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CAPE VERDEANS IN THE WHALING INDUSTRY

By Raymond A. Almeida

Cape Verdeans in Early America were Portuguese-speaking Africans.  They worked predominantly in the service of whaling ships prior to the Revolutionary War.  These Africans were hired for less money and by the first decades of the 19th Century made up 3/8th of the crews of Nantucket’s active Whaling Ships.  Cape Verdeans came from Cape Verde, an island off of the Portuguese Coast known for its close proximity to the slave trading coast of West Africa. Whaling ships would sail off of the Cape Verde Islands and pick up crewmen then called Bravas.  The presence of Bravas in the whaling industry became so common that a whole section of Nantucket would be named Guinea Town, after the African Coast of the same name.

 

CARIBBEAN SURNAME INDEX

The Caribbean Surname Index is an online forum where registered users discuss and post relevant genealogical information about themselves and family members from the Caribbean.  The index allows private users to message each other, and for safety, each email address has been removed from public view. The index is fully searchable and all posts are yes, subject to review by the administrators.  Regular posting is expressly encouraged because he more posted here, the better the chance for success. 

 

The basic format for adding entries to the Caribbean Surname Index is:

Subject Line SURNAME (in capitals), Country – local area

Body Text:

Your Name and a relevant message (keep it brief).   

 

The index is not checked daily for spam so be careful with how much information you share. 

CEMETERIES OF THE UNITED STATES: A GUIDE TO CONTACT INFORMATION FOR U.S. CEMETERIES AND THEIR RECORDS

Cemeteries of the United States: A Guide to Contact Information for U.S. Cemeteries and Their Records lists over 22,000 operating as well as inactive cemeteries.  Arranged alphabetically by state, county and town, the guide includes for each entry:

 

  • Cemetery Name

  • Address

  • Phone

  • Fax

  • Years of Operation

  • Religious Affiliation

 

To get the publication direct or just to get more information on the contents within Cemeteries of the U.S.: A Guide to Contact Information for U.S. Cemeteries and Their Records researchers can go to Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Cemeteries-U-S-Contact-Information-Records/dp/0810392453 or view the website's wiki  for more general information on Cemeteries and how cemeteries of the U.S.: A Guide to Contact Information for U.S. Cemeteries and Their Records how researchers can obtain this publication online visit the Family Search Wiki entitled “United States Cemeteries” at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/United_States_Cemeteries

 

THE CHEROKEE STRIP LAND RUN

The Cherokee Strip Land Run is also known as the “Land Run of 1893”. It opened up land owned by the Cherokee for sale to the public.  It was on September 16, 1893 that 100,000 people sat waiting to claim land made available by the government in Oklahoma.  It was one of five land runs that would happen in Oklahoma Territory.  Each "lot" or “Unassigned Lands” were laid out in 160-acre homesteads and in total, around three million acres were opened up to the public in the west.

 

CHINESE BLACKS IN AMERICA

In Lucy M. Cohen’s book, “Chinese in the Post-Civil War South – A People Without a history” published in 1984, she displays a number of 20th century photographs of Chinese and Black descendants.   It is a fascinating story that documents the shifting changes in America’s ethnic makeup in the time period before and after the Civil War.  At the time, communities from Mississippi to Louisiana in the South were known to have been inhabited by various Asian identities. 

 

Excerpt:

 

"After Emancipation in 1863, some white plantation owners in the South hired Chinese coolies to replace black slave labor. As the Reconstruction (1866-1877) came to an end, the Chinese faced racial prejudice and discrimination as did the Southern blacks. Many Chinese men married local non-Chinese women, including black American women. For example, the tenth census of Louisiana showed, among the 489 Chinese in the state, 28 had spouses present. Only 3 of those had China-born wives. Of the remaining, 4 married mulatto women, 12 married Negro women, 8 married white women, and 1 married an American-born Chinese."

