Black Genealogists Publish Their Stories

October 23rd, 1994


The number of African-Americans who are researching their genealogies has grown every year since the publication of “Roots” and the subsequent television show in 1977. Locally, two genealogists have just published their family histories as a culmination of years of research. Del Egan Jupiter has written “Agustina of Spanish West Florida and Her Descendants” including the related families of Eagan, Kelker, Palmer, and Taylor. The book is an expansion of her article on the same family which appeared in the National Genealogical Society’s “Quarterly” in December, 1992 and won a national award from the society. The book includes an amazingly researched story of a slave woman, Agustina, who came to Pensacola. The book contains copies of original documents, family photographs, footnotes and references and an easy-to-follow family numbering system. There is a full-name index. Mrs. Jupiter’s work not only presents a story that would fascinate any historian or genealogist, but also shows that black history “can be done!”. Published through Genealogy Publishing Service of Franklin, N.C., the books is $30 postpaid from the author, 123 Kittrell Dr. SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30331.

“Collier Connections from Europe to Morgan County, Georgia” is the work of Mildred Collier Walton. The author begins her story with a white French ancestor named Coliere and traces his lineage down, with footnotes and sources, to Edward Collier the probable father of her own Albert Collier. By this time the family is in Abbeville, S.C. The author has created the setting of the times when her ancestors are first identified in the records of the plantations where they lived and what the era was like. She discusses the interracial nature of the family and its progress toward freedom. Many family pictures are included, even some that are nearly a century old. Her final chapter, “Conclusions” helps the reader focus on the author’s goals and whether she met them or not and the areas still to be researched or debated. There is a full-name index. Again, this work shows that an African-American family history can be compiled. It is a work that any family would be proud to own, and a goal any researcher should be attempting to produce. This book was also published through Genealogy Publishing Service of Franklin, N.C. It is available from the author, Mildred Walton, 1176 Oakcrest Dr. SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30311.


Anyone interested in starting work on their family history who has African-American ancestors should contact the African-American Family History Association, P.O.Box 115268, Atlanta, Ga. 30310. They have frequent research-topic meetings, take research tours, publish an extensive newsletter, and give help to new members. A solid organization that has operated for 15 years, the members can give needed help to anyone working on a black family history, be he beginner or advanced. Herman “Skip” Mason, editor, is at Digging It Up, Atlanta, at 688-6509.