Monday, February 27, 2017

Harrell Inspired Other Genealogist to Donate Their Research Materials

Harrell donating her 2017 collection
My family roots run deep in the Florida Parishes. When I first started researching my family history in the local libraries and university, I couldn't find any records, photographs, and any other genealogy resources outside of the parish courthouse and ancestry.  I know my family has been in the parishes since the founding of the parishes and contributed to the society they lived in. 

They owned their land, they built their one-room schools. African American people in the Florida parishes worked hard to own and maintain their own farms and some owned their own business. They served in the military and not one monument with their names listed can be found throughout the Florida Parishes.  "Why wasn't their contributions documented?" As I moved forward to pursue my own genealogy research as planned. I started collecting photographs, documents, artifacts and genealogical records from other African American families in the Florida Parishes, I had to find a repository to deposit the items collected. 

Bennett donating her family files
In 2012, I called the office of Samuel Hyde, Jr. Ph.D., Professor of History and Director, Center for Southeast La. Studies/Archives to set up an appointment with him to talk with him about the rich collections. After talking with Dr. Hyde, he informed me that he would be happy to archive the collections, and how   important it is to the history of the Florida Parishes. The collection  help fill in the missing pieces of history in the Florida Parishes as it relates to African American people. 

I asked my colleague Bernice Alexander Bennett a Maryland resident, who is the host of "Research at the National Archives and Beyond," author, genealogist, family historian to consider donating her family papers and research to the Center for Southeast La. Studies/Archives. She agreed to donate her collection to the center.  Bennett spends countless of hours researching civil war records for Louisiana color troops at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Martin & Royal looking at Harrell's
Another genealogy researcher named Stephanie Quiette-Addison Martin, spent twenty-five years  researching and documenting the history of African Americans in the Florida Parishes, Martin has submitted work to Afrigeneas and to Christine's Genealogy website. She is also published in the "Louisiana Genealogical Register." Martin offered to donate her extensive collection to the Center for Southeast La Studies/Archives. She has collected over 10,000 names. Martin is the Manager of the African American Archives for  Louisiana.

Karran Harper Royal, co-host of "Nurturing Our Roots Television Talk Show," and Executive Director of the Georgetown University 272. Royal is a native of New Orleans and talks about the impact of Georgetown. 272 slaves were sold to benefit Georgetown University.

Words can't explain how delighted and happy I am to hear that these noted and reowned genealogists  and family historians will follow the lead and donate their collections to the center.