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Debra Blacklock-Sloan

Ebony Ancestry

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Lectures:
Beginning African-American Genealogy The Importance of Doing African- American Family History Research Finding the Last Slaveholder Challenges of African-American Genealogy

Publications:
Beginning African-American Genealogy Finding the Last Slaveholder Challenges of African-American Genealogy African- American Handbook of Texas articles

Affiliations:
Vice- President- Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society-Willie Lee Gay H-Town Chapter Harris County Historical Commission Texas State Historical Association

Testimonials:
I had the privilege of working with Debra on the Bernardo Plantation Archaeology Project. Our task was to locate current individuals who were descended from those who were enslaved on the plantation. It was the reverse of a normal genealogical project in that we started in the past and came forward in time, instead of starting with the current generation and going backward. We had some limited data on the slaves from 1831 to 1858, and from this Debra was able to identify several families listed in the 1870 census - the first to provide last names for formerly enslaved persons. Using her extensive knowledge of obscure information sources in addition to censuses, coupled with an amazing sense of deductive reasoning for where and how to look, she quickly filled in the gaps and developed an impressive record of current descendants of the Bernardo slaves. Then she contacted some of these individuals and conducted oral interviews to complete their family histories. Using old land records and other sources, she put together the history of where these families lived in 1870 - the land they owned and farmed, and what crops and livestock they raised. She even identified the plantation in Louisiana on which two of the older family members were born before coming to Texas. One of her identified lines traces back to a group of individuals who were born in Africa and landed in America where they were sold as slaves in 1818. For Debra, blind alleys do not exist. They are only paths with a temporary blockade, through which her determined search of alternative sources of information will finally open the way. Her outgoing and affable personality allows her to reach out to others who may not be family members but can provide key information. During our work together she gained my utmost respect for her genealogical research skills, and it is with complete confidence that I am able to wholeheartedly recommend her services in this field. James Woodrick, historian and author of: Bernardo - Crossroads, Social Center and Agricultural Showcase of Early Texas Austin County-Colonial Capital of Texas


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