AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Amazing Coincidence at Conference
Oftentimes we talk about serendipity when it comes to genealogy. The whispers of our ancestors calling to us and moving us in the right directions.
During my years of accumulating info on black coal miners, I have collected data on individual miners that caught my attention for various reasons. One of those individuals was Calvin Lockhart who was found mining coal in Fulton & Sangamon counties in Illinois. What made this family stand out was that I found an oral history interview given by Calvin's son, Charles, in the collection at the University of Illinois at Springfield. A few months ago, I found an interview of his son, Charles Jr., at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library--given several decades apart!
I worked this family into my talk on Locating and Using Oral History Collections given at the FGS conference last week. As I got to this part of it, I could see a woman getting very excited. It was Cheryl Gaines, a member of the Afro-American Genealogical & Historical Society of Chicago, and she yelled out that those were the ancestors of Charles Howard, current president of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society. She said "he is here at the conference" and immediately got on her phone.
After the session, Charles arrived and shared that he had come to Springfield primarily to research that family, and was unaware of the interviews. Needless to say, he was delighted.
Together, we WILL uncover our heritage!