Recording Available – Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

We were fortunate to have Sharon Leslie Morgan, founder of Our Black Ancestry, join us for a lively and informative workshop titled Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870. The workshop, part of the Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room, was recorded on April 8, 2021.

The following is a description of the workshop and a short bio of Sharon Leslie Morgan:

Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870
Join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we delve into African American ancestry before abolition.  Researching African American families prior to the 1870 Census is a challenge that may be overcome by finding linked descendants – or the white families who enslaved most of the Black population.  Learn new research techniques and use genealogy as a tool for confronting slavery and heal. 

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

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Register for Linked Descendants: African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

Date & Time:
April 8, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870
Join us for a workshop with Sharon Leslie Morgan, renowned genealogist and founder of Our Black Ancestry, as we delve into African American ancestry before abolition.  Researching African American families prior to the 1870 Census is a challenge that may be overcome by finding linked descendants – or the white families who enslaved most of the Black population.  Learn new research techniques and use genealogy as a tool for confronting slavery and heal. 

Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry, an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historic materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery.

Morgan is the co-author of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade. She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race & Reconciliation, and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation.  In 2019, Morgan received the prestigious James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society

A staunch advocate of racial justice, Morgan has taken STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) training at Eastern Mennonite University and is actively involved with Coming to the Table, an organization that promotes linkages between descendants of people who were enslaved and descendants of the families that enslaved them for the purpose of healing from the trauma of slavery.

Photo Detective Maureen Taylor Offers Some Tips

Maureen Taylor, Photo Detective.

Last Thursday, Maureen Taylor joined our Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room, for a fantastic workshop.

To keep current with Maureen’s work as well as get tips and tricks for your own family photo research:

Register for Maureen’s newsletter here.

Listen to her podcast here.

If you missed Maureen last week, she’ll be joining us again on May 20th for her workshop on Buns, Beards, Bodices and Bustles:  Understanding Ancestors Through Clothing. Register Today!

Genealogy and Local History Workshops at the Cambridge Public Library

Please join us for virtual Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room, happening every Thursday from 12-1 pm.  Click on the links below for more information and to register.

April 1: Who’s Little Joe:  Photo Detecting 101

April 8: Linked Descendants:  African American Genealogy Prior to 1870

April 29: The Forgotten Irish of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery

May 6: Preserve Your Family Treasures

May 13: American Treasures from the Cambridge Public Library’s Archives and Special Collections

May 20: Buns, Beards, Bodices and Bustles:  Understanding Ancestors Through Clothing

June 3:  Getting Started in Irish Family Research

June 10:  Interview Techniques to Tell Your Family’s History

June 17:  Healing the Historical Trauma of Slavery through Genealogical Research

Register for Photo Detecting 101

Date & Time:
April 1, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Who’s Little Joe:  Photo Detecting 101 
Do you have unidentified people in your family photo albums?  Do you have a shoebox full of photographs of people you don’t know?  Join Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, to discover who’s who in your family pictures.  Learn 10 easy steps for naming the unidentified in your photo albums.  This interactive lecture will help you discover new identity and connections in your family history.

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on historic photograph identification, photo preservation and family history research.  Sought out by clients all over the world, her pioneering work in historic research is unprecedented, evidenced by her success in solving photo mysteries.  The author of several books, scholarly articles and online columns, Taylor appeared on the View and the Today Show to discuss her photo identification methods.  She has been featured in numerous publications, including the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens, and was dubbed “the nation’s foremost historical photo detective” by the Wall Street Journal. 

Cambridge By Map Recording

Thank you to the Leventhal Map Center‘s Rachel Mead for joining us earlier this month for our second Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room. We had a wonderful turnout of enthusiastic people eager to learn more about the Atlascope, a tool for exploring urban maps.

The recording of Cambridge by Map is available for you to watch at your leisure. Learn  how Cambridge has changed over time and discover how to research the history of your own house and neighborhood.     

