AfriGeneas Brick Wall Forum
Re: Family History, Genealogy, DNA & Geography
In Response To: Family History, Genealogy, DNA & Geography ()
I know I speak for most of the researchers here when I say: It's out of my league!
Last week I found documents regarding my wife's ancestors from early 1820s (earliest documents so far) which I'm very happy about, and I feel that the entire context of researching that time is very different from the civil war time as an example and keep changing the further back you go. I'm pretty sure that the world you're researching to find answers to your questions in regards to Betty/Bess are much further different than my research world so I can say right away that there is nothing I can do here to help/suggest, I don't have the necessary knowledge.
But I hope that I some day will be able to reach that point in my own research, so instead of suggestions I hope you don't mind me asking a few general questions:
The Manchester slave port that you're mentioning (as well as other ports), any idea what records are available for that port? I'm thinking that to be able to trace the entrance to the Americas you need some kind of log or list of ships coming in. Does that exist? I have no idea myself.
And once the slaves did arrive I'm imagining that the company bringing the slaves in did sell the slaves at an auction or similar. I think slave sales in Virginia were considered private sales, so I would probably not consider the local court system the first place to look. I'm guessing blindly here that since the slave ships brought their cargo for profit reasons they may have noted down the sales to report back to the 'corporate headquarters'? Any idea if such lists exist?
I think I read somewhere that the average African came over in the 1770s, so statistically speaking I think you would be almost unlucky if neither Betty/Bess or her parents were born outside the Americas.
I have read some of the classic African American research guides (finding a place called home etc), but I don't remember seeing anything about researching the entrance to the Americas. Just by curiosity, do you know of/have you met anyone doing the same kind of research? Being as difficult as it is I believe it's a big deal to be able to trace that exact point of entrance for African Americans worthy of maybe writing a book or something but I have never seen any such books except 'Roots'. Is there anyone out there doing what you're doing now?
I tell you what though it is inspiring to see your research, I hope that if you make progress you report back to YOUR headquarters (Afrigeneas' message boards ) about your findings.