I can not tell you just how excited I am to hear of this new series. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is one of the top genealogists in the country. He is the developer for African American Lives and African American Lives II. Mr. Gates is a Harvard scholar and is and expert in genealogy and African American Studies.
I have personally been in contact with him a year or so ago when preparing for a genealogy class here at the library. He was very helpful and encouraging. I value his knowledge and his suggestions and I can not wait to watch this newest project.
(From the PBS site)
What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Building on the success of his series African American Lives (called by the New York Times “the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time,”) and African American Lives 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. again turns to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 12 renowned Americans.
The series premieres nationally Wednesdays, February 10 – March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS.
The guests to be featured are:
Yo-Yo Ma, Queen Noor, Meryl Streep, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Eva Longoria Parker, Louise Erdrich, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mike Nichols, Dr. Mehmet OZ, Elizabeth Alexander, and Mario Batali.
For more information and a video clip of the show go to:
Also several video bits have been posted on YouTube.
Do you find yourself working on your genealogy and your just feel like you are beating your head against a wall?If you have done genealogy for long, you usually will hit a wall at one point or another.It is a common complaint.The good news is there are ways to get beyond the wall.
Here are a few simple suggestions:
Back track-Take a little time to look back over what you already have.For instance, I was looking for the family of my grandfather.I new there was from Missouri, but I needed more.I went back and started looking through the old obituaries. Well to my surprise I had missed a listing of out of town family.There they were, all the brothers and sisters that I had been searching for.It pays to look back.
Think outside the box-Sometimes when we look at documents we forget to look at the extra information.For instance, when looking at a census record, be sure to check for all members of a household.Some may be additional family members such as sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins.Many girls came from other countries to be their brother’s housekeepers.It was very common in some nationalities to only hire family whenever possible.Also look for other family members in the same neighborhood.Often families stuck very close together.
Ask for help-The GenWeb Project is one place to start (http://www.usgenweb.com/).Under “Look-up Assistance” you can go to the state then county that you are in need of help with.You will be given a list of contact for that area.I have done volunteer work from this site for a number of years.Most people are willing to do simple look-ups if you will reimburse them for copying costs.In fact there are several sites that give free or low cost assistance.You might also try the State Archives and RAGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, http://www.raogk.org/)
And for some of us that have just had no luck with some of our lines, we just need to hire an expert.There are many listed in the Everton’s Genealogical Helper want ads in the back of each publication.This is just one place to check.
No matter what you do, just remember, half of the answer is to keep trying.