Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I, Drusilla Pair aka “Professor Dru,” and six other fellow bloggers (Sheri Fenley - The Educated Genealogist - http://sherifenley.blogspot.com/; Marian Pierre-Louis - Roots and Rambles - http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com/; Caroline Pointer - For Your Family Story - http://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog.html; Heather Wilkinson Rojo - Nutfield Genealogy - http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/; and Julie Cahill Tarr - GenBlog - http://genblogjulie.blogspot.com/) are affiliates of Flip-Pal and we received evaluation units of the Flip-Pal scanner from Couragent, Inc. for purposes of providing a review.
We received the scanner at no charge to us and are under no obligation to return it, but can keep it for our own personal use.
We appreciate this fantastic early Christmas present from Flip-Pal and our dear friend and fellow blogger, Thomas MacEntee.
I will be using various forms of multimedia technology (voice, text, and video) to tell my Flip-Pal story.
So come join us on this Hippity Hoppity Flip-Pal Simple Gifts Blog Hopping journey with us!
And please don’t forget to leave comments on our blogs and other social media sites.
Drusilla Pair aka “Professor Dru”
Monday, October 31, 2011
I had fun watching Dear Myrtle demonstrate how to use her new toy, a
October 31, 2011 - I am pleased to have been chosen as one of seven bloggers to participate in the Simple Gifts Blog Hop, which will run November 4th - 25th.
Congratulations also to the six other lucky bloggers:
* Sheri Fenley - The Educated Genealogist - http://sherifenley.blogspot.com
* Marian Pierre Louis - Roots and Rambles - http://rootsandrambles.blogspot.com
* Caroline Pointer - For Your Family Story - http://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog.html
* Heather Wilkinson Rojo - Nutfield Genealogy - http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com
* Nancy Shively - Gathering Stories - http://nancyshively.blogspot.com
* Julie Cahill Tarr - GenBlog - http://genblogjulie.blogspot.com/
Like Dear Myrtle, I look forward to having fun using my new toy and I'm sure that my other Blog Hopper Colleagues also anticipate the fun.
Hope that the UPS man drops by today with my toy like he did at Julie Cahill Tarr's house. Will post more later about my plans for using this fantastic gift.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
One of my favorite lines so far from the book is the opening of one of the chapters which reads:
This book reads like a historical mystery or family historian memoir and chronicles how Melvin discovered the whereabouts of the family and descendants of his great grandfather Bill Reed, who was a slave in Abbeville, SC. Although Bill Reed experienced the tragedy and breakup of his family during slavery, 150 years later his descendants would discover the missing broken links which would mend broken family ties that would turn tears and sorrow into triumphant celebration for his family. This book is a must read for family historian of all ethnic backgrounds and I look forward to reading and blogging about the remainder of the book.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Through Grandma’s “the help” stories, I learned about racism, budgeting, motivations for migration, and about challenges in life. Grandma frequently recalled various racist comments made by some of her employers and having one job working as a live-in maid where she had to sleep on the porch with the family’s dog.
During the early 1940s, my grandmother moved from Ridgeway, NC to Richmond, VA where she lived with a maternal Aunt and worked as a Domestic for white families. Later she moved to Washington, DC around 1942 for better wages before getting married in March 1943 and settling in Newport News, VA. Through these stories, I learned about her motivations for migration.
One of the other stories she repeatedly told my family was about how she earned $3 a week and budgeted this wage: $1 to give her aunt for rent, $1 to get her hair done, and the rest for food which was not enough for the week. This story taught us about budgeting and hard times. “I should have listened to my mama and not jumped out so fast,” Grandma would often remorse about her decision to leave home at age 19 and head for the city to get out her rural hometown. This was the story she would tell to her grandchildren and great grands who were anxious to leave home and get out on their own.
After seeing “The Help” movie on opening night, I left the theater with a smile on my face and pride in my heart for my grandmother and other ancestors who endured the abuses of segregation, Jim Crow, and working as “the help.” I know that quite a few African Americans are upset by this movie and book, however my response is to reflect on my grandmother’s life and her stories about being “the help” as well as to honor her and other known ancestors who worked in this capacity.
Irregardless of how you feel about it, author Kathryn Stockett has told her version of “the help” story through a book and film which has ignited the emotions of Americans of all races around the country. But Stockett’s story is not the one and only story, so I encourage people of all races to share their “the help” stories. There is something liberating about sharing these types of stories and we saw this demonstrated in the book and film as the black maids of Jackson, MS began to share their stories with Skeeter (Emma Stone).
