What better gift than the gift of family genealogy?


I was busy preparing my holiday cards when my thoughts turned to gift-giving. What is the greatest genealogy gift that I could give to my family? The answer: Ancestral research findings.

Guess what? I, too, received the greatest gift.

I poured through our family ancestry records and discovered great finds via newspapers.com. I attached the newspaper clippings to my family members’ trees and also printed some records to share as part of my gift giving.

The clipping below was part of my gift to Cousin-by-marriage Florida L. Fisher Parker a year ago during the holiday season. She was overjoyed to see this clipping, her marriage license and other related documents that I uncovered through electronic methods. My discoveries also prompted Florida sharing funny and tearful memories about that great day in her life.

My cousin, Ret. Col. Parker and Florida on their wedding day, June 27, 1959

Florida, the widow of Ret. Col. Herbert Gerald Parker, is an enthusiast genealogist. She piqued my interest in genealogy while we all lived in Tallahassee, FL. Typically, I would visit with Florida and we would prepare documents for the family reunion. After the burial of her husband, my cousin, Herb, at Arlington National Cemetery in D.C., Florida chose to live near her daughter and family in Maryland. Distance and COVID-19 restrictions have grounded our travels and frequency of our conversations.

That’s why this year, I bundled up some new finds that are related to her deceased father, Dr. Miles Mark Fisher. During my research of her father, I discovered my greatest gifts.

  • Gift #1: I learned that Dr. Fisher was the author of several books and articles. One of his books, “The Life of Lott Cary” is out of print. It is about the life of a former slave who toiled many years to earn enough to purchase his freedom and that of his family’s. He became a member of the clergy and also ascended into other high places.
  • Gift #2: I learned that Rev. Fisher was the longtime pastor of White Rock Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. It was a church that was widely recognized nationwide and in its community for its social activism and highly touted black businessmen and civil rights leaders as congregants. He also initiated a program that held period racially integrated religious services.
  • Gift #3: I learned that Dr. Fisher was a scholar. He was on faculty at Virgina Union and Shaw University.
  • Gift #4: I learned the young scholar was one of the first “Negroes to receive the Ph.D. degree in philosophy and religion from the University of Chicago.”
  • Gift #5: The joy that the printed articles bring to Florida’s life. She doesn’t use technology, yet, she is fond of receiving information about her family.

By sharing your ancestral findings with loved ones, you are giving the greatest gift of all during this holiday season and throughout the year.

Holiday Best Buys for African American Genealogy + Bonus

Happy Holidays!

Barnes & Noble website is one of many locations to find our books

The Good Genes Genealogy Services team has been providing free and low-cost services to engaging clients throughout 2021.

To keep our services at this level, we invite you to support us by investing a few dollars into the books we published during this second health pandemic year. The bonus book is written by Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough about her father, Dr. Rodney S. Wead, a relatively unknown and yet effective community leader.

All of the books genealogy books are written by the cousin duo, Kimbrough and Mark S. Owen. The book illustrator for all books is Veverly Byrd-Davis. Besides our publishing company, http://www.lulu.com (see bookstore, Good Genes Genealogy), our books are offered on many national book sites.


Listen Up: It’s Freebie Friday!


Free audio instead of paying the annual fees
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

Hear, hear! Rather than dole out hard cash (or credit cards) for an annual audio subscription for books, I choose to make great use of my DeKalb County (GA) Public Library card and tune into hoopladigital.com.

Check your library for free audio book subscriptions.

That’s my best Freebie Friday tip. Sign up and listen to great books like the one I just finished:

A great book to listen to as it read by the soothing voice of Kareem Maize, who is not the author.

Genealogy Humor

Look at this… 👀 https://pin.it/9agpxUw

Freebie Friday!

Photo by Sindre Stru00f8m on Pexels.com

Free Databases at Ancestry.Com

Courtesy of http://www.searchforancestors.com/ancestryfreebies.html


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Ancestry.com Free Collection.

Ancestry.com is a premium subscription-based genealogy website with over 8 billion genealogy records, most of which are online images of original documents. In addition, Ancestry has more than 35 million user-submitted family trees, which include photographs, written stories, and scanned documents.

One of Ancestry’s best kept secrets is that they also have over 1,300 always-free databases. To view these free records, you may be asked to sign up for a free account, but the account is free, no strings attached. You do not need a free trial to view these records.

