Tag Archives: African American Genealogy

African American Genealogy Gulla

African American Geneology Workshop

African American Geneology Workshop

Posted by New Orleans Jazz Museum on Saturday, July 14, 2018

Free Access AmericanAncestors.org


Free Access to ALL Databases on AmericanAncestors.org

Have some fun out of the sun this summer!
American Ancestors is granting FREE access to all online databases—highlights include our early New England collections (including the world’s largest Mayflower database) and Boston’s Catholic records from 1789 to 1900 —from now through Tuesday, July 17th.

You can use your free guest membership to search more than 1.4 billion names on AmericanAncestors.org this week. Family history is every bit as fun as a vacation on the beach—pass the word!


Source: African Royal DNA Project, access 7/9/2018


I have have been asked to explain a few details again so all new members/subscribers can learn and receive the tools needed to dig deeper.  So here we go.

We know that many of us have taken the autosomal DNA test at FTDNA.com , 23andme.com , Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com or other Autosomal DNA testing companies.  We are waiting patiently for that breakthrough of finding our Africa Born DNA matches.  We are hoping that the matches can tell us the ethnic group(s), family names, kingdoms and cultures from which they hail.

Regarding Africans Americans and other Africans that have been in the Diaspora for hundreds of years.  We have a different and new story to tell.  Our Ancestors passed DNA down to us.  African Descendants in the Diaspora, NEVER feel that you have to select ONLY ONE of your ethnic groups and stick with that one.  Explore ALL of your ancestry.

Our people were scattered and so was their DNA . We are an amalgamation of their struggles and their success .  We are here because of them!  African Descendants in America whose ancestors have been here for hundreds of years are of multiple African ethnic groups.  

Don’t allow anyone to tell you otherwise .  We are one from MANY !! Even on the continent of Africa , many groups intermarried .  We know the so called ethnic group is a social construct but on a realistic level, they are family groups that can trace their lineage back for generations.  Do the research yourself and ignore the “social media” scholars or anyone that has not sat down with African Elders and Royals to learn their family history.  Avoid TRIBALISM at all costs.  Tribalism is the belief that one ethnic group is better than all others and they are more superior.  No ethnic group or culture is better than the other.  We are ONE HUGE FAMILY.  This is OURSTORY

One confusing factor is ONLY testing with companies that tell you the results of one line.  That is OK to do.  I did it in 2008 .  Each generation that you go back, your ancestors double.  We have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents and so on .  Each of them could be of a different African ethnic group !! 

So In addition to testing that one line, If you can afford it , Take an Autosomal DNA test and research your actual DNA matches (REAL people that you can communicate with) .  The Autosomal DNA test costs between $79-$99 at 23andme.com , Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com .  You may find some African matches from various ethnic groups. You may find many matches from around the world.  Keep digging .  We are more than one African ethnic group.

The chart below gives an idea of about how many ancestors you have going back 10 generations.  They may have come from different ethnic groups.  


We are not going to lie to you.  We all know that there is NO GUARANTEE that you will find an Africa DNA match.  Some of us have found several matches and have reconnected with our families.

Here are some ways to widen the net though.  These helpful options are steps that I have taken myself.  They have proven to be very helpful especially since many people have DNA tested at one company and have elected NOT to test at another.

There is a place where your DNA raw data can go and meet up with other people’s DNA raw data that tested at different DNA testing companies.   We can all chillax and do this for for FREE!!  OK.. Let me clarify…. Its like a meet up for ya DNA raw data.

The goal is to upload your DNA raw data to the websites that you have not tested or to the sites like Gedmatch.com to help you compare shared segments on Chromosomes between you and others that have also uploaded.


1. Log in to the company that you took the autosomal DNA test with.  This is the test that analyzes about 98% of your DNA that is from your mother’s and your father’s side of your family.   FTDNA.com , 23andme.com , Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com and go to DNA raw data.

