Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation.
By Michael Nolden Henderson. Published by The Write Image. 2013. 196 pages.
When I first picked up this book and read the title, I thought, "Oh joy, another book about documentation. But you know, this book does look more interesting than most."
Turns out, it's a book not so much about documentation as about Michael Nolden Henderson's search for his ancestry.
Early in his research journey, Mr. Henderson paid a visit to his Cousin Leonor, a family relation he had never met but who would disclose a tantalizing piece of family history.
She told him, "There was this free woman of color who had a relationship with a Frenchman named Mathieu Devaux…she used to be a slave, but she bought her freedom.…They had seven children, and they lived down in the French Quarter….she was a mulatto--you know, mixed race--but of course there are no pictures of her…Her name was Agnes."
So began Mr. Henderson's search for his French background, and the story behind a slave ancestor's purchase of her freedom. He read up on his hometown's (Algiers, Louisiana) history, methodically researched the records of French and Spanish colonial Louisiana, then recounted in this book how he built and authenticated the story of his Louisiana roots.
Mr. Henderson is a retired Naval officer whose ancestors were featured in a segment of the PBS series "History Detectives" called "The Galvez Papers." His research skills were honed during his distinguished naval career, which eventually led to his becoming the first African American in Georgia to be inducted into the National Society, Sons of the America Revolution. The chapter elected him president and vice-president, and he remains the only African American member.
Don't let the word "documentation" put you off. This is a very good story, not a manual.
Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation is available from many genealogy bookstores as well as from Amazon at http://goo.gl/UqfHce.