Posted on October 8, 2009 by btx3
A researcher has traced Michelle Obama’s Maternal side family back 5 generations –
President Obama’s life and journey to the presidency have captured many headlines, but new details about the ancestry of his wife, Michelle Obama, reveal a remarkable five-generation journey from slavery to the White House.
Working with genealogist Megan Smolenyak, the findings were researched and published by The New York Times Wednesday.
It began more than a century ago, on a 200-acre farm in South Carolina. In 1850, 6-year-old Melvinia — Michelle Obama’s maternal great-great-great grandmother — was left in a slaveholder’s will as part of his property left to relatives.
In the will, her master declared that his descendents would inherit the “use and service of Melvinia.”
“She was treated like a piece of property in a will, and when she was only 8 years old, she was sent across the South,” said Jodi Kantor, who co-wrote The New York Times story. Continue reading
Filed under: Black History, The Post-Racial Life | Tagged: Black History, family history, Geneology, Michelle Obama, slavery | 4 Comments »
Posted on July 11, 2009 by btx3
For many African Americans you can dig up your ancestry for the last 150 years or so with a bit of diligence and hard work. The brick wall many meet is prior to the end of slavery after the Civil War.
Some, can go back to the initial 1790 census, but before that time, things get incredibly difficult to sort out.
Making that search even more difficult, was the Civil War itself, where Union Troops burned a number of local Courthouses in the South, destroying both property and civil records.
Those records which survived were copied onto microfilm, but until now, were never transcribed onto electronic media to make them searchable by computer.
The end of slavery meant a kind of beginning for the family histories of many African-Americans: for the first time, the enslaved people’s identities and family connections became part of a public record. And the huge task of recording that data fell to the federal Freedmen’s Bureau. Continue reading
Filed under: Black History | Tagged: Ancestors, birth records. black american history, family history, Geneology, slavery | Leave a comment »