Spiritual nuturing reminds us to keep on keepin’ on in family genealogy research

Saturday, May 15, 2021 I AM MY ANCESTORS      
 In life, there is no separation. There is no separation from the past, the present, and the future. We are the center of it all. We are the life of God that lived as our ancestors. They passed their life on to us. Who they are is encoded in our DNA, cells, soul, and physical features. We are who they are. We are one and the same. We too are here to impress our collective soul-full imprint upon the earth.    

I am part of a never-ending story of the mighty miracle of this thing called Life. I am a miracle to behold. A miracle to extend to the world. I am a wisdom keeper and a revealer of what is sacred and precious about Life. Every aspect of my journey is significant. I celebrate it and let God multiply its blessings. Thank you, Power, in me, through me, as me, around me, through the Christ within. And so it is. I am reminded of your true faith, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure now in you also.2 Timothy 1:5 Daily Thoughts from the HillCopyright: Hillside International Truth Center, Inc.Bishop Dr. Jack L. Bomar – Executive BishopBishop Dr. Barbara L. King – Founder Minister/World Spiritual Leader Renew/Subscribe: http://www.HillsideInternational.org Address Change/Mailing Questions/Did not receive – Contact: jjones@hillsidechapel.org 

Update Email AddressThis message was sent to awkimbrough@gmail.com from daily_thoughts_from_the_hill@hillsideinternational.org

Daily Thoughts from the Hill
Hillside International Truth Center, Inc.
2450 Cascade Rd. SW
Atlanta, GA 30311

Tribute for a new ancestor: Take note on how to write a resolution to honor a loved one

I had the honor of working with a fine man, William Durant, during my tenure as Director, Fulton County (Atlanta, GA) Government’s Information and Public Affairs Department. That was several years ago. From time to time, I wonder what became of Bill and a few other fine co-workers from various career appointments that I was fotunate to hold.

Last year, I “found” Bill. My cousin, Mark Owen, and I noticed his name and image in a newlsetter of a then-new organization we joined, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Metro Atlanta Chapter (AAHGS) We were elated as Mark and I had wonderful memories of working with Bill.

Today, I received a sad notice that his Bill’s mother has passed. I intend to send Bill and his family a bereaement acknowledgement. What I appreiate about the anouncement is that it included a bio of his mother as presented in a proclamation by the South Carolina legislature.

How Roberta Dannelly Durant is still teaching us an important lesson

For budding or longtime genealogists, note the writing capture about the honored life of of Mrs. Durant. The resolution is a textbook example of how to present someone’s life to those who knew her and others of us who did not know this historic lady.


South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018

Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

H. 5344

STATUS INFORMATION

House Resolution
Sponsors: Reps. Alexander and Henegan
Document Path: l:\council\bills\rm\1392cz18.docx

Introduced in the House on May 1, 2018
Adopted by the House on May 1, 2018

Summary: Roberta Dannelly Durant

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5/1/2018  House   Introduced and adopted (House Journal-page 55)

View the latest legislative information at the website

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

5/1/2018
(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

A HOUSE RESOLUTION

TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR ROBERTA DANNELLY DURANT OF FLORENCE AND TO CONGRATULATE HER AS SHE CELEBRATES SEVENTY-FIVE REMARKABLE YEARS AS A MEMBER OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INCORPORATED.

Whereas, the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives are pleased to learn that Roberta Dannelly Durant of Florence is marking three quarters of a century as a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), the nation’s first sorority established by African-American women; and

Whereas, born in Bishopville the sixth of seven children, she graduated in 1940 from Mathers Academy in Camden; and

Whereas, in 1943, the young Roberta pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Beta Sigma Chapter, at what was to become South Carolina State College, from which she graduated in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree in business education; and

Whereas, as a new teacher, she taught at Carver Elementary School in Florence. During that first year in the classroom, she taught thirty third-grade students, being determined to touch each one every day. She retired after more than thirty years as an educator; and

Whereas, on March 8, 1952, Roberta Durant became one of seventeen charter members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Epsilon Chi Omega Chapter, in Florence. She has been a member of AKA for seventy-five years and is now a Diamond Member of the sorority, which she has served as president, financial secretary, and parliamentarian. In addition, she has served on a number of committees, among them the By-laws, Cotillion, Health, and Family and Friends Day committees, the latter as chair. She also has directed plays presented in the community by the sorority; and