Register for: We Keep the Dead Close

Date & Time:
March 25, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Author Talk:  We Keep the Dead Close, A Conversation with Becky Cooper
In 1969, a Harvard archaeology graduate student named Jane Britton was killed in her off-campus apartment in Cambridge. Her murder remained unsolved until late 2018, when police announced a break in the case. We Keep the Dead Close is the story of author Becky Cooper’s ten-year pursuit for answers.  Join us for a conversation with Cooper as she discusses her research into a murder that gripped the nation more than 50 years ago. 

A native New Yorker, Becky Cooper graduated from Harvard College in 2010.  She is a former New Yorker editorial staff member and author of We Keep the Dead Close (2020) and Mapping Manhattan
(2013). 

We Keep the Dead Close was featured in the Boston Globe MagazineNew York Times, and Washington Post.

Alice North Towne Lincoln: Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor – Video, Book, and More

Thank you to Bill McEvoy and Corinne Elicone for joining us for our fourth Lunchtime Lectures from the Cambridge Room. We had a wonderful turnout of enthusiastic people eager to learn more about the wonderful life and work of Alice North Towne Lincoln.

The video presentation of Alice North Towne Lincoln, narrated by Corrine Elicone, is available for you to watch at your leisure. You can download Bill McEvoy’s book, Alice North Towne Lincoln: Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor, for free from Mount Auburn Cemetery’s website.

Lastly, please watch Corrine Elicone’s Quarantine Island and Alice Lincoln from her popular series, Stay Home Sweet Auburn. This short piece is filmed in front of Lincoln’s grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Register for Alice North Towne Lincoln: Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor

Date & Time:
March 18, 2021
12:00pm – 1:00pm
REGISTER HERE

Alice North Towne Lincoln:  Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor
Join us for Women’s History Month as we uncover the story of Alice North Towne Lincoln – one of Boston’s great 19th Century philanthropists who has been forgotten by history.  Lincoln’s life work was to help the urban poor.  She advocated for tenement housing reform and worked to close Rainsford Island – the little-known Boston Harbor Island that served as an off-shore repository for the city’s unwanted.  Lincoln also advocated against animal cruelty and was an early vocal proponent of cremation. 

Corrine Elicone is the Events and Outreach Coordinator at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, where she works with cemetery professionals, mortuary students, as well as historians, botanists, anthropologists, artists, and many others organizing events.  She has also served as the Cemetery’s first female crematory operator.

Bill McEvoy, Jr. is a US Army Veteran and retired Massachusetts District Court Magistrate.  Since his retirement in 2009, McEvoy has conducted large-scale cemetery research projects, including several at Cambridge’s Mount Auburn Cemetery as well as a four-year study on the Catholic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown.  His most recent work uncovering the story of Rainsford Island, an off-shore hospital for Boston’s unwanted, led him to write about Alice North Towne Lincoln, who was instrumental in shutting down the island.

Alice North Towne Lincoln:  Boston’s Selfless Advocate for the Poor by William McEvoy, Jr. is available to download for free.

A Teenager Was Bullied. His Ancestors Saved Him – The New York Times

Dennis Richmond Jr. dove into his family history at an early age and was fascinated by the ancestors he discovered. From the New York Times (26 February 2021)

In March 2008, Dennis Richmond Jr. watched “Roots” with his father, and it changed his life. It was a Sunday, the Richmonds’ day for leafing through family photographs in their apartment in Yonkers, N.Y., looking at relatives going back about a century. “Roots,” Alex Haley’s semifictional account of his family’s journey from West Africa, posed a challenge: How far back could young Dennis trace his own ancestors?

After watching the mini-series’ first DVD, he ran upstairs to ask his mother about the names of her relatives. Then that evening, Dennis, a studious 13-year-old, went on the family computer and found a 1930 United States Census entry for his maternal great-grandmother. The listing included the name of her father, Brutus Bowens, born in 1889 in South Carolina.

Brutus!

“That just did something for me,” Mr. Richmond said. “That’s where the story begins: St. Stephen, South Carolina.”

Mr. Richmond, now 26, a writer and substitute teacher, is the kind of person who begins sentences, “I was born in 1995,” or “My father was born in 1955.” When he thought about his grandmother having parents, who in turn had parents, he was floored. “It blew my mind,” he said. “The seed was planted. And I’ve been steadfast ever since.”

Read more of this fantastic New York Times Article.