If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, then you know that the biggest challenge in my genealogy journey has been researching my paternal grandfather, Booker Mays. I have written about my triumphs and defeats when it comes to my research of him. I must admit I have had more defeats than triumphs. So I decided that it was time to get a fresh set of eyes/ears to review the information that I had been gathering over the last five years.
My research in general has been stagnant recently, but certainly when it comes to Grandpa Booker’s research. So I thought I would get some help from a professional genealogist. I had been following Nicka Smith of Youtube’s Black Pro Gen Live and was finally able to meet her during my first RootsTech in 2019. Nicka Smith has been researching genealogy for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in African American genealogy and research. She also works for Ancestry, the host of Black Pro Gen Live on YouTube, and has appeared on the TV shows, Who Do You Think You Are and the Today Show as a genealogy consultant. Nicka offers genealogy coaching sessions where she helps other family historians break down brick walls and solve genealogy questions they may have in their research. So she doesn’t actually do any research for you. She provides research ideas, genealogy collections, and a fresh set of eyes/ears in your research.
I purchased a 60 minute coaching with Nicka back in March 2021. The first 15 minutes I gave her background on Grandpa Booker, some of the information I have found on him, and my research style. Some of the information we talked about was some newspapers articles I had found a few years ago about Grandpa Booker’s aunt and sister visiting from Mississippi in the 1940s. She suggested that I start researching his relatives I had found to be able to learn more about his family in Mississippi. She also told me about the Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children available on Family Search. This collection includes lists of children compiled by Mississippi counties and school districts for the years 1908 to 1957. It was a great coaching session. I left with some good ideas moving forward, and she told me that the research I had already done was on track to be able to find more information.
I dedicated my genealogy Tuesdays to researching Grandpa Booker’s relatives during the month of April. I was able to find his Aunt Virginia Luckett living in Jackson Mississippi in the 1940s and her children in newspapers. I also learned that they were members of the Pearl Street AME church in Jackson, Mississippi. My hope is by continuing to research Grandpa Booker’s Aunt, I will find out how she is his aunt and that will lead me to his parents.
I feel like I’m on the right track to finding more information about Grandpa Booker’s life in Mississippi and his family there. I will continue researching him and the relatives from Mississippi. I just keep reminding myself, this research is a marathon not a race, so I have to keep going. And this is how my journey continues…
Click HERE to read Getting to Know My Grandfather Part 1
Click HERE to read Getting to Know My Grandfather Part 2
Click HERE to read Getting to Know My Grandfather Part 3
Click HERE to read Getting to Know My Grandfather Part 4
Click HERE to read Getting to Know My Grandfather Part 5