Whereas, a woman of faith, Mrs. Durant serves her God at Cumberland United Methodist Church (UMC). Past and present service for the church includes the following: member and president of the Cumberland Organization of United Methodist Women, district treasurer of the United Methodist Women, chair of both the Cumberland UMC Finance Committee and Stewardship Committee, director of the Methodist Youth Fellowship Program, first den mother for the Cumberland Boy Scouts, Bible study coordinator, Sunday School teacher, and team leader for the Nurture/Class Leader Committee; and

Whereas, Roberta Durant believes strongly in personal involvement with her community, and her convictions have led her to serve that community, as well as the broader community of South Carolina and beyond, in several capacities. These include membership on the Florence County Disabilities & Special Needs Board, in the National Council of Negro Women and Pelican House Board for Light House Ministries, and volunteer service for the Duke Foundation. In the 1980s, she served as a member of the Election Commission for the City of Florence, and in 1981 she was one of the appellants in a court case argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals to place attorney Mordecai Johnson on the city council ballot by petition; and

Whereas, the South Carolina House of Representatives is grateful for Roberta Durant’s life of service and her remarkable legacy, and the members commend her for seventy-five years of devoted membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives:

That the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives, by this resolution, recognize and honor Roberta Dannelly Durant of Florence and congratulate her as she celebrates seventy-five remarkable years as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Roberta Dannelly Durant.—-XX—-


This web page was last updated on May 31, 2018 at 4:51 PM

Generational Love: Happy Birthday, Aunt Marjorie!

  • She is a ball of fun-fire!
  • Two weeks ago, she told me that she doesn’t like her first name — Nannie — although she is named for her grandmother, Nannie Bradley.
  • GrandAunt Marjorie said COVID-19 severly cut out her interaction with folk. She was the recreation center leader on so many activities.
  • Visiting her? I had to put on my roller skates.
  • She is the mother of Carolyn and Charles, her surviving children. Last year, her son — my cousin — Donnie and his wife died from COVID-19.

Wish Aunt Marjorie a very happy birthday by subscribing to our blog. More details to come about the online, 101 Black Family Genealogy courses.

Learning more about slavery … ancestry

We are members of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Metro- Atlanta Chapter and one of its tremendous benefits is its notification of great events.

Check out this virtual event: April 30 and May 1, 2021 … you don’t want to miss this!

https://www.slaveryatuga.org/program

Photo by Clement Eastwood on Pexels.com

Want to improve your family’s genealogy searches? Start right where you are

The not-so secret to becoming a fantastic family genealogy researcher starts with you.

The more that I pour through records in search of even the tiniest of information related to a long-lost relative, I focus on how much easier it would be if I knew more about their lives. Sadly, for those of us with brown-colored relatives, the historical documents are likely long ago destroyed, never recorded, not ever respected and typically not in the same places as our European and related counterparts.

This is often my manta. Yet, I love the payoff of good research results about my family and that of our clients.

Here are my tips on how to look ahead to building the type of information that will help future family researchers. After all, one day we will become ancestors to the ages.

What would you like for your descendants to know about you? This is your opportunity to provide the facts and other interesting information about you to preserve records that otherwise may be hard for them to locate.

I recommend the following:

  • Record your birth date, location, time, day of the week and any other factoids from your historic arrival on this earth.
  • Record all of your legal names, including nicknames. For instance, my “government name” is Ann Lineve. My nickname is “Nieve.”
  • List your parents’ and grandparents’ information that includes the aforementioned information. Make sure that your records are accurate. That is, sometimes we ask our parents questions and they may or may not know all of their birth, etc. facts. That’s where your research skills come in. Compare the results you locate with what your parents or grandparents may have for you.
  • Follow the same advice that I’ve offered (see above) involving your children, spouses, partners, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, “play Mommas and Dads” and any other close relatives.
Record your information! You will be appreciated as an ancestor.
Photo by Ann Nekr on Pexels.com
  • If you or anyone immigrated from other country, and/or lived in other countries, please include that information along with dates and other relevant information.
  • Where have you resided? List those places, including college locations and other spots, no matter the length of your stay. It helps to place this in chronological order.
  • My daughter is a U.S. Army veteran. It is helpful to list any military records and other related public service with similar dates, times and other publishable information.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • What is your religious affiitation? Has it always been what you are now recording or did you change denominations? All of this information is helpful to the future family researchers.
  • Be sure to leave behind your careers and years of service. Why did you choose the careers that define your professional work?
  • There’s helpful information about your health. Please include all commentary is included in your documents for family researchers.
  • Include as much about your life as possible. I would add that I took courses in comedy and actually performed on the Second City stage — twice!
  • Remember to physically describe yourself now and in previous years. Place photographs of yourself in records that are findable.

