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valuetruth
06-30-2010, 06:44 PM
Hey all,

I just recently joined ancestry.com and was about to trace parts of my family back to the mid/early 1800's. Basically, the last generation born into slavery who were still alive in to be found in the 1870 or 1880 census. Then I hit a brick wall.

Another thing I noticed that while most of my family on both sides come out of Mississippi and Alabama, I kept finding random relatives born in the early/mid 1800's who were born in the upper South but had children before the end of slavery in Mississippi and Alabama. I started to wonder about that because I know Black people (free or slave) weren't just trapsing around all willy-nilly from state to state in the 1840's and 1850's. Well, what I found out is that after the war of 1812, tobacco production decreased in the upper south and many slaves were traded to the deep south (MS,AL, LA) between that time and the start of the civil war to pick cotton as cotton production was increasing in those areas. One source described it as a second middle passage that tore apart many families. My earliest Darling relative was born in 1820s in VA (as were both his parents) but was having children in Alabama in the 1850s. Most likely he was sold away from his family in VA. I've found Slave schedules of a Darling family that owned slaves in VA, but the records only listed gender and age of the slaves but no first names.

My families oral history does not provide further clues so right now I'm stuck and annoyed. And I also see why many African-Americans don't bother. It kind of brings the realizations of slavery close to home and who wants to think about that.

Rant over, thanks for reading.

Padme32
06-30-2010, 06:50 PM
I feel you. I came to a deadend for different reasons doing my family tree; I found out that my paternal grandfather isn't my dad's biological father (just legally cause his name is on the birth cert.) and apparently this is the case for many of my dad's siblings. Basically, my grandma was, um, a little loose, and on top of that, she ain't willing to tell anybody who their real granddaddy is (and maybe she doesn't know).

Intellexual
06-30-2010, 06:55 PM
Thank you for sharing, Sis. You seem to be doing a great job of piecing together a familial history. I hope you get more breakthroughs, even as you've confronted some disheartening realities that may have touched your family (even beyond the practice of slavery itself).

valuetruth
06-30-2010, 09:18 PM
I feel you. I came to a deadend for different reasons doing my family tree; I found out that my paternal grandfather isn't my dad's biological father (just legally cause his name is on the birth cert.) and apparently this is the case for many of my dad's siblings. Basically, my grandma was, um, a little loose, and on top of that, she ain't willing to tell anybody who their real granddaddy is (and maybe she doesn't know).

I'm sorry about that. That really puts you a dead end right off the top. She might not know and if that is the case I can understand her not wanting to talk about it. Are there a few likely candidates you could work from? They're family might be more willing to talk about the past than your grandma.

I just found out last week my biological grandfather (whom I've never met, talked to or even seen a picture of) died in 2007. He had gotten my grandmother pregnant when she was a teenager and refused to marry her. He later married someone else but his own wife did not know that my father existed until the one time my father met him when my father was about 30 yrs old. So it seems that generation could be a little wierd about things.


Thank you for sharing, Sis. You seem to be doing a great job of piecing together a familial history. I hope you get more breakthroughs, even as you've confronted some disheartening realities that may have touched your family (even beyond the practice of slavery itself).

Thanks. I've found a lot thanks to an interview I did with one of my great-grandparents about 15 years ago. I kept the info all this time so it helped to find as much as I did with that branch. I also have a funeral program of another great grandparent from 1996 that helped me piece in info about where she was born and her parents.

KellyVonn
07-01-2010, 10:22 PM
It is fustrating! I understand, I traced mine too. Keep going sis, be encouraged. Peace. : )

Padme32
07-01-2010, 11:06 PM
Are there a few likely candidates you could work from? They're family might be more willing to talk about the past than your grandma.


Unfortunately, no. I wasn't super close to my dad's side of the family and he and I had issues with our relationship. However, I'd feel comfortable grilling him about it, if he were still living (he died a few years back) and I think he probably would have told me all he knew (which may not have been much). How I found out, was talking to my aunt about family tree stuff and she kind gently told me...then I asked one of my cousins and she said she had just found a few years back that, too (her mom and my dad are sibs) so we had both been under the impression that this man was our grandfather...it's kind of a mess, lol. Plus they are all in FL and I am in OR...

One story my dad told me says it all about the kind of childhood he had: as kids, he and his sister used to bring their mom home, in a WAGON, drunk as a skunk from the local speakeasy on several occasions. The reason she could fit into the wagon was because she was (and is) so petite...smh. Somehow she managed to keep jobs, but I guess she had to get her drink on weekly...it's sad, but I just have to laugh about it.

Fedyfro
07-05-2010, 05:59 PM
Hang in there. Sometimes the brick wall you hit can be overcome later.

Case in point, I had been looking for my gggrandmother for years when someone corrected a record I had seen before. The correction resulted in access to my gggrandmother's death certificate containing her maiden name, birth place and birth year.

Genealogy can be a long and winding road for us but the information we can uncover can be priceless.

valuetruth
07-06-2010, 08:06 PM
One story my dad told me says it all about the kind of childhood he had: as kids, he and his sister used to bring their mom home, in a WAGON, drunk as a skunk from the local speakeasy on several occasions. The reason she could fit into the wagon was because she was (and is) so petite...smh. Somehow she managed to keep jobs, but I guess she had to get her drink on weekly...it's sad, but I just have to laugh about it.

Wow. I don't blame granny at all. I wouldn't want to talk about that with my grandkids either. Hey, I'm not mad at her though, she managed to keep jobs to take care of the family. Maybe she drank to deal with all the stress and pressure?


Hang in there. Sometimes the brick wall you hit can be overcome later.

Case in point, I had been looking for my gggrandmother for years when someone corrected a record I had seen before. The correction resulted in access to my gggrandmother's death certificate containing her maiden name, birth place and birth year.

