March 8, 2009 BAAGSG Meeting – Making the Slave Connection: Approach #1

The Birmingham African American Genealogy Study Group (BAAGSG), a special interest group of the Birmingham Genealogical Society, meets the second Sunday of each month (ex. May and November) in the Arrington Auditorium at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are welcome!

Next meeting: Sunday, March 8th, 3 p.m.

Guest Speaker:  Frazine Taylor- Montgomery Archive and History

Program Topic:  Making the Slave Connection: Approach #1

Details: or BPL-Southern History Dept. at (205) 226-3665.

We will discuss how to locate and research the slave owner’s records.  Bring two questions that you would like answered during the meeting concerning problems with your research.

African American Genealogy Workshop January 17th

Frazine Taylor will conduct a workshop on “African American Resources at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.” This workshop will be held in the Arrington Auditorium from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. There is a fee of five dollars and pre-registration in required. Please contact the Department of Southern History and Literature at 226-3665 to register.

For additional details and registration information click here.

Piper, Bibb County, Cemeteries Rediscovered

The Birmingham News has an article online from Friday’s (4/11/2008) newspaper titled “Remnants of Bibb County mining towns uncovered in the woods.” The article gives some historical background on the mining towns of Piper and Coleanor, while mentioning Belle Ellen briefly. It gives much detail on how the cemeteries were discovered – (2) African-American cemeteries and (1) White Cemetery thus far. There is speculation about another there as well. A few names from the marked graves are mentioned… unfortunately it appears that many are unmarked.

New Book on Researching African-American Ancestors in Alabama

Tina Sansome, BellaOnline’s Genealogy Editor, posted an article this week about Frazine Taylor’s new book, Researching African-American Genealogy in Alabama: A Resource Guide.

Frazine is the Head of Reference for the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) and very experienced in researching African-Americans in pre-Civil War records. I had the pleasure of attending a lecture she gave a few years ago.

Free Access to Select Records during Black History Month

February is designated as “Black History Month”. In recognition of that some of our favorite subscription databases are opening certain databases to the public for free and other have contests open to all.

  • – Free access to include original historical records from the Amistad case, the program for the 1963 March on Washington and the Southern Claims Commission records from the Civil War. The Southern Claims Commission records are a must for those who can trace back to the Civil War era. Even those denied claims have documents.

African American Lives 2 This Week on PBS

This is the week. The long awaited second installment of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s 2006 series “African American Lives.” From the website:

Building on the widespread acclaim of African American Lives (2006) and Oprah’s Roots (2007), AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES 2 again journeys deep into ancestry of an all-new group of remarkable individuals, offering an in-depth look at the African-American experience and race relations throughout U.S. history. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. returns as series host, guiding genealogical investigations down through the 20th century, Reconstruction, slavery and early U.S. history, and presenting cutting-edge genetic analysis that locates participants’ ancestors in Africa, Europe and America. Joining Professor Gates in the new broadcast are poet Maya Angelou, author Bliss Broyard, actor Don Cheadle, actor Morgan Freeman, theologian Peter Gomes, publisher Linda Johnson Rice, athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, radio personality Tom Joyner, comedian Chris Rock, music legend Tina Turner, and college administrator Kathleen Henderson, who was selected from more than 2,000 applicants to have her family history researched and DNA tested alongside the series’ well-known guests.

The first installment is scheduled for this Wednesday the 6th. Check the PBS website for program times and dates in your area.

I encourage everyone to mark your calendars for this one – there is something for everyone who researches their family history. The research techniques and processes are universal. You get to see how the “pros” perform research and as a bonus – information on DNA research.