Thanks to technlogy, all of the offerings that I recommended could be easily filed in this manner. I encourage you to sign up for the free or paid electronic sites to help organize your information. Even with enviornmental challenges, if there is a way to print your information, do so. Place it in a safe place. It is always a great discovery when your descendants find information in your handwriting or outside of technology.

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

Good Genes Genealogy lovingly contributed to the 2021 Hillside Easter Egg Hunt … Drive In Service

Bishop Jack Bomar led a spectacular after-church Easter Egg Hunt on the Hill. Greeting familiar Hillsiders and new friends, Bishop Bomar enjoyed the spiritual fun with everyone.

ATLANTA, GA April 4, 2021 — Surprises were found inside the eggs and redeemed for prizes that included generous cash and two gift certificates for 2 hours each of free genealogy consultations.

Prior to the hunt, the Resurrection Day sermon message by Bishop Jack yielded the following “Three things the Resurrection affords us:

  • Power to wake up to the truth, new life.
  • Power to get up from the old way of being.
  • Power to come out of the old mind, fixed heart and into a new reality.

“Roll, Jordan, Roll” and other great slave songs coded with freedom terms

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lucy-mckim-garrison-music-sheet.jpg
“Roll, Jordan, Roll” was was coded for escaped slaves

The coded song for escaped slaves, “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” was one of many notable works captured by a young musicologist and published in 1867.

Lucy McKim was 19-years-old when she traveled with her abolitionist father in 1862 to the Sea Islands of Georgia for a three-week visit to check on the conditions of recently freed slaves. The piano teacher was naturally drawn to the songs being sung in different quarters by the newly freed people.

She began to chronicle their songs and in 1867, the then-wife of Wendell Phillip Garrison, published her work with two collaborators. The compelling story of her life and work is found in many journals and books.

Lucy McKim Garrison

Truly “Songs of Sorrow” as viewed by Lucy McKim Garrison, yet freedom songs for slaves

Courtesy of “Documenting the American South,” UNC-Chapel Hill LibraryLucy McKim Garrison was a musicologist born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 30, 1842.

She was born to James Miller and Sarah Allibone McKim. Her parents and other family members were known throughout the abolitionist community and had connections to Quakerism. Garrison received her education in Philadelphia but later moved to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to attend the Eaglewood School. At the time that Garrison attended Eaglewood, the Grimke sisters were managing it and the school was attended by many abolitionists. She taught piano in Philadelphia and at the Eaglewood School.

During the Civil War in 1862, Garrison traveled with her father, who worked for the Port Royal Relief Committee, to South Carolina to investigate conditions of recently freed slaves. For three weeks, they stayed in the Sea Islands where she listened to the songs of the freedmen and attempted to put the songs into musical notation. The public did not receive her work well upon some of her first publications, so the project was put on hold.

Lucy and Wendell Phillips Garrison, William Lloyd Garrison’s third son, became engaged in 1864 and married on December 6, 1865. In 1867, Garrison gave birth to their first son, Lloyd, and also created Slave Songs of the United States in collaboration with William Francis Allen and Charles Pickard Ware. The publication is considered one of the best sources of slave songs. The couple’s son Philip was born in 1869, followed by their daughter, Katherine, in 1873. Garrison died on May 11, 1877, following a paralytic stroke at age 34. She is buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Orange, New Jersey.

