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I recently was asked by a fellow genealogy organization member to help her sync her family tree file with her Family Tree Maker file on her Mac. When I first reviewed her account, I noticed that she had 3 versions of her family tree, all similarly named. She had been updating one of these pretty consistently and it had the most records, photos, etc., so I assumed that this was the “master file”. I next looked at her Family Tree Maker file and noticed that it had much less information on it than her file, so I assumed that it could be overwritten and synced with her family tree file; she agreed with me. But first, I backed up her Family Tree Maker file, just in case we needed to go back to it. I deleted the other two (unneeded) family tree files. Next, I ran the sync function to bring the two in sync and, voila, her future changes will all be replicated to the other environment going forward. Plus, she can also access her current information on her smart phone or tablet running the app!

I’m excited about being asked to repeat a presentation that I delivered back in February for the University of Pennsylvania’s Black Alumni Society entitled “African-American Genealogy 101″. This time, the presentation is being sponsored by the Penn Alumni Relations Office of Multicultural Outreach and the Penn Alumni Education “Office Hours” webinar series.  This webinar is open to all Penn Alumni and will be held on June 19, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Why in the middle of the week you might ask? Well, June 19 is “Juneteenth”, the anniversary of the end of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. What’s that you say? Wasn’t slavery ended with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago? Or the end of the Civil War when Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865? No, if you were in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery was when General  Gordon Granger showed up with 2,000 Union troops and read General Order Number 3:

“ The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

So June 19, or Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day), has been celebrated since that time, almost consistently.  That celebration is observed in 42 states and the District of Columbia as either a state holiday or special day of observance. While the observance almost ended, it has seen a resurgence.

The presentation covers basic genealogy techniques, challenges unique to African-Americans, and uses some of my personal research, specifically leveraging Bishop Alexander W. Wayman, 7th Bishop of the A.M.E. church, to learn more about how those that came before my generation lived before, during and after the Civil War.

For everyone attending my presentation at Penn tonight, thank you for your interest.  I am posting the African American Genealogy Research 101 handout from the presentation for your reference.  You can print a copy of the African American family research on here.  Also, I will be mentioning the upcoming African American Genealogy Group Conference on April 27 at the Family History Center at the 3913 Chestnut Street.  The link to more information about the conference is located on the AAGG website,, on the Events & Conference page.  Finally, if you are interested in Family Pearl services, such as family history research, family newsletter or website creation / maintenance, or oral history recording and photo scanning / storage online, do no hesistate to call me at 484-318-8756.

Family Search is “a nonprofit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations. FamilySearch believes that families bring joy and meaning to life.”  Family Search is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and maintains comprehensive genealogical records that are freely available to the public.  Family Search’s vision is that “learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are—creating a family bond, linking the present to the past, and building a bridge to the future.” As a result, has the world’s largest repository of genealogical and family history records in the world.

Legacy Stories‘ mission is “to provide a secure platform to archive personal testimonies that represent the living history of our time and the legacy of our ancestors while connecting families to share these stories regardless of geographical impediments.” As a Certified Legacy Advisor (CLA), I can digitize photos and related audio narratives for storage on the repository for you. Why is this important? Legacy Stories has recently partnered with Family Search. In the near future, you will be able to link the photos and audio to your family tree stored on Family Search, which will be searchable and available long after we’re gone.  Your descendants will not just be able to visit your gravesite, or see an old photograph book with you in it, if it is still available. They will be able to search for you by name, see how they are descended from you, see photos (and eventually video) that you designate as important, and hear your very own voice describing each photo. It will be like you are there with them. Imagine how exciting it will be for them!  Wouldn’t you like to be able to do this type of search and get results for your Great-Great Grandfather or Great-Great-Great Grandmother? I know I would!

It’s here!  Or at least will be tomorrow, Friday, October 26th. If you’re on this page, it’s likely that you’ve attended one of my two sessions and are looking for additional information.  Here it is:

Introduction to African-American Genealogy: website for African American Resources at the New England Historic Genealogy Society – A Selected Bibliography can be found here==>

Online Sites for African-American Genealogy:

Free Access to Proquest through October 31 can be found here ==>

Book on Online sites:  The African American Researcher’s Guide to Online Genealogical Sources by Fallon N. Green: From the personal notebook of Genealogist Fallon N. Green, Author House, 2012.

If you have any other questions or comments, drop me a line at Dean@FamilyPearl.Com

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