 

More than one account was made when it came to the Influx of Chinese into the bloodlines of former slaves.  In the book, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S.C. Volunteers (1848), author Susie King Taylor relates:

 

“After the death of my son, while on my way back to Boston, I came to Clarksdale, one of the stations on the road from Vicksburg. In this town a Mr. Hancock, of New York, had a large cotton plantation, and the Chinese intermarry with the blacks.”

 

For more information on Chinese Blacks in America read the entire article at http://www.colorq.org/meltingpot/article.aspx?d=America&x=ChineseBlacks or visit Susie King Taylor’s Book’s Full Text at

http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/taylorsu/taylorsu.html

 

 

CHRONICLING AMERICA

A newspaper directory derived from the catalog of the Library of Congress’ National Newspaper Digital Program, Chronicling America provides the researcher with access to information from some of America’s most highly circulated newspapers.  A rich digital resource, the collection, was developed and is permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.  It is updated daily. 

CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS SYSTEM

 (CWSS)

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a computerized database containing basic facts on more than 6.3 million soldiers in the U.S. National Archives who served on both sides during the Civil War.  It contains links to descriptions of 384 significant civil war battle and in-depth information about soldiers, sailors, regiments, and battles.  This was made possible thanks to the tireless and continuing work of countless volunteers all over the country. African American researchers can find ancestors by Searching for Battle Units.  If you have the state and the side your ancestor fought on then a list will display with results.  African American Battle Unit results will look, for example, like this:

 

  • 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (Colored)

Side note: Not all African Americans were in all black regiments.  Juanita Patience Moss talks about just this subject in a lecture on C-SPAN about her book, The Forgotten Black Soldiers in White Regiments During The Civil War, on September 20, 2013.  

CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE

 

Evidence that establishes proof that a disputed fact has a higher probability of being.

 

COLLECTING DEAD RELATIVES

Collecting Dead Relatives by Laverne Galeener Moore is an anthropological journey through the world and situations of genealogy.  A side-splitting look at the characters and the cases that make genealogy one of the most addictive and fastest-growing hobbies ever, it is a how-to guide for dealing with the logistics of long term research.  Learn the latest techniques and learn the etiquette genealogy.  The slim volume is one hundred and fifty-five pages of hilarious anecdotes and indispensable wisdom for even the most seasoned and most committed of genealogists.  Published in 1987, this book has continued to give generations and generations of genealogists, what they crave, VALIDATION.  So, if you want to survive in the cut throat world of SERIOUS genealogy this is the book for you.

THE COLORED TRAINMEN OF AMERICA

The Colored Trainmen of America Labor Union was founded in 1912 for the purpose of protecting the rights of the colored men who worked on trains all over the United States. It was reorganized in 1918 as The Associated Colored Trainmen of America, and then again in 1936 as the Association of Colored Railway Trainmen and Locomotive Firemen.  Its collection includes correspondences pertaining to grievance and disciplinary cases; transcripts of accident investigations and misconduct proceedings; and minutes and summaries of meetings held in 1934 and 1936. Within its collection is a vast number of names, dates and relationships that may have been previously lost by African Americans whose family members lived lives many different places.  If "Daddy as a railroad man" I would start here but I must warn you might not like what you find.  

 

THE COURT OF MIXED COMMISSION RECORDS

The Court of Mixed Commission was a punitive body appointed to patrol the seas for illegal slave trading after the abolition of the slave trade in 1807.  By law, the court could confiscate vessels, equipment, and merchandise, as well as release captives. Throughout its life as a commission it liberated four hundred and fifty three Africans from illegal slavers.  The court's records were kept by both Government Officials in the United States and Great Britain. A detailed account and description of these records can be found on the UK National Archives How to look for British Transatlantic Slave Trade Records page.  

CYNDI'S LIST

Cyndi’s List is one of the oldest genealogy directories on the web, with over 300,000 links and 200,000 categories it is the brainchild of genealogist Cyndi Inglis Howell.  With  updates and quick responses the site is scanned regularly for bad links.  It covers every subject imaginable involving genealogy.