Georgiana Beck is part of my history