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Having a dedicated column in Tweetdeck (a desktop application for Twitter and other social media applications which allows users to send and received tweets and view profiles) for hashtags #thehelp or #thehelpmovie enables me to see the latest tweets about the movie and book. These tweets contain links to movie reviews as well as the reactions to the book and movie from numerous people around the country.
I noticed references from several tweeters regarding the following:
- Number of book reading friends in groups they have formed, “I’m reading The Help with ____ others;”
- Movie dates, “I’m attending The Help with ____ others” These movie dates included girls night out, boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife dates, and a large number of families which include mothers, sisters, aunties, and grandmas. One tweeter posted that they would be attending the movie with their great-grandmother;
- Reactions and commentaries about movie where some say “they loved it, a must see, book was/was not as good as the movie,” memorable lines from film such as “you is good, you is kind, you is important;”
- Criticisms of movie or book and expressions of emotions which range from laughing during the funny scenes and crying during sad ones,
So if you want to know the latest and up-to-date news about The Help or any other topics, use Twitter . If you have not tried Twitter before, below is a tutorial to get you started.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Thanks to Robin Foster of Saving Stories for posting this link on Facebook today. The trailer certainly ignited oral histories I’ve heard over the years and motivated me to revisit these memories from my grandmother. In Grandma's china closet are various items given to her by some of her employers and I recall conversations with her about which items were given by whom. However, I don’t recall who gave what so this time I plan to record these memories.
Therefore my genealogy priories for the week are as follows:
- Write down what I remember Grandma saying about her life as a Domestic.
- Write down questions to ask her about her life as a Domestic.
- Take photos and inventory items in china closet which were given to her by her employers and record her memories of these items.
- Begin recording and writing her memories of her life as a Domestic in Richmond, VA, Washington, DC, and Newport News, VA.
Trailer for Movie, "The Help"
Mary J. Blige records New Song For the Help
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The show, Cool Ideas for Involving Youth in Genealogy, will be hosted by Dear Myrtle. Nicka and I will be sharing about the successful youth genealogy/historical research programs we just completed. Nicka’s program was in California and mine was in Virginia. Jari and Elyse will be sharing about their experiences as young genealogy/family historians.
Hope you will tune in to this great show on Friday night as the four of us share “Cool Ideas for Involving Youth in Genealogy.” BTW, I will be giving a surprise announcement on the show, so you’ll want to be among the first to hear.
See you Friday night!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
This has been a fantastic experience and the youth participants from Ivy Baptist Church and Gospel Light United Holy Church in Newport News, VA have made this pilot program a great success.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I learned about a few social media sites which I have not yet tried. Great job, Robin!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Incorporating Music into Youth Genealogy Lessons, Part 2 (Moving Back Further in Time Through Music Traditions)
Musical Section #2 - Finding the Right Song
(For Part 1 of this story, click here)
I decided to use this song as an ice breaker at the beginning of the lesson and to line up chairs in two rows where the youth and their mentors would sit like a congregation. Prior to playing the song, I gave the young people a brief lecture and demo of this hand clapping/foot stomping style of music. Then I played the song and asked them to sing along.
The song was slower than we normally sing it today and it took a little getting used to it. As the group sang, I encouraged them to get into character like the old people they heard singing from the recording. I could tell that three young men (ages 13 and 14) were into it the character of the music because they made faces, sounds, and gestures like old people as they sang.
At the end of the session, I decided to have the youth sing the song again for the benefit of one of the group members who came in late. During this singing session, the group had trouble keeping with the pace of the song and on several occasions began singing at a faster pace than the recording. The old people singing in this recording took their time singing this tune which is typically sung at a much faster rate today. Nevertheless, we got though this second performance of the song.
Spontaneity in the Room
But what happened next blew my mind and I knew at that moment that incorporating his song into the lesson was phenomenal. Immediately after we finished singing “This Little Light of Mine” with the recording, one of the young men spontaneously belted out singing “I Don’t Know What You Came to Do.”
The group, without prompting, responded singing, “I Don’t Know What You Came to Do.”
“I Don’t Know What You Came to Do,” sang the young man as he and the group clapped and stomped to the beat of the fast paced song.
The song leader repeated the line followed by the group repeating the same line.
