Zora Neal Hurston ~ Many Rivers to Cross PBSAlright then! By way of Facebook prompt, word of mouth, referral and/or Ancestors, you’ve recently joined the African American Genealogy and Slave Ancestry Research Community on Facebook and I assume, have read Who In The Heck is AAGSAR & Why Don’t Y’all Like White People?! to learn more about the Ancestor-waters you’re about to leap into!

For you a Cheat Sheet of how to survive The Principal (that’s me!:), The TRIBE (our AAGSAR Community) and Slave Ancestry Research in the 21st Century (our work).

“Slave Ancestry Research is a process requiring a BOATLOAD of patience & CSI detective skills! Your ANCESTORS are worth it!” ~ @AAGSARFacebook Twitter

  • Come Prepared to Work. AAGSAR is a NO OBSERVERS forum. EVERYONE owns their work. There’s no MAGIC PILL for Slave Ancestry research. Thriving in our Community requires commitment to work and openness to technology.
  • Did You Say Technology? AAGSAR is a collaborative, TECHNOLOGY-centric, Community focused on 3 primary goals. If any of the 3 frighten you, your choices are — a.) run NOW or b.) face what frightens you! Learn. Grow. Reclaim your Ancestry! Make your choice and move forward:

“Luckie and all, I am overwhelmed with this page! It is the best that I’ve liked on this media! Right now I am trying to catch up. Also to connect with anyone with ties to Lafayette County MS, Pontotoc Co, and surrounding areas! Mainly beginning early 1800’s again a few surnames: IVY, McGLAUN/McGLAWN, HENDERSON, WARD, CAROTHERS/CARRUTHERS; WALLS, COHRAN, WHITMORE, WILLIAMS, McEWEN via MS, TN, AL, GA, VA, CA. Thank you.” ~ Charlene

  • Bring ANCESTORS — Park EVERYTHING Else At the Door. Literally. If you assumed our brown-hued Community actually hates white people, you are mistaken. AAGSAR was established to create a “safe place” for fellow researchers working through REAL challenges in their family lineage research — sans the awkwardness of race matters surfacing the minute we utter the word Slavery. This IS NOT a platform for race baiting, prejudice and/or hate speech. If you need that, travel outside of AAGSAR to find it. This rule also applies to negativity, self-promotion, marketing and solicitation of products/services. ANCESTORS and you — that’s it!

“I totally get that and thank you. I have experienced nothing but “kindness” from this group. I am learning so much especially on how to research. You and others put up links and I’m like, “where did they find that” or “how did they think to look there”. I am so excited to share and help as I can. You are so right, that is how we learn.” ~ Bernita

“The access records that aren’t listed at Duke University can be found at the genealogy room in the Durham County Library on the 3rd floor.  I was also told there are some records in the Old Courthouse in the basement but I haven’t had time to check it out. Also some records from the old Orange County (which is now part of Durham) can be found at a library on the campus of UNC at Chapel Hill…” ~ Davion

  • Ancestor Work is Karmic. Come Prepared to SHARE. Acts of Genealogical Kindness are fundamental to genealogy and community building. We apply this model and crank it WAY UP! Want to see your Tribe Members go on DEEP CHILL? Express and/or convey issues with sharing and collaborating! Bring the gems in and share them openly. Trust me, the return is 100 fold!:)

A recent example of how sharing, collaboration and technology make the difference in Slave Ancestry Research:

EDIE: A hint on Tollivers; some were originally Taliaferros in VA. Lots of those in Orange County with my Walkers. I also have some Tollivers in Springfield, Ohio with KY roots in the early 1900s

LUCKIE: Edie were you ever connected to Sandra TALIAFERRO?

LAKESHA: Edie, thank you very much–something to add to my list for this family!!

LUCKIE: LaKesha & Edie – I’m working on restoring Sandra TALIAFERRO’S research work. She was originally a TOLLIVER from GA — The TALIAFERRO Project

EDIE: No, Luckie… haven’t heard of her before. I’ll check it out!

LUCKIE: Edie Sandra TALIAFERRO was a researchers researcher who passed away in Feb & her work on the GA TOLLIVER/TALIAFERRO family line was extensive. I’m working to get her research restored online so that folks like you & LaKesha can leverage it to continue building the historical.

LUCKIE: If anyone missed it. This is THE CASE for why online documentation is vital to how we research today. The exchange between Edie, LaKesha & me; the reference to a preexisting body of work that becomes a viable information source. Sandra isn’t here to chime in BUT her work is!

  •  Get a Jump Start on Technology! Genealogists leverage blogging platforms to disseminate and preserve our family history — for use now and to benefit future researchers. Documenting and preserving our lineage is an option our Ancestors didn’t have, thus our challenges [BRICK WALLS] with finding on and offline family data. This is an information gap we can make disappear. We must know and use the tools to make it happen.
  • Explore! Read! Join In! Glance to your right, spot the AAGSAR Genealogy Blogroll and dive in! Invest time exploring how AAGSAR Tribe Members are restoring their 1family stories and Ancestor legacies! Thanks to the technology miracle called search engines, our recorded legacies have historical TIMESTAMPS!:)


  • Patience Young Grasshopper. Truth is — even if you’ve researched 30+ years, tackling how 21st Century technology has altered our research methods today, and will impact family historians in years to come is unavoidable. For some you’re building on skills already acquired. For others, you’re starting fresh. Push EVERYTHING aside except your Ancestors and willingness to follow where your calling takes you. Breathe. Open your mind and spirit. HOLD ON… we got you!:)


Luckie “The Principal” DANIELS

Sources: Quotes via AAGSAR Tribe Members & Zora Neale Hurston poster Many Rivers to Cross, The African Americans