Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors. During October, Family History Month, I worked through a large chancery file pulling as much information out of it as possible and posting weekly in hopes of helping the descendants of the slaves mentioned.

I RELEASEDDelph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime, and their children Sandy, Britton, Reuben, Betsey, Pleasant, Benjamin, Cynthia, Calvin, Sarah, Susan, Adeline, John, William, Mary, Alice, Jacob, Ellender, Giles, Edward, Serena, Lucy, Margaret, Sam, an [unnamed] infant, Martha, Charles,  and Green (or Gwen) as well as Will, Cintha, Cate, Darkis, Roas, Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony using information found in Chancery Records file for Administrator…

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Americans need to define, discover, and try to understand what the “it” is of slavery and the reverberations from the institution.


Last week, Brandeis University professor Chad Williams saw countless news stories and social media conversations about the shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a white man allegedly killed nine black people. What he did not see was historical context.

So Williams, chair of the school’s African and Afro-American studies department, started a hashtag.

“When events like this happen, or really anything having to do with race, I think there’s an impulse to start talking—’We need to have a conversation, we need to have a dialogue,'” Williams tells Quartz. “All too often those conversations are rooted in emotions, in feelings, rather than historical facts.”

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I finally visited the African American Civll War Memorial and Museum on June 5th. African Americans were 1% of the population in the northern United States.  However, African Americans comprised 10% of the Union Army and 25% of the Union Navy through the creation of the United States Colored Troops. The numbers at the memorial are only the official count of those who died in the war.  The names on the silver plaques do not include those forced into service by the Confederacy.  When I first got to the memorial it took my eyes a moment to focus on those small silver plaques and I realized each one was cover in the names of the fallen.  It was almost overwhelming to see so many names.  The front of the monument, named The Spirit of Freedom, depicts soldiers poised to fight and on the back of the monument is a solider, but also family (women and children).

The records of the troops are accessible through the museum and are not only of the fallen but all of the US Colored Troops, which can assist people in their genealogy searches.


CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Against a backdrop of exclusive, sea-view apartments in Cape Town, South African and American researchers on Tuesday paid tribute at the spot where slaves died when the Portuguese ship that was carrying them into bondage sank in 1794.

Three divers, deterred by rain and wind that evoked the stormy conditions that wrecked the Sao Jose–Paquete de Africa slave ship, ventured a few feet (meters) into the surf of the Clifton suburb’s beach to scatter sand from Mozambique in honor of the doomed slaves, who were being transported from the former Portuguese colony. The divers hugged each other and one shed tears.

The memorial was the culmination of years of digging in historical archives and into the sea floor, casting new light on the century-spanning, Atlantic slave trade, in which millions from Africa were sent to labor in the Americas at the height of European…

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Most people know the history of slavery within the United States.  This video from TED ED explores the impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade on the continent of Africa.


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