One of the blogs I regularly read is the “Ancestry Insider” which is written by “a person” who is currently a FamilySearch employee and formerly worked for Ancestry.com. The Insider continues to cover both FamilySearch and Ancestry.com. The writing is entertaining educational, and truthful. Successes, problems, neat features, corrections, and future plans for both sites are talked about.
A posting today discusses Ancestry.com’s version of the “Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820” database, which Ancestry lists as “Louisiana Slave Records, 1719-1820.”
“In 1984, a professor at Rutgers University stumbled upon a trove of historic data in a courthouse in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Over the next 15 years, Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, a noted New Orleans writer and historian, painstakingly uncovered the background of 100,000 slaves who were brought to Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries making fortunes for their owners.
Poring through documents from all over Louisiana, as well as archives in France, Spain and Texas, Dr. Hall designed and created a database into which she recorded and calculated the information she obtained from these documents about African slave names, genders, ages, occupations, illnesses, family relationships, ethnicity, places of origin, prices paid by slave owners, and slaves’ testimony and emancipations. . . .”
Check out the Ancestry Insider for the rest of the discussion and some previous problems with it on Ancestry.com, changes made by Ancestry, and comments from Dr. Hall herself. The Insider will have a later post reviewing the current Ancestry.com version of Dr. Hall’s compilation.
© 2009, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.