Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sentimental Sunday

Make new friends but keep the old
Some are silver and the other gold

This week, if you’ve been following Luckie, Our Georgia Roots, Felicia, My Nola Heritage, Sandra, I Never Knew My Father, and yes, even me, then you know about the fun that we had last weekend in Savannah.

I haven’t really written anything about our trip. I was initially aiming to write something for Treasure Chest Thursday because the sisterhood developed on line was even more special in real life and it is truly treasured. But as I started to write that post, the words never flowed exactly the way I wanted so Thursday came and went. And for awhile there, I begin to think there was nothing else for me to add to what my pals had said but there was something inside me that kept saying you too must speak. So, here goes.

For me, I have two heritages that belong to Savannah. As a former Girl Scout, my earliest recollections of hearing about Savannah were always in regard to it being the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and on a previous trip to Savannah, I did have the pleasure of seeing her birthplace. But, it was the home of her cook, seen during this visit, which served as a bridge to my feelings and connections with my other Savannah heritage.

As we watched the enormous shipping vessels coming in and out of port, you couldn’t help but drift to thoughts of the middle passage. Reflecting, I've often wondered what gave them the will and strength to survive that long, arduous voyage toward an unknown and uncertain future. Yet, if they hadn’t, our families would have been lost even before they began on these shores.

I feel the pain and suffering of the ancestors as they endured the oppressive sweltering heat and humidity that most surely existed in the barracoons. Yet, they still had the will to survive.

I can only wonder about the thoughts that raced through their minds as they were auctioned off at the slave market. What next? And yet they carried on.

They carried on even when they could not set foot in a park their tax dollars helped pay for.

They made their own way during slavery, reconstruction, and Jim Crow. They left their imprint on a city, a state, a region, and a country.

The bricks that can't be duplicated, although many have tried.

In the ironwork

In worship

And in education

But for me, their ultimate legacy is us, their descendants

And so we carry on, not just for us, but for them, our ancestors.

Until Next Time!

Pictures taken by M. Jones, L. Daniels, S. Taliaferro, and F. Mathis.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Days 7-15 of the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games

Well, when I decided to enter the competition for my ancestors, I had the best of intentions but the best laid plans and intentions don't always come to fruition. Since returning from my wonderful trip to Savannah, I've struggled to get my energy level back up as well as well as just trying to get caught up in general.

So my final medal count hasn't changed from last week.

Category 4 - Diamond

Category 5 - Bronze

Category 6 - Gold

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Whipping Tree

From the personal collection of M. Jones, the owner of this blog.

From the personal collection of F. Mathis, owner of MyNolaHeritage

The pictures are from my trip to Savannah, GA this past weekend where I met geneabuds Luckie Daniels, Felicia Mathis, and Sandra Taliaferro. The dark marks that you see on the trees are a present day reminder of the brutality of the chattel slavery system. They are where the leather whip that was used to "discipline" a slave sliced into the bark of the tree as well as the skin.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 6 of the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games

I'm slowly but surely adding to the medal count for my ancestral team.

Accomplishments for Day 6 were I added a page to both of my blogs listing the names and geographical locations that I'm researching (Task E, Category 5 - Write, Write, Write!). This has prompted me to want to try a different template for Georgia Black Crackers. I'll probably play around with this in the coming week and decide which one I like best. As with being a family researcher, being a blogger is an ever evolving maturation process.

My other task completed for the day was visiting a tutorial and learning page from a popular website (Task D, Category 4 - Expand Your Knowledge). I've been on for awhile now but rarely ever check out the tutorials, etc. I checked out the categories and actually decided to watch a Webinar on doing searches on Ancestry. It's not that I don't know how to do a search but I thought this would be informative for acquiring additional search tips. Even though there wasn't much I didn't know (trial and error is a great teacher), I found the webinar both interesting and informative.

Finally, I'm not sure if this counts as a Random Act of Kindness, but a fellow Twitterer asked if I knew anyone searching Ahoskie, Hertford, NC. I didn't but directed him to the NCGenweb to perhaps locate someone. If acceptable with the judges (my readers and fellow bloggers), this would be Task D, Category 6 - Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

So at the halfway point of the games, results are Diamond for Category 4 (4 task completed), Bronze Medal for Category 5 (1 task completed), and Gold Medal for Category 6 (3 tasks completed - this includeds the one above that I wasn't sure counted).

This weekend, I'm taking a small break from competition and will be attending the Southeast Family History Expo. But you know what I'm really looking forward to more than the expo? A chance to meet some of my geneabuds, Luckie of Our Georgia Roots, Sandra of I Never Knew my Father and Felicia of My Nola Heritage. I'm so excited! It's like a traditional girls weekend mutilplied greatly.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 5 of the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games

Seems like this week has been totally devoted to the Expanding your Knowledge category, which means that for the remainder of the games I'm going to have to do some serious competing if I'm to bring home those gold medals for my ancestors.

Today I created a timeline for my great grandfather, Cornelius Pierce, using TimeToast (Task B, Category 4, Expand your Knowledge).

As of today, I have accomplished 3 tasks in Category 4, Expand your Knowledge; 1 task in Category 5, Write, Write, Write!; and 2 tasks in Category 6, Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 4 of the Winter 2010 Geneablogger Games

Today, I decided to learn how to create a surname visualization (Task E, Category 4 - Expand your Knowledge). I used Word It Out to create my first surname cloud. Here is my first attempt.

Made with WordItOut

I think it came out nice for a first attempt and matches my current color sceme perfectly.
Other activities of the day include following 2 new blogs and commenting on a new genealogy blog, The Sum of All my Research. (Tasks A and G, Category 6 - Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness).
The nights still young, so perhaps I can get a few more accomplishments done for the team.

