Finding a place called home: a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identity

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Random House, Nov 16, 1999 - Reference - 499 pages
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"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

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Finding a place called home: a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identity

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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 ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Dr. Dee Parmer Woodtor is an instructor at DePaul University's School for New Learning in Afro-American Family History and Genealogy and at Chicago's Newberry Library. She is the author of the children's book Big Meeting. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.

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