Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What is Past is Prologue

--William Shakespeare, from The Tempest

Four years ago, today, I discovered the world of genealogy. Four years later, I've discovered a love of history and an affinity for oxidized pages, traveled gravel roads far and wide and crawled shelves high and low, and I've been reacquainted with "old" cousins and met several "new" cousins. Best of all, I've met many kindred spirits in the process and attended two wonderful family reunions: the most recent one, held just last month, in Minneapolis, MN.

Update: "We cannot erase the past but it is in our power to change the future." ---Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, to Palestinian leader, President Mahmoud Abbas, during 2010 Peace Talks in Washington, DC.

Question?  Comment?  Email me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tim Pinnick: Someone You Should Know

Years ago, Harry Porterfield, a local Chicago reporter used to have a segment on the afternoon news entitled "Someone You Should Know." Tim Pinnick, genealogist, lecturer, and author, is one of those people.

Last year, while at the International Black Genealogy Summit, in Fort Wayne, I bought his book based on the glowing feedback about his two-part presentation: Finding and Using African American Newspapers. Being from the Chicagoland area, I immediately honed in on the Chicago Defender, which in its' heyday was delivered by Pullman Porters and had local correspondents across the country.

As a result of exploring newspaper research, I found 1200+ columns referencing residents of Starkville or near Starkville: not Starkville, Colorado; not Starkville, Georgia; not Starkville, New York; but, Starkville, Mississippi! In fact, earlier this year, based on my findings, I gave two presentations at the first annual STL-AAHGS genealogical conference entitled Putting Meat on the Bones of Your Ancestors Lives with Newspaper Articles: The Highs of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.

Thanks to Tim, my genealogical research has a whole new focus. Want to know more African American newpaper research? Check out Tim's new class at familytreeUniversity. Moreover, thank you B.J. Smothers for sharing your many 2010 FGS Conference interviews. Be sure to watch all of them and visit AfriGeneas.

Question?  Comment?  Email me!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Visiting Virginia

Barely awake this morning, I stumbled on an interesting travel short on TCM -- Turner Movie Classics. "Visiting Virginia (1947)", produced and narrated by James A. FitzPatrick, was particularly interesting from a genealogical perspective.

Always wanting to know more about exactly how my early American ancestors might have lived, I was fascinated by this episode, which was rich in history and agriculture (e.g., cultivating tobacco and making sorghum). For my fellow family researchers, I'd definitely recommend viewing these short, shorts.

Regretfully, I was unable to locate "Visiting Virginia" at YouTube.com.  If your genealogical research has an international focus, you'll definitely want to see more of James A. FitzPatrick's filmography.

Question?  Comment?  Email me!