I listened to a fascinating CAFE live conversation between historians Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman the other day. At minute 8 or so they begin to discuss the difference between journalists and historians. Journalists, they point out, follow the story; they look for facts and find sources to deliver the story. Historians look for … Continue reading Keeper of Family Lore or Family Historian?
When George Parker decided to risk everything and flee the bondage of a Murfreesboro (NC) plantation for the safety of the Union Army encampment in Suffolk, Virginia he didn't know how his story would end. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was a military order, establishing George's status as "not slave." But the proclamation came no where close … Continue reading What I’m Reading: Troubled Refuge
George Parker George Parker died of grip at his home near Alfred, May 28, 1902. He was born in bondage near Murfreesboro, N. C. Slavery kept few records and the date is not known, but at his death he was probably not far from the allotted age of man. He was sold once. In 1863, … Continue reading The Obituary of George Parker
This post examines the letter Ira Sayles, my great-great-grandfather, wrote to his brother James in July of 1869 for its tantalizing clues of sibling whereabouts.Many thanks to cousin, blog-reader, and James Sayles descendant, Sharon Babcock, for sharing her family stash. A bit of Review Ira Sayles (1817-1894) was one of nine children born to … Continue reading Reading Between the Lines: A note from Ira Sayles, 1869
Have you ever wondered if anybody ever reads what you have so passionately researched and diligently recorded? Just as I despair that my family storytelling has NO audience, I got a comment, followed by a description, followed by an email with PHOTOGRAPHS. This post was originally published two years ago, and today, because of curious … Continue reading Mapping My Ancestors: An Update to the Wilson-Minor Transactions