Day 3 - Learn a New Task

So, okay, today wasn't as productive has I had hoped. But all is not lost, I did manage to learn one new task today. Please check it out at my other blog, Conversations with My Ancestors.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 2 of the Games

Unfortunately, not much competition going on today. After church, I headed over to the hometown for the second half of the day, so the only thing I got accomplished is writing a summary for both of my blogs, Task A, Catergory 5. The summaries are similar and can located under the page About Georgia Black Crackers for this blog and under the page About Conversations with my Ancestors at Conversations with My Ancestors. Hopefully, tomorrow, more competition will be going on.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games

Have you heard? The Winter 2010 GeneaBloggers Games are beginning. This will be my first opportunity to participate in the GeneaBloggers Games. I'm excited and happy to be participating and hope that I do a good job for my ancestors.

The flag I will be carrying to honor my ancestors represents the United States, Mozambique, and Mali. My family has been in the United States for 200+ years. I chose Mozambique and Mali because ancestral DNA results obtained thus far lead me to believe that my ancestors could have possibly come from these regions.

The colors of the flag represent many things to me. The black represents Africa, from whence most of my ancestral lines evolved. The red represents the struggle for independence in both the motherland and in the "new" world. Green represents the richness of the land. Yellow represents wealth. Blue is for preseverance. White is peace, and the stars are for all those who have gone before me, whether direct, collateral, or the village that it takes to raise a child.

As far as the games are concerned, I plan to compete in all six categories

  1. Go Back and Cite Your Sources

  2. Back up Your Data

  3. Organize Your Research

  4. Expand Your Knowledge

  5. Write, Write, Write

  6. Reach Out and Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness
Why am I competing in all 6 categories

  • When I first started researching, I was very good about citing all my sources. Sources are worth their weight in gold. It's how you build a case for your ancestors. When I renewed my research last year, the one thing I did not do religiously was cite all my findings. So, during the next two weeks, I will back track and hopefully get all my documentation up to snuff, or at least well on its way, so that if need be, my genealogical findings can stand up in a genealogy court.

  • Seems I never think about backing up data until it's possibly lost. So, to back up anything would be a major accomplishment. My goal is to put this on a weekly schedule and hopefully, the games will be the start.

  • Due to a Genealogy Workshop I'm taking, I've actually already begun on the reorganization of my records and amazingly got a lot accomplished in one night. Goal during the Geneablogger games is to complete the task. Hopefully, the remainder of the organization - pictures, artifacts, etc. will follow soon afterwards.

  •  I've played around with things such as Google Maps, etc. but haven't fully incorporated them into my genealogical activities, which means I've not fully learned how to use them. I'm not sure how many I will get done but think it will be fun to learn new tasks.

  • It's the middle of February, and I'm already behind on my goal for 2010 to be more consistent in my blog posts. No guarantees but am recommitting to try to do at least 2 posts per week.

  • Although I feel that I contribute when I can in the Acts of Kindness arena, I will continue to search out ways to get more involved.
I think I should be able to deliver at least one gold medal to the ancestors but would like one in all 6 categories. If I'm really good, it's even possible that I could bring home some Platinum.

So, opening ceremony is over, let the games begin!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Late Thursday Night Thoughts

Holding Pattern and My First Genealogy Workshop

Right now, it feels like I’m in some type of holding pattern with my research. It’s not like I’ve done nothing to start out the year but when I am waiting on the arrival of requested materials it sure feels like I’m not doing a darn thing. Ahh, I must try to learn an attribute which I’ve never had, patience.

As I await the arrival of microfilms and fiches, death certificates, and DNA results, I’m actually trying to work on some of my New Year’s goals, both in genealogy and in other areas of my life.

One of my genealogy goals for 2010 was to go to one training seminar, because I was feeling like I needed formal training in addition to all the knowledge I’ve acquired from various books. So, I signed up for and have started my first genealogy workshop. The workshop is being giving by Comprehensive Genealogical Services, a non-profit organization, which is based in Charlotte, NC.

I must admit that my first two weeks of the workshop have not faired well. First by the time I found out about the workshop, I had already scheduled another event for the first night of the workshop, so I missed week one. I signed up for the intermediate class and left a note with my PayPal payment that I would not be able to make the first class. The instructor received my payment but somehow didn’t get the note that I wouldn’t be at the first class. For various reasons, the remainder of last week was hectic. Therefore, I didn’t think to call and ask if there was anything I needed to bring to week 2 of the class, so this past Tuesday, the instructor and I just sat and chatted for 2 ½ hours. (Yes, I’m the only one that signed up for the intermediate workshop.)

This upcoming week, week 3, will provide me with an opportunity to work on another one of my genealogical goals, that of reorganizing my older records and organizing my newer material, as the instructor requested that I bring in everything I have. Now, while this is forcing me to organize / reorganize records, something I very much needed to do, I have to be honest and say that maybe I’m much further along as a family researcher than I give myself credit for. (I’m basing this on my conversation with her.) This brings me personal joy but is a bit of a disappointment also as I was hoping for something a bit more advanced, workshopwise. I’m not going to totally write things off, yet as 1. We haven’t had a true workshop session, yet and 2. The workshop has provided me an opportunity to connect with fellow researchers in real life, as well as given me an opportunity to learn about an organization here in Charlotte.

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Morris Brown College - Class of 1950

From the personal collection of O. Jones

This is a picture of my mother's graduating class. My mother is fourth from the right on the front row.

Due to some shinanigans with their yearbook funds, I believe this picture is all there was for the class of 1950. At the time, my grandfather couldn't afford to get mom a yearbook or a picture. I vaguely remember mom aquiring this copy of her class picture from a classmate, and it is the only picture I ever remember my mother having a custom frame made for.