2. Download the DNA raw data.

3. Rename the file to the name of the person that tested. This is VERY important!! Especially if you have more that one that you will download and it is coming from more than one company. Make each file name unique. I usually add the name and company tested on the end (examples AncestryDNA_AdaEze.zip or 23andme_AdaEze.Zip )
4. Save the file in a back up location because you will need it a few more times

5. Go to Gedmatch.com for FREE (register if you do not have an account)

6. Upload the DNA raw data to Gedmatch.com .  If you have issues uploading , no worries, go to step 7.

7.  EVERYONE should follow this step.  Go to Genesis.Gedmatch.com . Sign in with the same username and password that you created for your Gedmatch.com account.  (This site has a BETTER DNA matching system and  This is extremely important if you want to see if you match any of the African Royals of our African Royal DNA Project)

8.  Upload the DNA raw there as well.

10. Go to FTDNA.com for FREE (register if you do not have an account)

11. Upload the DNA raw data to FTDNA.com

12. Go to MyHeritage.com for FREE (register if you do not have an account)

13. Upload the DNA raw data to MyHeritage.com

14. Go to DNA.Land for FREE (register if you do not have an account)

15. Upload the DNA raw data to DNA.Land

16. Go to wegene.com/en/ (register if you do not have an account).  This site is for DNA percentages ONLY.  No matches.

17. Upload the DNA raw data to wegene.com/en/

18.  Go to www.gencove.com and create an account.  Verify the account creation via your email. This site is for DNA percentages ONLY.  No matches.

19.  Opt out of Research if you wish and Upload your DNA Raw Data.

20.  Create and Account at www.Geneplaza.com .  This site is for DNA percentages ONLY.  No matches.

21.  Upload your 23andme.com or Ancestry.com DNA Raw Data.

22.  Complete the steps and this link and upload the DNA raw data https://www.livingdna.com/en-us/one-family/research/apply

24. Create an account at https://www.yourdnaportal.com .  This site is for DNA percentages ONLY.  No matches.

25.  Upload your DNA raw data there to see health details and/or Population Calculations

Join us on Facebook .  Click here or the image below, select Join and answer the required questions .

We have Autosomal DNA tested several African Royals born in Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote D’ivoire and Benin via Ancestry.com.  I have uploaded their DNA raw data to Genesis.Gedmatch.com, Gedmatch.com, FTDNA.com and MyHeriatge.com for FREE.  If you have ALREADY taken the Autosomal DNA test and have uploaded your DNA raw data to Genesis.gedmatch,com , you can check to see if you match any of them.  Click the image below for details about the African Royal DNA Project.  Click the image below.

Read More:
Discovering Our African DNA Cousins
Continue reading YORUBA, IGBO, FULANI, HAUSA

Research Tips

By: Monica Primus

Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA

Source: Johns Family and Relatives 7/7/18

I have been doing family research for over 20 years and have been using Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker (FTM) for almost as long so I have a couple of pointers I would like to share.

1. Do NOT use the tree of someone else as your source documentation. They may remove their tree and then you have no documentation of your facts.
2. Document and source your facts, otherwise it is just hearsay.
3. Create sources for personal sources (i.e. grandma told me blah blah blah – create a source using grandma). If you do not know how to do this in FTM then ask.
4. Label your photos with who and date (if known) information. There is nothing more aggravating than looking at a photo and wondering who is who and when was it taken. I now use a free program (PhotoScape) that allows me to add this info above or below the photo. I know it takes time, but just think about the other people that are going to see the photo. They may not know what Uncle Joe looks like.
5. Do NOT use nicknames in photos or as the preferred name (in FTM). It is okay to add them so long as the given name of the person is also there.
6. Standardize place/location names. If you use FTM it is quite easy. (i.e. if you use Waterbury, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA as the location then all listings for Waterbury should match that otherwise it is considered a separate location.)
7. Make sure your sources match the facts you associate them with. 8. For those that have private trees that really do not want to be bothered, please change your settings so that you Exclude from Ancestry Search Index; that way it does not show up when people are doing their searches.
9. For those that have multiple trees with the same info on Ancestry.com: MERGE them and then get rid of the duplicates OR just get rid of the old ones. This will help you and others. I hope you find these tips helpful. 
*I am more than willing to assist anyone who asks.