“I Came to Clap My Hands,” the young song leader sang. Rather than responding in song this time, the group clapped twice at the end of this line.
“I Came to Stomp My Feet,” he sang and the group answered back with two stomps.
"I Came to Shout for Joy,” he sang on.
“I Came to Praise the Lord,” the young man sang. By now he had fully embraced his role as song leader and he even raised his hand in praise to God at the end of this line.
I’m not sure why the song ended abruptly, but it appears that one of the young people sung something offbeat from the way the song was supposed to go. Whatever it was, it got the attention of his mother who was one of the mentors sitting on the back row and she stood up laughing and hit her son lightly on the back in a playful manner. The group all responded with laughter.
We were way past the end of class by this time, so it was good that they did stop the song.
The atmosphere in the room was electrical as we packed up to leave and by this time everyone was hyped up. One of the young ladies began chanting or cheering C-H-R-I-S-T or something like that. The youth from her church responded with the spelling of other religious words and I assume that this is something that the youth in their church do. I was busy packing so I didn’t ask them about it.
As the youth who remained in the room proceeded to leave, the same young lady who had previously started the chant/cheer stopped and raised her right hand, bowed her head, and said as if she were conducting the closing of a church service, “May the Lord watch between me and thee.” We all knew the directio she was going with this statement and I joined in with her and the others.
“While we’re absent, one from another, Amen!” we all recited in unison in this familiar benediction. This act was like icing on the cake.
The kids exited the room and I followed shortly thereafter with a huge smile on my face and overflowing joy in my heart at a lesson well done.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Musical Selection #1
During the second week of class, I decided to incorporate music on the opening slide of my PowerPoint. I used the song, “Come this Far by Faith”, because this was a popular tune sung by African American choirs during my youth in the 1970s and 1980s. I call this the ‘march in song’ because it was the tune that numerous African American choirs across the country sung as they marched during the processional at the beginning of church services back in my day. The ladies in the video below are marching into the church similarly to how we did it. However, our choirs wore robes and not elaborate hats like they are wearing. (I’m assuming that the occasion of this video was some type of special service like Women’s Day.)
“Do your choirs still march?” I asked the youth as the song “Come this Far by Faith” played.
“No.” they all responded.
“Have you ever seen choirs march in?” I asked. These youth, who were born during the 1990s, all said they had witnessed the choir march, and a few even mimicked the march in class the following week.
Incorporating music into presentations and teaching is always an attention getter and it certainly made a difference in setting the tone for the lecture that week. Since styles and musical taste typically change from one generation to the next, incorporating it into genealogy and history lessons is perfect for teaching about traditions and practices of various time periods.
Next Posting, Part 2 of Incorporating Music into Youth Genealogy Lessons (Moving Back Further in Time Through Music Traditions)
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
I am excited to announce that after months of planning, I have finally begun conducting youth genealogy classes and workshops. Entering into this realm has not been as quick as I anticipated, but we all know that “good things come to those who wait.”
Eight Week Program in Partnership With a Local City Agency. I have partnered with a local city agency and am working with two persons from this organization in a program in which the three of us designed called Back in the Day - Faith-Based Institution Historical Research Program. Both of these individuals have history degrees, but their full-time positions are working with youth or managing youth related programs rather than something in the field of history.
We decided to focus on collecting and documenting church history in our city because we believed that religious institutions were a great place to start in teaching young people how to do historical and family research. The community in which we are teaching and researching is predominately African American and since historically major movements such as the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s have been ushered in through religious institutions, we felt that it was fitting to begin our youth research project through these institutions. We began planning the program in late September and sent out invitations to older churches in our community in October to participate in this program.
Response was slow, but two churches eventually committed to participate in our pilot program along with six young people from their congregations who are ages 13-16. Each church has an adult mentor from their congregation who also attends the sessions with their youth. We started the program two weeks ago with an interest meeting and began the first week of the eight week program on last week. Both the adult mentors and the young people seem to be getting a lot out the program and I am energized by their enthusiasm each night I teach. My two partners in this endeavor will also be teaching the youth during designated weeks in this eight week program so that will be a relief for me during those weeks, and I Iook forward to just just sitting, observing, and enjoying these sessions.
At the end of the eight weeks, the youth are expected to 1) write a report summarizing their research findings; and 2) prepare some type of creative project/activity such as a skit, poster board display, PowerPoint presentation, etc. which will be showcased in a program for their families, friends, church members, and others.