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Here’s another great work about this great lady.

https://udayton.edu/magazine/2020/02/power-of-a-song-in-a-strange-land.php

#2 Peek: Out of Sight e-book for beginning Black Genealogists

During your early discoveries of family ancestry, it is likely that you will find words, phrases, photographs and other documents that may trigger emotions and reactions that you may have long ago forgiven.

PART I: Out of Our Gloomy Past

Slavery’s Impact Upon Black Genealogical Research

  Slavery’s far-reaching effect upon the lives of African Americans is the single-most reason why it is challenging to easily research involving our Black ancestors. Records of names, places of origin, accurate ages and other important data were not kept for slaves or if kept, are likely long ago destroyed or lost. In rare instances, some of the basic passenger information was retained by the Atlantic Ocean ship’s captain or slave holders. In the records born from slave holders, it is likely that the surnames are the same as the persons who took possession of our ancestors.

The estimates vary on when the first slaves were shipped across the Atlantic to the North and South American soil. Some reports suggest that the first slaves arrived on U.S. shores somewhere between 1525 and 1619. It is well documented that in 1619, slaves were unloaded from ships at Port Comfort, VA., near Jamestown. Between 1619 and 1866, approximately 13 million Africans were packed into ships headed for the “New World.” Of that, an estimated two million slaves perished by disease, suicides and other means, making their graves the Atlantic Ocean. That left an approximate 10.7 million Africans who survived the brutal slave ships’ conditions across the Atlantic Ocean. It is estimated 388,000 black ancestors arrived along North American shores through 1866, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database (edited by Profs. David Eltis and David Richardson). The remainder of the precious “cargo” was delivered to South American and Caribbean countries.

Sometimes in the pursuit of African American ancestors, the inquiries or checklists do not take into consideration that not U.S. residents arrived on these shores with passenger lists to identify them. One case in point is found in a test that I took to a complete a genealogy course. I missed the correct answer on one question because I responded based on my African American family history.   The question on the examination was: “Which immigration records are the best sources for determining if someone’s ancestor arrived in the United States from an international country. The instructor’s answer was “Passenger lists.”  The answer choices did not include one for my ancestors. This is an example of the importance of remaining flexible and open to the workarounds and delays in retrieving records related to your family’s ancestors.

 When searching for ancestors not all potential information is included in general inquiries. Many records unique to Black, Native Americans, Afro-Caribbean ancestors are not integrated into traditional family ancestry searches. For instance, “Slave Schedules” is not included in an ancestry site query for a relative. Therefore, it is important to review all categories of detailed listings such as the Sumter County, Alabama, U.S., Circuit Court Files, 1840-1950 and Americus times-recorder NEW.  It is advisable to rely on more than one on-line genealogy site to expand the ancestral search and build family trees.

Pre- and Post-Civil War Searches

The important benchmarks that are integral to effectively and efficiently researching African American ancestry are divided in two major categories:

  1. Slave families before the Civil War.
  2. Black and African American families beginning with the 1870 Census.

Prior to the Civil War, information and data about African American ancestors is sparse and vastly different than that of others. Slaves’ surnames were often the same as their owners and not of their African-given names.  In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau developed separate listings known as “Slave Schedules” in 1850 and 1860. While not providing the names of slaves, the Slave Schedules provide the owners’ names. In many cases, the identifiers for slaves included the ages, sex and varying notations such as “deaf …dumb.”

However, after the war and beginning with the 1870 Census, the official recordkeeping involving Blacks was similar to that of U.S. Whites and immigrants. While some former slaves maintained the slave owners’ surnames given to them, others changed their last names. That is why the family Bible is so important as it was a historical recorder of the important events in the lives of freed slaves. The family Bible also served as an official legal document in the courthouse where African Americans sought official birth records. Usually, the births of our family members occurred with the help of midwives. The midwives were also principally responsible for reporting births to the respective county court houses.

Making the most of “Brick walls”

Between 1920 and 1930, my Great-Grandmother Carrie changed the spelling of our surname to “Wead” and my grandfather followed her lead when applied for his social security card in 1936.  My father, Rodney Wead, never learned why the spelling change in our surname. The Census Bureau and other government sources frequently contain errors in ages, relationships to the heads of households, racial classification, employment, literacy, name spellings, real estate and other categories involving the documentation of African American families. This e-book will offer recommendations on how to confirm the demographic data and thereby move around the “brick wall” effects. “The wall” or “the brick wall” is a phrase often used in genealogy to describe what it feels like when after several hours or even years of sorting through delicate historical information, the researcher is not able to breakthrough with accurate information about their ancestor.

