DISCOVERY: Slave Name Roll Project

Sharing one’s words with others is why I started my blog, sharing others’ words which have inspired me is why I continue to write my blog. Pointing to others and saying “This is worth reading” is just as important as trying to retell the story. Miss Donna shares her thoughts and now in this piece shares her readings with us; pointing us to good blogs and to new friends. I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did.

Daughter of Slave Ancestry

The 1870 brick wall is no less surmountable in cyberspace than it is in the analog archives of today’s courthouses. Court records from times past divulge varieties of slave/slaveholder relationships. Knowing the records exist is not the same as locating and examining them for myself. I do realize this problem is not exclusive to African Americans. But the fact still remains that it is more difficult due to the fact that my enslaved ancestors were considered chattel property; and, prior to 1870, they had no surnames. And even their given names are inconsistently recorded in the census records that followed.

Brick_Wall_Refocus copy
Some have managed to scramble over their brick walls — only to find . . . yet another. Then what do we do? We dust ourselves off and rescale to the other side to devise another way.

Insurmountable? Maybe. Impenetrable? Not if Cathy Meder-Dempsey and Schalene Jennings Dagutis have anything…

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