The Freedmen’s Bureau: African American Genealogy Workshop

Learn through digital collection of records!

Join us for this year’s final class of African American genealogy workshops with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts. This session will focus on how to use Freedmen’s Bureau records to research your African American ancestors.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Finding Freedmen in Land Records: African American Genealogy Workshop

Using land records to learn your history!

Join us with professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts for a class on how to use land records to research freedmen in your family tree. This workshop is presented in-person as well as virtually via Zoom, and registration is required.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Southern Claims Commission: African American Genealogy Workshop

Learn more about your history!

The Southern Claims Commission was created in 1871 to receive and consider compensation claims made by Southern Unionist citizens. Join us with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts for a genealogy workshop on how to use these records to learn about your African American ancestors.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Plantation Papers and Business Records: African American Genealogy Workshop

To do the research is one thing, but to discover the information is just as important!

Join us with professional genealogist and Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts for an in-depth genealogy workshop on using plantation and business records to research your African American ancestors.

In recognition of Juneteenth, there will be a special presentation for in-person attendees following the workshop, from 12:30 – 1:30, “The Legends of Africatown,” by Robert Battles Sr., 1st Congressional District Representative of the Black Heritage Council. Mr. Battles will speak on the history of the Clotilda and its significance to Africatown, and to many of its residents who have family connections to the enslaved persons transported from West Africa to Mobile in the late 19th century. This talk will highlight the importance of maintaining a legacy for Mobilians of all backgrounds. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Beginning Genealogy: Finding Your African American Ancestors

Finding your history is beyond important.

We all need a refresher from time to time. Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned searcher, join us with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society President Mary Jones-Fitts as she takes us back to the basics in researching your African American ancestors. Attendance is available in-person as well as virtually via Zoom and Facebook Live, and registration is required.

Registration is required to participate in this program in-person or on Zoom. To register, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org and indicate if you would like to attend in-person or on Zoom. You may also call (251) 494-2172 for more information.

Down the Bay: Archaeology and Oral History Panel Discussion

Learn about Mobile Bay History!

For the past few years, archaeologists and oral historians from the University of South Alabama have been recording the history of Down the Bay, the neighborhood south of Government Street. Please join us in Bernheim Hall to learn the latest updates on the ongoing work for the Down the Bay Oral History Project and the I-10 Mobile River Bridge Archaeology Project.

For more information about the archaeological work and the Down the Bay Oral History Project, please click this link: https://www.southalabama.edu/org/archaeology/i-10-archaeology-project.html.

You can also visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USAarchaeology/ and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usaarchaeology/.

For more information on the event held at Ben May Main Library, please email Adrienne McSwain amcswain@mplonline.org or call 251-494-2298.

Slave Ancestral Research: African American Genealogy Workshop

Perseverance is in our DNA — Elle McKinney

In partnership with Mobile African American Genealogical & Historical Society, Mobile Public Library will host Mary Jones-Fitts, MAAGHS President, for a genealogy workshop focusing on how to research ancestors during the enslavement period.

This workshop will be presented in-person, as well as virtually via Zoom and FB Live, and registration is required. 

Please contact etheris@mplonline.org, 251-494-2172, to register and indicate whether you will attend in-person or virtually.

Family Research with the DAR

Family Research with DAR at Local History & Genealogy

Learning about family history! Members of the Tristan de Luna Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will be at the Local History and Genealogy Division to assist you with your questions and research concerning your ancestors.

For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org or call (251) 494-2172.

Barracoon and the Language of Kossula

“Derefo’ we makee de Affica where dey fetch us.” – Kossula, in Hurston’s Barracoon (68). 

In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston spent several months interviewing Oluale Kosssula, aka Cudjo Lewis, in Africatown, Alabama. She collected her notes into a manuscript, but when she sent it to a publisher, they wanted her to rewrite it “in language rather than dialect” (Hurston 2018:xxiv). Hurston refused, and it was not until eight decades later, in 2018, that Barracoon was finally published, with Hurston’s portrayal of Kossula’s speech intact.

In this talk, Leah Nodar, PhD Candidate in Linguistics at Purdue University, looks at Zora Neale Hurston’s orthographic choices in Barracoon and compares them to how she portrayed speakers of Black English from Florida and Louisiana in Mules and Men. The differences between the two books indicate unique pronunciations and grammar in Kossula’s English and show how he carried both his African origins and his American life in the way he spoke.

 For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org, or call (251) 494-2172.

Connecting Children To Their Roots, with Gaynell Brady

Genealogy for Kids!

Bring your family and join us with the Mobile Creole Cultural & Historical Preservation Society for a lesson in genealogy with Gaynell Brady of Our Mammy’s, a group committed to providing exceptional learning experiences that empower students to learn about their own family history. Mrs. Brady helps children (and parents) with their history in a meaningful and engaging way that promotes confidence and critical thinking in personal research. While this program is child-focused, adults are welcome and encouraged to come share in this experience as a family.

Registration is recommended! For more information, please email Ms. Theris-Boone at etheris@mplonline.org, or call (251) 494-2172.