Although my interest in genealogy was sparked more than ten years ago as a youngster, my research, I must admit, is still in the beginning stages. Off and on I have gathered a few stories and photographs from elders, and collected surnames, but the real tough stuff, like seaching through standard genealogical records, or identifying a slave master — haven’t really gotten to that yet.

I believe I have enough names to really start to dig in  — I can at least go back as far as my paternal grandmother’s grandparents — but there are several concerns keeping me from moving forward:

  1. What I might find
  2. What I might not find

Am I prepared to see family members listed (whether it’s their names or not) as property, or learn that great-great Uncle Joe (don’t know if that’s an actual ancestor of mine) was a wife beater?

What if my people aren’t really from Oyo and Benin (I’ll get to that hopefully in another post)? What if they weren’t slaves at all? What if they owned slaves? How would I feel about these what ifs if they bore some truth? Will what I find change how I define myself?

In addition to these concerns, the task at hand seems very overwhelming and I’ve just not known where to begin — or filled my time doing other things.

Well all that is changing this week.

Regardless of what I may find, the information is worth knowing. It’s all a part of my family story. I’m hitting the libraries, genealogical societies, databases. I’m diggin’ deeper into my tree. 

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