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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[VA] Chincoteague's AfriAm history

Web site traces Chincoteague's African-American history
By Stephen Furness

Though the island of Chincoteague is well known throughout the decades for its seafood industry and wild ponies, most probably don't consider the African-American heritage that exists within its borders.

Chincoteague historian and genealogist Rick Smith is working to give a voice to the "invisible community" of African-Americans who lived and worked on Chincoteague -- as well as throughout Accomack County -- through his newly minted "Accomac Roots" Web site, www.accomacroots.com.

Smith, who writes the monthly "Tracks In The Sand" historical column for the Chincoteague Beacon, has begun developing an online database of Chincoteague African-Americans, tracing their births and deaths, where they lived, and where they are buried. Smith is a professor at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

It's not the kind of work that's easily executed, however. Tracking the origins and lives of African-Americans on the island through the 1800s is difficult at best, often leading to many roadblocks and dead ends in his research.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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