Cover image for Finding a place called home : a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identity
Title:
Finding a place called home : a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identity
Author:
Woodtor, Dee.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 452 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780375405952
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Material Type
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Central Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Central Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Reference-Ethnic Collection
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Central Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Central Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Frank E. Merriweather Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Frank E. Merriweather Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Frank E. Merriweather Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ
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Frank E. Merriweather Library E185.96 .W69 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

"I teach the kings of their ancestors so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as an example, for the world is old but the future springs from the past." Mamadou Kouyate "Sundiata", An Epic of Old Mali, a.d. 1217-1257 Two major questions of the ages are: Who am I? and Where am I going? From the moment the first African slaves were dragged onto these shores, these questions have become increasingly harder for African-Americans to answer. To find the answers, you first must discover where you have been, you must go back to your family tree--but you must dig through rocky layers of lost information, of slavery--to find your roots. During the Great Migration in the 1940s, when African-Americans fled the strangling hands of Jim Crow for the relative freedoms of the North, many tossed away or buried the painful memories of their past. As we approach the new millennium, African-Americans are reaching back to uncover where we have been, to help us determine where we are going. Finding a Place Called Home is a comprehensive guide to finding your African-American roots and tracing your family tree. Written in a clear, conversational, and accessible style, this book shows you, step-by-step, how to find out who your family was and where they came from. Beginning with your immediate family, Dr. Dee Parmer Woodtor gives you all the necessary tools to dig up your past: how to interview family members; how to research your past using census reports, slave schedules, property deeds, and courthouse records; and how to find these records. Using the Internet for genealogical research is also discussed in this timely and necessary book. Finding a Place Called Home helps you find your family tree, and helps place it in the context of the garden of African-American people. As you learn how to find your own history, you learn the history of all Africans in the Americas, including the Caribbean, and how to benefit from a new understanding of your family's history, and your people's. Finding a Place Called Home also discusses the growing family reunion movement and other ways to clebrate newly discovered family history. Tomorrow will always lie ahead of us if we don't forget yesterday. Finding a Place Called Home shows how to retrieve yesterday to free you for all of your tomorrows. Finding a Place Called Home:  An African-American Guide to Genealogy and Historical Identity takes us back, step-by-step, including: Methods of searching and interpreting records, such as marriage, birth, and death certificates, census reports, slave schedules, church records, and Freedmen's Bureau information.   Interviewing and taking inventory of family members   Using the Internet for genealogical purposes   Information on tracing Caribbean ancestry


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Woodtor, a major voice on the subject of black genealogy, details the steps in tracing an African American past. She begins by taking the would-be researcher through the why and how-to of searching ancestral records, including Internet data. The main portion of the book deals with how to read and interpret historical documents: census reports, slave schedules, and courthouse records. She closely analyzes the content of historical and genealogical resources, which include the records of African American institutions, such as historical black college libraries and archives and black newspapers and research centers. Finally, Woodtor focuses on the "family as a collective group" and recommends planning and hosting family reunions as a means of collecting information and maintaining the records gathered. In a special section, Woodtor advises on how to publish, index, or abstract findings; and she recognizes, somewhat, the extent of the African diaspora by including tips for tracing Caribbean ancestry. For any African American family struggling to establish a historical identity, this guide is invaluable. --Lillian Lewis


Library Journal Review

Woodtor (DePaul Univ.) has written a detailed and easily accessible guide for readers searching for their African roots. After a general introduction to African American genealogy and the importance of family history, she sets readers on the path of researching their own family history. "If you are of African American ancestry," she writes, "you should know that most of your ancestors had arrived in the United States by the year 1790. Your American ancestry runs deepÄin fact, deeper than that of the majority of Americans." Much of the book focuses on finding information from the Reconstruction era, locating military records from the Civil War, and analyzing the schedules of slave owners, old newspaper notices, and county registers to trace ancestors who lived as slaves. Throughout, Woodtor clearly explains what to expect from various sources and gives many intriguing examples from the field. While the reader may need to check other guides for locating information about other eras (e.g., African Americans in World War I), this book is highly recommended for all genealogy and African American history collections.ÄLinda L. McEwan, Elgin Community Coll., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Ten Most Important Points for Beginning Genealogists 1. Know that the records about your family's past are there, and your task is to find them. 2.  Try filling out your first set of genealogy forms -- a five-generation chart and a family group sheet.  That will tell you how much you know and how much you have to find out from family members. 3. Call or write all important family members to let them know you plan to do the family's genealogy and you pray for their cooperation in this important project 4.  This is not a do-it-alone project. Ask a close family member to be your partner, preferably in the state where ancestors lived. 5.  Collect and copy all of your own family's  records -- birth marriage, and death certificates as well as other records. 6.  Collect and copy form your parents and grandparents all of their old records -- old funeral programs, employment records, photos, bible entries, school or military records. 7. Create an address book of all  your relatives who are 50 years old and over.  These are the people you will interview first. 8.  If you've done the above things, you have already collected quite a bit of material.  Time to get organized! A small two-drawer filing cabinet in which you file all your materials is a must. 9. Join a local genealogy society. 10:  Try your first set of interviews starting with your parents or grandparents. Excerpted from Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity by Dee Parmer Woodtor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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