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Berkshire Hall & Epping Press' Replay of My Best Genealogy Tips: Finding Formerly Enslaved Ancestors

Wendy Aris, of Berkshire Hall & Epping Press, was the host of this great video called Robin R. Foster - My Best Genealogy Tips: Finding Formerly Enslaved Ancestors. It has been about eleven months since I was on the video. Some of you who need this have not seen it.

My driving force for authoring this book was I wanted descendants of formerly enslaved ancestors to know to have an easier time of genealogical research.

  • Research Wiki: You only need to know where (county or parish, state) your ancestors lived to find historical records.

  • Be open-minded.

  • Create a timeline: Reveal wholes in your research.

  • Bibliographies have historical records.

Research Wiki

You do not need to wait on anyone to find where the historical records are. Let's look at Abbeville County, South Carolina.

Be Open-minded

These are your ancestors. They are waiting for you to find them. Many of them had hard lives, but they persevered. They went to their graves not telling one soul what it was like.

We must dig a little deeper to tell their story. You want your children and grandchildren to know well they survived.


It was not until I used a timeline that I found rare events. Here is part of my second great grandfather, Beverly Vance 's testimony:

United States Congressional Serial Set -Volume 1727 - Page 417 - Beverly Vance

I could bring you countless events that I have found.


I could never have imagined that Beverly was in "One More Day's Journey" by Allen Ballard. Beverly was elected a constable after 1865. He voted too. I have found not only in this book a treasure trove of when the Congress took his and other testimonies where he was mentioned.

These are some of the examples where you can find your formerly enslaved ancestor.


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