Genealogy can be a long and winding road for us but the information we can uncover can be priceless.

Thanks for the encouragement. Hopefully I can fill in more as time goes on.

aksnowangel
07-06-2010, 09:01 PM
i understand how you feel but its a time consuming thing that takes lots of time and dedication no matter what race you are ( many other races were sold into slavery and have been placed all over the world) but it took my grandfathers side two generations just to trace back their history to the first relative from africa (i dont know why they stoped tracing it after that) my mom is tracing her great grandmother who is native american and she did a lot of the work with out a website for a year and came to a stale mate in 2004 and has since then continued her search less, i just say if you really want to know and your to lazy to do all the work than hire someone yah its expensive but its worth it if you really want to know your history

cocowantshealthyhair
07-23-2010, 03:42 PM
I did the trail version of ancestry.com for 14 days. And i was not able to find out anything that i already didn't know. I already knew my great great great grandmothers name. But after that the line goes blank. It was believed that my great great great grandma was half Irish. Its very frustrating and it does have the tendency to make you sad, b/c European people can usually trace there ancestry back to the origin of the country they came from. but us African Americans are often at @ stand-till once you read a certain point.

treneece
07-23-2010, 05:23 PM
I know genealogical research is frustrating and seems never ending. Websites are good, but make sure to go, if you haven't already, to the county's library or archives center to access information that you might not see online. There are freedmen's bureau lists, wills, deeds, etc. available now that can help you locate your ancestors and who owned them last, in addition to other info. Just yesterday I obtained copies of my great great great great great grandmother's will. I never would've known that a black former slave, born about 1820, would have a will. Anyway, I hope this helps some, as you are not alone in your search. Keep looking!

IndividualME
07-29-2010, 10:19 PM
Join the club. I have been doing genealogy for 2 years now and I am still stuck in the same brick wall. I think I am going to have to plan a weeks trip to Georgetown, SC and just go real hard body with this. I need to take my behind down to the courthouse. My main issue with my ancestors is the spelling of her name. Then there was a rumor that they were from Haiti. I don't even know if I should acknowledge that one lol.

Trust me it IS frustrating, but don't give up. IN MY OPINION, and as someone else told me online before. Your ancestors chose YOU for a reason to tell their story. No one said it was going to be easy. I already know how to find who owned my ancestors if they were slaves, the issue is the SPELLING of names. I already tried the Soundex and that did not work either.

I have been so focused on other things (finding another job for one) that I really cannot find the time to dedicate to my ancestors RIGHT NOW. Their story WILL be told lol. Eventually I will be going back to the weekends like I used to do.

Oh and the rumor a bout the family bible don't work either. I just viewed the Family Bible and I have not seen not one familiar name in there. No familiar last names nothing...

One more thing. Make sure you are not trying to do ALL of your research online. You will for sure hit a brick wall. I also need to hit the library too.

CinnamonBiscuit
01-17-2011, 06:42 PM
It IS frustrating. But if you can, try talking to older members of your family.

My dad and I were just talking, and we ended up discussing the family. Thanks to him, I got a bit further than I have on my own. I not only know the name of my grandmother's mother, but HER dad and grandfather. I feel newly energized.:D

IndividualME
01-19-2011, 06:27 AM
Exotica, Not everyone has that blessing. Some folk family don't want to talk. This is what I have experienced in my situation. No one wants to talk.

Its very depressing for me. These past couple of weeks I have just been very, very sad a bout it because I am still in the same spot. Possibly tomorrow I will call the County Clerk office AGAIN. Also, learning a bout the state where your ancestors lived might help as well. Learning a bout when they started keeping certain records so you won't waste your time looking for something that wasn't recorded in the first place. This type of information could be found online.

Another thing that annoys me sometimes (not singling anyone out) is that people are quick to talk a bout what they found but will never ever explain the STEPS in finding it. OMG. I have seen that online too many times. Whatever. :-|

ShanaREX
01-19-2011, 07:03 AM
I just hit a brick wall a few months ago. I FINALLY found a marriage license for my great great grandparents and it lacked the info I thought I would find (such as parent's names, etc). It seems it was done by the priest 3 years after they were married. I have taken a break from tracing my family because that was such a heartbreak for me.

treneece
01-20-2011, 03:24 PM
^^Don't give up!! Have you looked at census records? In many instances, family members lived next door, so you might get lucky and pick up a maiden name. Have you found brothers and sisters for your great great grandparents? Check them out because your collateral ancestors could lead you to your greats. I experienced this myself. I don't know exactly what steps you have taken, so I hope this helps. Keep going!

Pyvsi
02-14-2011, 04:02 PM
Same here. My husband has always considered genealogy important, and he knows his family history all the way to Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England - you get the picture. For years I had determined not to even worry about my family history because I knew it would much more difficult for me than it was for him. But he has all kinds of stories to tell our daughter from several generations ago, and I started to catch the genealogy bug. I've gotten as far as a ggggrandfather, and that's it.
It's kind of bittersweet. But DD is going to have a head full of her father's family history no matter what, while I only have handfuls to offer. The competitive streak in me can't let that happen! lol

ShanaREX
03-17-2011, 04:18 AM
Thanks for the tips Treneece! When I wrote the previous post, I had some info about my 3rd great grandparents. I just did not have anything concrete. Now I have definitely connected them to me! I have also found my 4th great grandparents :) I even have a maiden name for my gggg grandmother!

I only have info for one branch of my family (my maternal grandmother's side). So, I'm in it for the long haul ;)

straightnochaser
08-09-2013, 06:46 PM
My sister was able to locate more relatives when she visited Utah. The Mormons have a good system for finding your ancestors.