My Family History: Link to the Past, Bridge to the Future. This will be a three hour workshop which I am scheduled to conduct at a local historical and cultural center in May. The goal of this workshop is to introduce young people to methods to get started in tracing their family history in hopes that they may begin the discovery process to find a link to their past and a bridge to their future.
Now it’s SHOWTIME after all these months of waiting. I’m glad that I thought to buy school supplies such as paper, pencils, pens, pencil boxes and other supplies during the back-to-school sale last year. All of these things are coming in handy now.
I'm looking forward to many more opportunities to share my genealogy and historical research knowledge with young people. I hope that other genealogists and family researchers who have not done so already, will also find opportunities to share their knowledge with the young people of their communities.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The companion website for this book includes a traditional style family tree which can be used by youth who know the names of ancestors on both sides of their families. But what about the youth who only knows the name of one parent (usually the mother)?*
Using a traditional family tree may likely stir up negative emotions in young people with an unknown or absentee parent, or even a nontraditional family which is headed by by same-sex parents. It is wise for youth genealogy teachers to be sensitive to the needs of today’s youth and let them design their family tree as they see fit, even if it does not fit the traditional two-parent structure.
Pyramid Style Family Tree
Two nontraditional or alternative ancestral tree styles are available for downloading on the companion website of the Climbing Your Family Tree book. The Pyramid style tree or the Fan or Rainbow style tree allow young people to either just focus on one side of the family or draw lines to divide the levels for both parental sides or more. The more could include step and/or adoptive parents.
Although the focus of this book and the family trees on the companion website are designed for young people, these trees could very well be used by adults. Those of us who use genealogy software have numerous styles to choose from to display our family trees and it was good to find some alternative tree style ideas on paper that can be used to teach genealogy.
*Note-There are many adults who may be in this same situation of not knowing the name of their father. I have met several of them during my genealogy presentations.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Well, here to three years of bliss and fun. May I have many many more years of blogging.
BTW, thanks to all of my readers and to the numerous people I've met online during these three years of blogging.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
During this Women's History month, I celebrate my maternal ancestors, known and unknown. My direct maternal line has been traced back to my slave ancestor Ella Scott Jeffress who was born in Virginia around 1842.
My three sisters and I inherited the DNA from our mother and her maternal ancestors. This DNA inherited from our direct maternal line falls in the X haplogroup and matches the DNA of present day Africans in two countries: the Beafadu people of Guinea-Bissau and the Temne people of Sierra Leone.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
For those of you who plan to listen, you may need to use an Internet browser such as Google Chrome,to hear the show. Internet Explorer does not work for me on this site for the live broadcast, but it does work for the archived broadcast. I know that others have had the same problem.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
God Bless You,
It is great to see others appreciate the Founder of one of America's greatest Churches.
There is much more to this man and his doings which we are getting out there to others every week.
Here is our Web Site: www.thechurchofgodatwilliamsburg.org which you will find much more about the Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux.
Thanks for posting this information
For more information on Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, visit the following websites:
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Nadasue of Into the Light and I attended a lecture by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander on African Americans in Civil War Virginia. We had a great time tweeting during the lecture. Click here to read our tweets. The lights were turned off during most of the presentation so that we could see the PowerPoint, so excuse the typos. Thanks to all who were reading and responding to our tweets.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
On Sunday night, I had the pleasure of listening to Robin Foster being interviewed by Antoinette Harrell on the Blog Talk Radio show called Nurturing Our Roots. In this hour long interview, Robin shares techniques and unique resources which have helped her to find success in documenting her ancestors. Click here to listen to interview.
For more information on Robin Foster, visit her blogs at:
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Below is a clip of Vanessa's discovery of the pension file of her ancestor. I look forward to having a similar type of experience soon.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
What do you think of Morgan Freeman's comments about Black History Month?
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
James A. Fields
Typing the Fields Family Tree
The Fields House Blog
My Research Journey
Friday, January 21, 2011
Angela Walton-Raji did a great job in this video in her discussion about various genealogy educational opportunities.
