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Monday, October 6, 2014

"African Facial Marks Decode Quilts"

Gist of Freedom Interview 

"African Facial Marks Decode Quilts"  

with Mrs. Teresa R. Kemp 

 Interview by (@RoyPaulReports)  September 21, 2014 

Thank you for the great response to the interview. I enjoyed hearing from all of you! 

If you missed the interview Click here to listen

Join The Gist of Freedom at www.BlackHistoryBLOG.com and at WWW.BlackHistoryUniversity.com
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 8pm ET  @GISTofFREEDOM
I loved visiting their websites and if you are a history buff it is a must see. (All the links are in orange)

As promised here are the links to the sites I mentioned in the radio interview:

This database contains information and details on more than 35,000 voyages of ships that carried people enslaved as cargo. It shows the details of 12 million Africans forcefully taken from their homes and sold worldwide for their unique knowledge and skills."

It offers researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the 
reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history."

I used this database in my research & to write
"Keeper of the Fire: An Igbo Metalsmith from Awka"
 it's a primary source that answers the question
 "How many people knew the UGRR Quilt Codes?"

 It is as African textile language that has come to be known as the UGRR Quilt Code since the book "Hidden In Plain View" was written. Often I have heard people say that their ancestors African names are lost forever. 

Well maybe but maybe not. If you can match the slave auction records (still in existence with the plantations ledgers of transactions and purchases or bills of sale. It is now conceivable that you might find their African names referenced on the Freedman's Bureau Records or Military Service Records or US Census Records.  I did not say it would be easy but it might be possible. 

I also have escaped slave advertisements with an African name and city. The descendants of village with taken people with a DNA match might be able to document the name of their taken family member.

National Archives has information on many topics and have the Veteran's Military Service Records are also one of the links you can visit at the national archives. Each one has many of the same records and each have different records too.


You can do searches on people, places and events on-line or in person at their regional locations. Freedman's Bureau has records from 1865-1872 that include state level, local field location records and marriage records. They have image (photos) bank and land records also. You can also visit their On-line exhibits and they have Teacher Resources on every page.

"In the years following the Civil War, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (the Freedmen's Bureau) provided assistance to tens of thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites in the Southern States and the District of Columbia. The war had liberated nearly four million slaves and destroyed the region's cities, towns, and plantation-based economy. It left former slaves and many whites dislocated from their homes, facing starvation, and owning only the clothes they wore. The challenge of establishing a new social order, founded on freedom and racial equality, was enormous"

I use Family Search.org to enter my families genealogy. It is one of the largest databases in the world. It is free and all you need is an email address. I did not want over 300 members of my family to have to pay to access their information! If you do not have anyone to do it for you and is not a documented by previous generations, you start it off! Don't wait. Simply enter all you know and ask older neighbors and family members.

St. Luke's AME Zion Church
2014 Exhibit in Lone Star, SC

In 2004, the Mormon Church of the Latter Day Saints did my mother's family history as a gift. It confirmed our oral history and gave us the link that was missing to get copies of probated wills, warrants, 4 appraisals that included the names of Peter and Eliza Farrow, Sr.

If you need assistance in starting there are many Family Search Center's that you can visit to learn to use the system or get you documenting you family line started. Find a Center  

If you are adopted don't fret. We have had some success with getting birth records that have been archived depending on your age. 

David R. Strother
My maternal great grandfather

This database has over 70 million military records digitized and non military related records also. There are original treaties too! 

For the military and non-military records of those in my family who served and our Native American Dawes trials records, I used Fold3.org to collect the City Directory's from towns where my family members lived in the 1940's. First, gather all your questions and names and then log on for the free trail. It is important to stay focus when the data bases are so big. You can get lost in searches finding and reading through centuries of history. (There is a charge but they also offer a free trail membership.) 

Fold3 is one of the places I found over 1,000 records on my 160 relatives that participated on the Confederate side of the Civil War  (CSA or Confederate States of America) and 58 Strother's on the Union side. I use the computers at the National Archives in Marrow.

1840 US Census Record
of David R. Strother

A few of the archives I use consistently are the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library downtown (AFPLS) location, Auburn Avenue African-American  Research Center also in Atlanta, GA, the National UGRR Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH. I visit both the National Archive in Marrow, GA and the GA State Archives which is next door. Every state has an archive.  The presidential libraries also that are great for research too. 

We've searched in many local archives and have used the local libraries to do genealogy research.  During the 2006 Strother Farrow McDaniel visited family reunion  we took a van load of people from Atlanta, GA and visited the family churches, cemeteries, the archive and library in the Edgefield , SC area. 

My 1st Cousin Ophelia DeVore Mitchell's records are in Emory University's MARBL Research Center located in Atlanta, GA. They have 100 boxes of her photos, booklets, letters from her cosmetic line, the charm school and modeling agency. They have many rare photos, books and documents you can research while there. Many are being put online. They have permanent and temporary exhibits also. I saw the SCLC exhibit when I was last there. Here is a link to Ophelia's History Maker's Interview Page

Library of Congress will hold Ophelia's and my late Mother's interview and is another Database that i have used for over 15 years to do research. I can not tell you how proud that now I have 3 family members information there in my lifetime. I use them for photos, narratives, veterans history and many many more searches. They have a great variety of on-line searchable databases.

The Atlanta History Center's Kenan Research Center is the official archive for the Strother Family, not knowing that I started a file at the Auburn Avenue Research Museum when I developed cancer in 2007. The Atlanta History Center has over 15 c. feet of diaries, bibles, photos and documents from over 3 centuries of Strother family. I still have the UGRR Secret Quilt Museum's archive that I am working on digitizing. I will be adding documents to the Plantation Quilts Research Place Page . 

2014 Covina CA Library
UGRR Secret of the Quilts Exhibit
In the book, Keeper of the Fire I list an international archives, museums, libraries that we have used either on-line and in person. Many historic sites have archives and libraries that can be helpful. I use the online state archives for every person in our family. 

When I do traveling exhibits I carry over 2,000 documents and photos with me to add to the displays and answer questions patrons might ask.

I enjoy answering questions and learning from the guest 
of the exhibits and those who call or write it. Hope to hear from you too. Please leave comments or questions. 


UGRR Quilt Code Exhibits are presentations that HEAL communities! 

Now scheduling for 2104-2017 To schedule book signing or an exhibit 

Plantation Quilt's Contact Info:

Mrs. Teresa R Kemp's Phone: (404) 468-7050

Email: trkemp@PlantationQuilts.com

Like Us on Facebook: UGRR Secret Quilt Code Museum

Follow us on Twitter: @UGRRQuiltMuseum

Plantation Quilt's Website: www.PlantationQuilts.com

Blog: https://UGRRQuiltCode.blogspot.com

We Have Chosen Education as a Bridge to Understanding!

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