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Newspapers can complete the story

The Index-Journal (Greenwood, South Carolina) 27 Mar 1982, Sat • Page 3 (

In Family History: As easy as reading the newspaper, I discovered two articles documenting the history of Mt. Sinai AME Church and the request for contributions to a new building. These article also documented the whereabouts of my great grandfather, Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance. I have discovered yet another mention of him.

Sometimes we may think that we have exahusted a record. We certainly do not expect to make discoveries in newspaper articles over 60 years after they die. I almost fell into that frame of thought. Thank goodness for newpaper databases like which enables me to search for different variations of my ancestor's name according to a specfic geographical area. I am fortunate the database includes Greenwood County, SC.

The article I discovered above documents the dedication of the new building. I had no prior knowledge before discovering these articles that my ancestor even was affiliated with Mt. Sinai. This gives me more avenues to research to learn more about him.

These findings are very significant to me because they show that as early as 1880, my ancestor and his community erected buildings and pastored congregations. This shows what they valued. Many of these congregations had mortgages that were satisfied during their lifetimes. The further back I can document them, the more I learn and can confirm about their characters.

What things can newspapers teach you about your ancestor? This is a great example of how you might participate in our event, Nine months to #TellTheStory. We invite you to accept on of the challenges. We recently launched our new Facebook Group: Genealogy Memories! Just Ask! where we will be identifying records to help you learn more about an ancestor from oral history, photographs, interviews, and stories. Join us! We will have loads of fun!

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