Saturday, June 28, 2008

What You Missed: The May 2008 General Meeting

It was with great pleasure that we attended Pat Bayonne-Johnson's presentation "Tracing African-American Roots" on Saturday, May 3rd. She was originally scheduled to speak at our February 2nd meeting for Black History Month; however, the meeting was canceled and the presentation postponed until May due to the dangerous snow storm that hit Spokane that week.

Pat is a newer member of our society, having moved here from California, where she was a board member of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California. Currently, she is the 1st Vice President of EWGS, overseeing the program, educational, publications, and PR committees. In her presentation, which she illustrated with census images, photographs, and even a wooden carving of her ancestral plantation, she shared with us how she found her free and enslaved ancestors, and included information on the Jesuit Plantation Project. Probably the most exciting part of her story was her serendipitous experience when she was in a genealogy library and turned around to spy a book on the plantation of her ancestors! Don't we all wish we could have such luck!

Pat used typical resources such as home sources, vital and church records, historical and genealogical books, and censuses to assist her in her research. When she hit a brick wall, she hired a professional who lived in the area of Lousiana where her ancestors had resided. Pat has also used a variety of DNA tests, and listed a number of links to online resources in her outline.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of Pat's outline, please contact me at kidmiffatgmaildotcom, substituting the appropriate letters for the green words.

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