Genealogy Wise

The Genealogy & Family History Social Network

A forum to discuss the nuances specific to researching Slave Ancestry in the Americas. Share experiences, questions, tips and resource information as it relates to making our efforts researching African Ancestry more successful.

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Hi Deborah!

If the docs are already transcribed it would be great if we could post them here at GenWise, as well as on my Alabama research site - Our Alabama Roots. has a Slave Forum where you can post and Ancestry also has an African American Collection, Slave Information Message Board where this information would be PERFECT.

My belief is to post to as many outlets as possible.

Thanks so much. This information will be vital to TILLER researchers with slave ancestors!

Hi Deborah! I am more than happy to post your Grandfather's information to my blogs ( &, as well as assist you with getting the information posted to relevant message boards. The key is getting the information out where it can be found! Thank you so much, looking forward to working with you!:-)

I am new to all of this and I am having problems. I think I found who I am looking for in the 1870 census in Orangeburg SC. It is Vandy Pearson his wife is Milly kids Tineh, Evey and Jim. They were in Orange then on the 1880 census They were Vandy and Millie Pearce with kids Eavy, Jim, William, Sinssy, Fannie and Nora. They were in Lyons Township.
The reason I think this is the family I am looking for is I am looking for William;s parents. On William Pierce's death record it lists his parents as Jim and Millie and he was born in Orangeburg.
So what does anyone else think? How can I find out if this is them? If it is how do I go back from here?
This is so hard!
I would agree that this is almost definitely the correct family -- you have two independent sources of direct evidence that William was the son of Jim and Millie/Milly (his death certificate and the 1880 census). I desceibed using family groups to identify families in the census in my column, "Using 'clusters' to track your ancestors through multiple census ye...." Take a look at my other articles as well, as you may be able to locate more information to help you.
I'm with Michael -- you probably have identified the right family and agree that using the cluster approach could help to validate your connection.

One of the terms in genealogy I hate the most, but find to be VERY effective is the "reasonably, exhaustive search" (Michael, I can feel you smiling!) -- you have to approach your core information (what you know) from EVERY possible angle. That means census, death, tax, deeds, schedules, Freedman records, EVERYTHING. Then the slave owners records -- estate, inventory, bills of sale, bible, church, journal, letters... again EVERYTHING.

You are correct, this work is hard, but so very worth it to you and your Ancestors.

Hang in there, connect with the Genea-community (they are a strong and stubborn bunch!:-) and roll up your sleeves!:-)




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