write your history

If you’re thinking of creating a family history, don’t wait another day. Start where you are with what you have. You probably have more information available than you realize. Here are some resources you may already have: (1) Older relatives, (2) family friends, (3) school records, (4) birth certificates and death certificates, (5) funeral programs, (6) information on cemetery headstones, (7) old photos, (8) memories of what you think someone said to you, (9) real estate records, (10) employment documents, (11) year your family members joined the Great Migration.

Discovering your family’s past is empowering. It’s like opening the door on a mystery or solving a puzzle, while giving strength to your personal identity, which in turn strengthens the family bond. For African Americans it has even more value. Often the search slows down or stops when reaching back to the time of enslavement. There are ways, however to pierce this seemingly impenetrable curtain. Some of the southeastern states, mostly those that fought for the confederacy, have limited records, but some information e.g. Cheraw, SC. On this city’s website there is information regarding two large migrations of Blacks from the area; 1871 and 1900. In some of those states, the large plantations are still in the same family ownership after more than 150 + years; the Mississippi Delta is an example. Information can be found in the public library.

Just get started.

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