You do not have to get used to the wall’s reality. Approach your research by thinking new thoughts and seek opportunities in the historical challenges to keep walls in our ways.  Combine the “old school” with new ways. See value in the centuries ago inscribed family Bibles while trusting the technology to locate grave markers and passports of your ancestors. Invest your time and resources into learning more about your ancestors for personal, professional, mental and physical health benefits. It will be worth it.

Mental, Psychological, Spiritual Walls

“Why can’t I know my birthday?” asked Frederick Douglass, born a slave around 1817.  Think about that statement by the great statesman, Douglass. It was rare for slaves and any indentured black servants to know the details of their lives. Think about how difficult it may be for you to learn the same about your ancestors.

There are many more terms or single words that are triggers for deep-seeded and some surface matters that my cousin and I had not fully resolved. The same may be true for others who embark on the black genealogy path.  For some of the topics and situations we encountered during our research, Mark and I had to take a break after discovering something that was a breakthrough while also being a burden to our souls. We exhaled whenever those temporary “moments” of anxiety and questions flooded our thoughts and words such as the time we dealt with the meaning of word “property” to slave holders and traders. For instance, the reality that slaves were considered “property” by their owners meant that being bought and sold in exchange for land, cash, or another material matter, remains disheartening. It meant that slave families were ripped apart and the scars and outward behaviors would likely be passed through the generations.

Each time, we hit those bumps in the road, Mark and I successfully emerged from our unplanned research breaks with fresh outlooks and words of encouragement about our brave and smart ancestors. After all, if our ancestors had not endured the pain, suffering and the glorious moments, none of us would be on this earth. We are sharing our tribulations to help others who are deeply connected to their pasts to advance their present and future journeys.

 During your early discoveries of family ancestry, it is likely that you will find words, phrases, photographs and other documents that may trigger emotions and reactions that you may have long ago forgiven. For Mark and me, our triggers included the following words, phrases and digits:

During your early discoveries of family ancestry, it is likely that you will find words, phrases, photographs and other documents that may trigger emotions and reactions that you may have long ago forgiven. For Mark and me, our triggers included the following words, phrases and digits:

1525                                                                Land deeds                                         Slave owners

1619                                                                Lynching                                             Slave schedules

1919                                                                Middle Passage                                   Slavery                       

Branding                                                         Missing names of slaves                     Status of black women           

‘Death over foreign servitude’                        Mutilation                                           Whippings      

Fugitive                                                           Property                                 

“Gator Babies”                                                Probated wills                                    

Imprisonment                                                  “Slave for life”                                   

Illustration of slaves in chains, from the August 1838 edition of the American Antislavery Alamanac.

Illustration of slaves in chains. From Southern, N., American Antislavery Almanac (August 1838). Boston: Isaac Knapp, Publisher. https://archive.org/details/americanantislav1838chil/page/20/mode/2up

Slaves under the overseer's whip, illustration from the American Antislavery Almananc, 1838.

Illustration of slaves under the overseer’s whip. From Southern, N., American Antislavery Almanac (August 1838). Boston: Isaac Knapp, Publisher. https://archive.org/details/americanantislav1838chil/page/20/mode/2up

With many more expressions and reminders of our ‘gloomy past,’ Mark and I continued our path as overcomers. We focus on the ‘the white gleam of our bright star is cast,’ as penned by James Weldon Johnson in the poem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It was written during a time when Jim Crow replaced slavery. His brother, John Rosamond Johnson, composed the song that is sung today and affectionately known as the “National Negro Anthem.”  The words to this anthem are a go-to song of comfort, faith and hope for the future. ­

Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson – 1871-1938

Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by Thy might,
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

From Saint Peter Relates an Incident by James Weldon Johnson. Copyright © 1917, 1921, 1935 James Weldon Johnson, renewed 1963 by Grace Nail Johnson.

Let’s get started.