I did a program on African American Genealogy last week at the DeSoto Public Library. I was a little concerned since I don't look like I have the creditials or knowledge to do a program on AA genealogy. I was pleased with the response though. Besides going through the major records sources and explaining how they are different for African Americans, I also laid out a research plan for a line that I am working on. Unfortunately like many AA lines, I have it back to 1880 and have hit the brick wall. I haven't given up yet as there are some avenues that I just haven't had time to research yet.
To lay out the problem. I am researching a woman named I. listed on the 1880 census in Montgomery County, MS. She is with her husband, T. Dottery. According to her age on the 1880 census, she would have been born about 1856 and she and her parents were born in MS. Family stories passed down say she was Indian, wore Indian clothes and was even known to do Indian rain dances in the yard. I've always admired her because how many Indians during that time period flaunted their race. However DNA has pretty much ruled out that she was Indian. Her great granddaughter and great great great grandson's DNA results indicate she may have been about 1/4 Black. At least she seems to be the most likely candidate of that generation. This opens up some record searches that I hadn't thought about exploring before, so I'm hoping that one of them reveals more information about I Dottery. I'll let you know how it goes.