It takes a village. That's what being a historian of slavery and doing recovery work is like. Now, imagine what researching the hundreds of thousands of other less well documented, or not documented at all, sales and separations of enslaved people might be like.
But historians in the 1990s made Fossett’s hoped-for reunion a reality for people whose ancestors were affected by the dispersal sales to cover Jefferson’s debts. This is from the first Getting Word descendant reunion in 1997, 170 years after the 1827 dispersal sale.
More than 70 years later, Rev. Peter Fossett, who'd been forcibly sold from his family at age 11, reflected in a newspaper how he was "put upon an auction block and sold to strangers." It is the only firsthand printed account of the sale from a Black person's perspective.
January 15 marks a tragic anniversary of the day, 195 years ago, when executors of Thomas Jefferson's will sold 130 enslaved people from Monticello. This is how they advertised the devastation they would bring on scores of families.
Writing a book or dissertation related to Indigenous Studies, Early America, and/or History of Science? Need $$? @AmPhilSociety is accepting applications for long-term sabbatical, predoctoral, and postdoctoral #fellowships until January 28! Details here: https://www.amphilsoc.org/grants/fellowships
HOMEGROWN IN THE GARDEN STATEIt’s the first-ever online publication of the NEW JERSEY GEOGRAPHIC BIRTH INDEX and the NEW JERSEY DELAYED BIRTH INDEX, 1901-1929!Hello again from your friends at Reclaim The Records! We’re here on this fine "Giving Tuesday" — every non-profit organization’s favorite fake holiday — to tell you that we just got a whole bunch of new genealogical records, they’re all freshly scanned and uploaded and online now for the first time ever, and they’re totally FREE, because we never charge for records access.And who doesn’t love a "Giving Tuesday" post that starts out like that, right? (And it’s not midnight yet on the west coast, so it’s still Tuesday here.)Introducing the New Jersey Geographic Birth Index, 1901-1929! It’s the first-ever online publication of a twentieth century birth index from the Garden State (well, except for that time a few years ago when we got the 1901-1903 birth index and put that up, too). But this time around, we got the GEOGRAPHIC birth index, which means that it’s a list of births that have been separated by county of birth, and sometimes by a major city within the county, and it’s not just a purely alphabetical list.Based on published New Jersey vital statistics, we think this collection covers 1,762,288 births in New Jersey (give or take a few) from 1901-1929, which were typed into books, which were then photographed onto 92 microfilm reels. Each of the reels has a few hundred images. It’s 493 GB in total. 😳We were originally tipped off about the existence of the geographic birth index microfilms by New Jersey genealogist Melissa Johnson. We were then able to get brand new copies made of the microfilms from the very nice archivists at the New Jersey State Archives, in Trenton. It was super-chill and unlike some of our adventures in other states, we didn’t even have to threaten any open records lawsuits at all! Imagine a world where all archivists are that great about data sharing…And then our awesome friends at FamilySearch once again stepped up and donated the labor to scan all the films for us (thank yoooooou!). That means that the index images will likely show up on their website sometime in the very near future, and then undoubtedly at all the other genealogy websites we all like to use, as well. And presumably some or all of those organizations and companies will set up a proper indexing project for the images, too, to create a real text-searchable database.Want to learn how to TEXT-SEARCH the data in these images, even though there isn’t really a transcription project or a database version yet? Want to learn about the DELAYED BIRTH INDEX with mothers’ maiden names, which we also got? Want to learn how to ORDER A BIRTH CERTIFICATE of someone you find in these records?Well, you can read more about ALL these things here:www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/29/And it’s all free, thanks to a genealogist who knew about the records, an archive who was helpful and allowed us to buy copies, a non-profit (FamilySearch) who did the tedious scanning work, and another non-profit (the Internet Archive) who let us upload and serve almost 500 GB of images to and from their servers.But here’s the kicker to our "Giving Tuesday" post. (And you knew this was coming, right?)We’re a non-profit, too. And we need your help. We love finding really great genealogical records that ought to be online, and then making it happen. Sometimes we can strike a great deal and it all goes exceedingly well, as it did here. But sometimes we need to hire lawyers and sue to get our records back. We’re very good at it and have a great track record, including at least three recent lawsuit wins that we haven’t even publicly announced yet (omg!!!) but it’s also not inexpensive.If you like seeing records like the New Jersey birth index go online for free, for everyone, forever, and you want to see us keep doing this kind of thing, and in more states nationwide, please consider making a donation to help fund our work. We really appreciate your support! (And you can donate on our website.)Thank you for your support! ☺ … See MoreSee Less
RUN AND TELL THAT: USCIS IS ASKING FOR YOUR PUBLIC COMMENTS ABOUT THEIR PRICE GOUGINGHi records friends! Today we have a time-sensitive opportunity for you: a chance to tell a major federal government agency with millions of never-before-online historical records about how and why they can shape up and do better. If speed-kvetching about genealogy is your thing, now’s your chance!Here’s the super-short version of what’s going on and what you can do right now (like, today):www.recordsnotrevenue.comAnd here’s the super-long comment our organization has formally submitted to USCIS, to make the case for better public records access:www.reclaimtherecords.org/about/activism/uscis-genealogy-program/And here’s the much longer backstory, explaining what this is all about, in our latest newsletter!mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/run-and-tell-that-uscis-genealogy-program-public-commentsWe hope you’ll take the time to read all this, and to submit a comment to USCIS right away. You can submit your comment online, it won’t take long. Tell them how you feel about their agency holding millions of records hostage, records which ought to go to the National Archives.Public records belong to the public. And our shared American history is not the agency’s piggybank. Don’t delay, tell them today! … See MoreSee Less
Reclaim The Records is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our EIN is 81-4985446. Contact us at [email protected]