By Kyle Rogers, LVA Newspaper Project volunteer

As part of an ongoing effort to give voice to nineteenth-century African Americans through digital projects like Virginia Untold and Virginia Chronicle, the Virginia Newspaper Project has identified nearly 500 advertisements posted by free African Americans during the antebellum era and the Civil War (c. 1800-1865) concerning their freedom papers. The example, below, was published in the Richmond Daily Dispatch on July 12, 1859:

Two "Lost-Free-Papers" notices from the Richmond Daily Dispatch, July 12, 1859

These notices were grouped with other advertisements for lost or stolen goods, and they could even be found on the same page as rewards posted for the capture of runaway slaves.

Freedom papers, or “free papers,” were protective documents that certified a free African American’s non-slave status.  Frederick Douglass, as usual, best explains the legal and personal significance of free papers to their bearers:

Read More:


It not for you are I to choose

It’s not for us to choose

When the DNA results are not what was expected… The question came in again this past week, as it has so many times in recent years. A genealogist had asked others in the family to test to further the genealogist’s own research. When the results came in, well, they…

read more

Book Discussion Group: “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”

Book Discussion Group:
“Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome”The spring 2018 book discussion group is reading Dr. Joy DeGruy’s 2005 book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing.”Saturday, June 16 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
Tanner Community Development Corporation, 2nd floor
700 E. Jefferson St. | Phoenix, AZ 85034
The June session will focus on black male/female relationships as an essential component in the healing and change process as the village is created.
Free | Open to the public | Ages 18 years + | You don’t have to read the chapter in advance to attend 

1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Schedules

Genealogy resource rarely used in ancestry research

1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Schedules

The 1880 census is the mother lode of questions pertaining to physical condition, criminal status, and poverty. In addition to the basic questions on the population schedule, additional questions were posed in the ‘Supplemental Schedules for the Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes’, commonly called the Defective Schedule or DDD Schedule.

When a person was noted as blind, deaf and dumb, idiotic, insane, ‘maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled’, or was enumerated in a prison, orphanage, or poorhouse, further information was to be gathered on one of seven special schedules:

  • Insane
  • Idiots [defined as those ‘whose mental faculties was arrested in infancy or childhood before coming to maturity’]
  • Deaf-Mutes
  • Blind
  • Homeless Children (in Institutions)
  • Inhabitants in Prison
  • Pauper and Indigent Inhabitants (in Institutions)


These special schedules are arranged in the same order as the population schedule. When you find someone on the 1880 census who is noted as insane, etc., make note of the enumeration district, page number, and line which that person appears. The special schedules should exist for each enumeration district; this information is listed at the top of each special schedule. Each person is listed in the order he or she appears on the population schedule; the page and line numbers are given before each person’s name.

The Figure below shows Eliza Derickson enumerated in the 1880 census in the County Alms House, Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware (enumeration district 20, page 21, line 2). We can see that she is ‘maimed, crippled, bedridden, or otherwise disabled’. With the enumeration district, page and line numbers, we can go to the correct special schedule

Figure: Eliza Derickson enumerated in the 1880 Census


Defective Schedule

The Insane and Idiots schedules are similar in many regards. Both ask the age at onset. The Insane schedule asks for ‘Form of Disease’ [defined as mania, melancholia, paresis (general paralysis), dementia, epilepsy, or dipsomania.] The Idiots schedule asks for the supposed cause. The instructions to the enumerators give as examples, ‘scarlet fever, measles, meningitis and etc. Blow on head, fall, and etc. Fright, and etc. Both schedules ask for the names of any institutions the person had been in, the length of stay, and year discharged.

With many records of mental hospitals and asylums closed to the public, the Insane and Idiots schedules may be a researcher’s only record with medical information of those who were institutionalized. It must be remembered, however, that it is unknown who gave the information, especially if the person was not in an institution at the time of the census (when the enumerator was likely getting information from the institution records.)

Figure: Insane Schedule, District 36, Kent County, Delaware

Insane Schedule5V.jpg

Figure: Idiots Schedule, District 36, Kent County, Delaware

Idiots Schedule5V.jpg

Dependents Schedule

The Deaf-Mutes and Blind schedules are virtually identical. Both ask for the supposed cause, age of onset, whether the person was self-supporting, the name of institutions attended, length of time in that institution, and year discharged.

Figure: Deaf-Mutes Schedule, District 24, Fulton County, Ohio


Figure: Blind Schedule, District 24, Fulton County, Ohio



Where did your ancestors come from?

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