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My Works

Winner!  Selected as the year 2002 recipient of the Award for Outstanding Contribution to North Carolina Genealogy by the North Carolina Genealogy Society.
      I am the granddaughter of slaves: all four of my grandparents  were enslaved. The genealogy I researched, wrote, and published  for my father's Granville County, NC family (McGHEE) resulted in In Search of Kith and Kin: The History of a Southern Black Family in 1986. A synopsis of this work was published in The Western Journal of Black Studies in 1988 with the title "The Paper Trail: An Historical Exploration of the Black Family", and was later picked up by Robert Staples for his seminal college textbook, The Black Family: Essays and Studies in the 5th and subsequent editions. A revised and enlarged 2nd edition of In Search of Kith and Kin contains four additional chapters, full name index, 370 pages, 100+ photographs, hard bound.

A Quest for Enslaved Ancestors: The Extended Family of Griffin Fountain of Virginia and North Carolina is an easy to read guide to follow researching and writing your own family history.  It is divided into four distinct parts.
     Part I"How the Quest Begins" is composed of  the core of my lecture notes about how to successfully conduct African American genealogy as it guides the reader through each step. It contains numerous illustrations of the real documents that I used.
     Part II "The Other Fountain Boys" presents documentation that Griffin had several brothers, all born into slavery, whose very existence had faded from the memory of all those now alive.
     Part III "Griffin Fountain and Jane Woody", my grandparents, tells the story of both their lives and the lives of their descendants. The story goes  from slavery, land acquired and lost, to the present day.
     Part IV "You Can Go Home Again" contains my brief memoir.  In the first part of this book I urge the novice genealogist to start by interviewing their oldest living relatives. Then it finally dawned on me that I fit into that category.

    The three volume work, Somebody Knows My Name: Marriages of Freed People in North Carolina, County by County is now available from me on a searchable CD. These marriage records, made in 1866-67, contain the names of over 22,400 couples, one or both of whom had been enslaved, who acknowledged that they were married, intended to stay married, and the number of years they had been husband and wife. This major reference work, first published in a 3-volume 1,272  page tome, is found in many libraries.  The CD is available for $20.00 cashier's check or postal money order, plus $5.00 shipping, handling, etc.  415 Obie Drive, Durham, NC  27713-8813. New

     There are other works that I have done in the same genre that can be found in many public libraries. Among them are the following:   Enslaved Ancestors Abstracted From Deed Books, etc. Vol. I and Vol. II. These two volumes cover the years 1746-1864, which is from a North Carolina county's beginnings until the end of The War.  Thousands of slaves, transferred among and between hundreds of slaveholders, are named. This work is as valuable for White genealogy as it is for Black because it documents movement to other states, such as SC, AL, MS, KY, and TN.  I have placed the entire work on the Internet for all to use (see below).  My greatest hope is that it will give other researchers the courage to publish abstracts from the thousands of deeds located in county courthouses.

    Index of Loose Estate Papers of Granville County, NC. A complete listing (4,664) of the names of all persons whose estate papers are in the NC State Archives for the years 1746-1919. This will soon be placed on the state-wide index by the NC State Archives.

"Roll Call: Central Children's Home Membership, 1900-1920 was published in the May, 1999 NCGS Journal (Vol. XXV, No.2).

    An abstraction of the Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contracts made with recently freed slaves for work, and transportation, from NC to AL, AR, GA, LA, MS, TN, & TX is available.  Are descendants in these states looking for ancestors who left North Carolina just after the Civil War?  Over 2,200 men, women, and  children, listed in identifiable family groups, can be found among these contracts. Labor Contracts for Freedmen in 1867 North Carolina, 101 pages including maps, spiral bound, FULL INDEX. Names of these families are in the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 35, Number 4, Winter, 1999 issue. Portions have also been published in The Arkansas Family Historian, Vol. 30, No. 1, March 2000,  and in the Tennessee Ansearchin'News Vol. 47, No. 2, Summer 2000. Look for them.

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Enslaved Ancestors Abstracted From Deed Books, etc. Vol. I and Vol. II
(on-line version, listed by Slaveholders' surnames)

Slave Transfers A - G  (1746 - 1828)
H - N (1746 - 1828) O - Y (1746 - 1828)
A - G (1828 - 1864) H - N (1828 - 1864)
O - Y (1828 - 1864)