For me, I plan to update my knowledge first by reading or rereading some of the numerous genealogy books in my personal library. Secondly, I'm looking at some of the online course opportunities which Angela mentioned in her video. Thirdly, I plan to attend some local and regional genealogy conferences. And finally, I plan to attend at least one national genealogy related conference later this year.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Today, Hewlett-Packard offers the following types of free online courses or short training:
- On-demand courses (4 self-paced lessons)
- How-to videos (most 5 minutes or less)
- Quick lessons (approximately 20 minutes)
Courses or short training sessions are offered in six catagories:
- Digital Photography
- Home Office
- Microsoft Office and Adobe
- PC security and maintenance
- Business basics
- IT professionals
The format of the online courses or short training sessions includes readings, short quizzes, step-by-step instructions, and/or demos. There's plenty to choose from and I hope that you will find lots of online courses and short training sessions to update your technology skills.
BTW, I'm upgrading my software skills and am enrolled in the Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint 2010 courses.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Today, the nation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King (1929-1968), a man most remembered for his work in fighting for equal rights of African Americans, who were called Negro or colored during his lifetime.
Just one generation ago, during the early years of the lives of my parents, my family lived in a segregated society and had to endure things such as sitting in the back of the bus on public transportation, drinking from public water fountains marked for “colored only,” or going through the back door in a restaurant and not being able to sit inside to eat their meal. Schools for my parents and grandparent's generations were segregated and had out of date books and materials and second class school facilities.
But thanks to the work of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and countless other unsung heroes, these things are no longer part of my family history. Today, on the 81st birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I reflect on his sacrifices and thank him for his leadership in the fight for Civil Rights so that my generation and others that follow are able to have a life of freedom and equality, thereby changing the course of our family histories.
Learn more about the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by visiting the website of The King Center. Also read other tributes to Dr. King from other genealogy bloggers, Remembering Dr. King.
Originally posted January 18, 2010
Friday, January 7, 2011
One helpful book that can be used to learn more about Civil War era customs and daily life is entitled “Everyday Life During the Civil War, A Guide for Writers, Students, and Historians” by Michael J. Varhola, ISBN #1582973377. I’ve had this book in my personal library for several years. This book includes information on the following topics during the Civil War.
- Dry Goods
- Life in City, Town, and Country
- Food and Diet
- Fun, Games, and Entertainment
- Slang and Idioms
- Arms, Equipment and Uniforms
- Civil War Time Line
- The Branches of the Armed Services During Civil War
- The View From the Homefront – Northern, Southern, Slavery, etc.
You can also take a peek inside this book on a website such as Amazon.com.
Note: I learned yesterday that a new edition of this book will be available next month. Click here to preview.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Happy New Year to Everyone! As I begin another new year of genealogy and blogging, I reflect on the past year. Although I did not blog as often in 2010 (76 postings) as I did in 2009 (104 postings) and 2009 (168 postings), the year was still a blogging and genealogy success. Below are my top six favorite blog posting topics for 2010.
- TV Appearances. My most exciting experience in 2010 was appearing as a guest in August on a local television show called Another View. Four blog postings which ranged from announcing my TV appearance, to posting a photo taken on the set, to the YouTube video of the broadcast.
- 2010 Atlanta Family History Expos. My most exciting genealogy conference experience was attending the 2010 Atlanta Family History Expos in November where I not only conducted a workshop, but also met numerous bloggers and genealogist whom I've met online during the past three years. It was a thrill to see each of them face-to-face. Twenty-three postings were written on the conference which were written before, during, and after the conference.
- Location Based Genealogy. In the summer of 2010, I discovered Mr. Bernie Gracy on Youttube and learned of his message on "location based genealogy." It was also a thrill to meet Mr. Gracy at the Atlanta Expos in November as well as to attend three of his workshops. Four postings were devoted to "location based genealogy" in 2010 and it will definitely be a topic that I will be writing more about in the future.
- My Who Do You Think You Are Episode Series. After viewing episodes of the television series, Who Do You Think You Are?, I decided to write my own "episode" where I analyzed research findings on my Uncle Andrew Bullock (1895-1972). I did not think that I knew much about Uncle Andrew, but after 12 blog postings in this series, I made tremendous discoveries.
- Happy 101st Birthday Aunt Della. Blog postings on my Aunt Della, who turned 101 this year are always a delight. I was excited to announce on my blog on December 26 that she turned 101 years old.
- Discrepancies in Memories and Oral History. My last favorite blog posting of the year is a video of three elderly pioneers of gospel music who are discussing the origins of the first gospel music convention. I still laugh at two ladies in this video everytime I watch it whose recollections of the origins of this convention differ. This video is a comical depiction of the countless discrepancies in oral history memories that genealogists often encounter.