The free databases are available to search at the Ancestry site at Ancestry.com Free Index Collection.Ancestry.com Free Collection Search


First Name
 
Last Name
                  Any                    USA                 AL                 AK                 AZ                 AR                 CA                 CO                 CT                 DE                 DC                 FL                 GA                 HI                 ID                 IL                 IN                 IA                 KS                 KY                 LA                 ME                 MD                 MA                 MI                 MN                 MS                 MO                 MT                 NE                 NV                 NH                 NJ                 NM                 NY                 NC                 ND                 OH                 OK                 OR                 PA                 RI                 SC                 SD                 TN                 TX                 UT                 VT                 VA                 WA                 WV                 WI                 WY                 —                 CAN                 AB                 BC                 MB                 NB                 NF                 NT                 NS                 TT                 ON                 PE                 QC                 SK                 YT                  —                 INTL               
Locality

Although this database is called the Free Index, it actually includes indexes as well as images. This Free Index Search contains all the free Ancestry.com record databases but does not include the very popular Family Trees.

Below is a list of the most popular Ancestry free databases. Scroll down to see some of the the free Ancestry databases that are listed by country and state.

Harvard-Trained Lawyer Founded Hair-Lotion Maker – The Wall Street Journal

Harvard-Trained Lawyer Founded Hair-Lotion Maker TGIN (Thank God Its Natural Haircare) ://www.wsj.com/articles/harvard-trained-lawyer-founded-hair-lotion-maker-tgin-11637690757

When Robert B. Wilks and Melissa Gray married on November 29, 1888

In our family, several births, deaths and marriages took place in the month of November.

In 1888, two teenagers — Robert B. Wilkes and Melissa C. Gray — married in a simple ceremony in Greene County, Missouri. The hard-to-view document includes the signature witness of our Great-Great Grandfather’s father, Peter Wilkes. He gave permission for his 17-year-old son to marry his bride.

For our Great-Great Grandmother, the form noted that she was under the age of 21. Other records show that she, too, was 17 years old.

Their marriage remained for another 40+ years until their deaths. Their union produced 13 children; 11 lived to adulthood. The Wilkes family lived a great life in the hills of Springfield, Missouri. Most children, including our Great-Great Grandmother Edna Robinson, graduated from high school and moved away from home to the states of Nebraska, Hawaii and New York.

If you are interested in the lives of your ancestors, check out the marriage records. For those even easier to read than this one of our loved ones, you will likely learn more about the circumstances of the marriage. In this case, the only person requiring permission to marry was the groom since he was not yet the legal age of 18 years old.

#46 Free (Black) Friday: Interview Your Relatives

By planes, trains and automobiles, an estimated 54 million U.S. travelers made it families and friends this 2021 Thanksgiving season. Those numbers are nearly equal to pre-Covid 2019 levels, according to AAA, air, train and government travel trackers.

If so, don’t spend all of your time around the table of good food, or shopping until you drop. Instead, start now to preserve your precious history by recording short and even long stories of your loved ones.

Generations of family: Priceless
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

As a nearly lifelong writer (Ann) who began journaling at age 10, I learned the importance of being a good listener who captured cool stories from the annual family gatherings. Those early lessons served me well as I became an award-winning financial journalist who found that my interview skills came in handy when I became more interested in African American family genealogy.

Admittedly, it is not easy getting our family members to open up about their past. However, I have found that to get meaningful conversations started, flattery gets you everywhere. Here are my quick tips on how to glean information from your loved ones:

  1. Tell them upfront that you are interested in preserving your family’s history. If they are like my Great Cousin Madeline Wilkes, your loved ones may respond with “no one really wants to know that stuff about me.” That’s a stall. Take immediate action such as what I describe in the next step.
  2. Do what they like to do. Sit, cook, read, watch TV, walk, play cards and board games, fish, shop and generally hang out with them. In the case of Great Cousin Madeline, I took pictures of her and showed her how vibrant she looked at 90 years old. With that in motion, I moved to my next step and my recommendation for you.
  3. Have your recorder, camera and notebook handy to capture stories about their earlier holidays and hobbies. I asked her questions about her father, my great-grandmother’s brother. She loved to talk about her Dad. I got some great stories. I was able to wrap up our short conversation by reiterating and expanding my reasons for asking her a few questions. I was pleased that I advanced to the final step.
  4. Tell them why their stories are important to the families’ legacies because it ensures the younger generations learn from the older ones’ successes and any mistakes.

For more ideas on how to speak with your relatives to capture their stories, check out this great freebie checklist from Genealogy Bargains.

Happy chatting!

%d bloggers like this: