Many thanks to John F. Baker Jr. for his presentation yesterday, “Finding the Stories Behind the Names: John F. Baker, Jr. Makes It Plain“. John shared the important and impactful work he’s done to research the Washington families of Wessyngton Plantation.
John shared details from his research and the methods for how he captured the stories and insights in his book, Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation. If you do not have his book, it is a must-read! John’s done some incredible work and his story is worth reading.
On Saturday, January 18th, we held our first meeting of the year. We were fortunate to have Dr. Angela Sutton present and showcase a variety of emotionally moving monuments around the world created to memorialize the experiences of enslaved populations. Dr. Sutton shared these projects as a context for the potential that lies before the city of Nashville as plans are considered for a monument/memorial at Ft. Negley.
I Am Queen Mary (2018) in Denmark – the statue is a monument to Mary Thomas, a woman who was enslaved in St. Croix and coordinated a slave revolt in which 50 plantations were burned
Each of these monuments is worth learning about and we encourage you to research them and their significance. Dr. Sutton’s talk and review were inspiring as fodder for the ultimate question: How could we help the world to understand the experience of Nashville’s enslaved and their descendants?
We thank Dr. Sutton for her presentation and let us all use this as an opportunity to contribute our voices for what could be at Ft. Negley.
In late Summer 2020, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) is scheduled to open here in Nashville. With a prime location downtown at 5th and Broadway, NMAAM will provide an opportunity to showcase the many contributions individuals of African descent have made to the musical landscape not only in this country but abroad.
At our meeting yesterday morning, AAHGS Nashville was delighted to host Dr. Steven Lewis, curator at NMAAM, as he shared with us an overview of the museum’s development history and extensive details about the museum’s layout, exhibits, and programs.
This museum is going to be just incredible!
The exhibits will feature 5 main galleries and there will be additional gallery space for rotating exhibits. The five main galleries and their central themes include:
Wade in the Water – music reflecting the religious experience
Crossroads – about the emergence of the blues
A Love Supreme – jazz music
One Nation Under A Groove – funk, r&b music
The Message – hip-hop music
Additionally, the museum has artifacts and items from individuals affiliated with many different segments of the music industry and the educational immersion via the exhibits are very well designed. There will be a theater that seats almost 200 individuals, a digital hub and music research library, community meeting spaces, and more.
Many thanks to Dr. Lewis for sharing with us so extensively about the museum.
Visit the museum website to learn more and consider becoming a member and/or signing up for their email news list.
In 1850 and 1860, there were special census surveys conducted to record enslaved individuals. Known as the “slave schedules,” these records included the slaveholder name and a list of all enslaved person they owned. Each enslaved person however, was usually not recorded with a name. Instead, the listing was often organized in reverse chronological age order, usually with each person represented by sex, age, and color.
This week, FamilysSearch announced the addition of the 1860 US Census Slave Schedule to their website, which means they can now be accessed for free! FamilySearch already had the 1850 US Census Slave Schedule so now both are freely available.
While usually not conclusive when used alone, in tandem with other resources, such as wills, probate, and tax records, the slave schedules can provide additional insight into your investigation.
Today’s workshop was a delight as we were led through an engaging session on writing your personal and family history with our very own AAHGS Nashville member, Deborah Wilbrink. Deborah has in-depth experience in writing and helping individuals and organizations tell and share their stories. She brought samples of her work and referred to them often during the talk.
As a workshop, the session was interactive and we did several brief exercises to help us understand strategies, processes, and techniques to write our stories. We even had opportunity to share brief stories from our families and Deborah demonstrated how even these brief snippets we shared can be part of the backbone of a larger personal story-telling narrative.
Overall, our workshop today was motivating and I think more than one of us left determined to get started telling the stories of our lives.
Through her company, Perfect Memoirs, Deborah offers services to help with personal family story telling so you’ll want to check out her website – www.perfectmemoirs.com. You can sign up for her blog, through which she shares how-to tips. You may also want to consider picking up a copy of her book, “Time to Tell Your Personal & Family History,” which is filled with how-to-tips meant to inspire and motivate. I picked up mine!
Many thanks Deborah for an educational workshop! We have much to take with us as we pursue writing our own personal histories.
On Sunday, June 18th, AAHGS Nashville is participating in a series of events hosted at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage as part of their Juneteenth Celebrations.
Join us at 2 pm as we present a 1-hour genealogy workshop, followed by individual consultations from 3-5pm. If you have already started your genealogy research, come with as much prepared information as you have as that will help us offer you more specific help and advice.
Use the button below to register. We look forward to seeing you there!
From the September 29, 1938, issue of the Tennesseean. Nettie Langston Napier was the daughter of John Mercer Langston and Caroline Wall Langston. Caroline’s family will be discussed in our upcoming June 3rd meeting – Passing for White: Researching the Invisible Color Line (see meeting details). Be sure to join us to learn more!
Colored Death Notices: NAPIER
Died Tuesday, September 27, 1938, at 10:25pm at a local infirmary, Mrs. Nettie Langston Napier, wife of James C. Napier, one of Nashville’s leading citizens. Mrs. Napier was the daughter of John Mercer Langston, member of the 51st and 52nd Congresses of the United States from the Louisa County District of the State of Virginia. For the past 60 years, during her entire married life, she has been active in the religious, civic, and social movements in this city. Her friends are legion and they grieve and sorrow with her aged husband. She leaves two nephews, John Mercer Langston of St. Louis, Mo., Carroll Napier Langston, of Chicago, Ill., and a grand-nephew, Carroll Napier Langston, Jr., a graduate of Oberlin and now a law student at the University of Michigan; two nieces, Nettie Langton Lee and Nettie Langston Harlan of Washington, D.C. She also leaves a nephew, Dr. J.A. Napier, a dentist of Nashville, and his sisters, Mrs. Ida Napier Lawson of Hartford, Conn., Mrs. Willie Napier Gomez of Havana, Cuba, and Miss G. Beatrice Napier of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Funeral services will be held Friday, September 30, 1938, at 2pm at Howard Congregational Church, the following ministers officiating: Dr. Thomas Elsa Jones, Rev. Richard Ewing, Rev. Henry Allen Boyd, and Rev. W.S. Ellington, and others. Active pallbearers: Dr. J.A. Napier, Messrs. C.N. Langston, E.L. Price, A.G. Price, M.G. Ferguson, L.S. Headen, Prof. C.E. Van Horne, and N.S. Holiday. Honorary pallbearers: All members of the Board of Directors of the Citizens Savings Bank & Trust Company and trustees and directors of the Y.M.C.A. W.H. McGavock in charge.
Yesterday, the LDS Family History Center in Franklin, TN hosted a wonderful day of genealogy presentations as part of their Family Discovery Day Event!
The day began with a welcome and introduction by Murray Johns, a member of the Franklin TN stake presidency. After his introduction, the day was divided into 3 segments, each offering multiple tracks of genealogy & family history instruction and education.
Example topics included – understanding why Mormons do genealogy research, using DNA for understanding ethnic origins, leveraging deed books & non-population schedules, getting started on FamilySearch.org and using Family Search Family Tree, breaking brick walls & military research for African American genealogy, writing your personal and family history story, using cemetery and grave records for research, and more!
Representatives from local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Williamson County African American Heritage Society, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society, and the Friends of Tennessee State Library & Archives, were also available to provide information. AAHGS Nashville also represented and shared information about our organization too.
The Family History Center plans to conduct another Family Discovery Day next year, so keep an eye out for future announcements. We also include regional happenings on our Calendar, so be sure to check that list from time to time for upcoming events.
Many thanks to the Franklin Family History Center for a wonderful day of learning and education!