Tag Archives: Genealogy

Nat’l DNA Day Discounts – work your lines

Traditional Dances steeped in West and Central African spiritual traditions, has invoked

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foto: Jan. 2005 – BOMB interview of Haitian Master Dance Teacher Peniel Guerrier by Yvonne Daniel

DNA wisdom within me since the womb. I indentify with Òsùmàrè [Oxumaré – Brasilian Candomble] known as the “rainbow spirit” of Yoruba traditions holding dominion over the heavens and the earth bearing dual qualities of male and female; Òsùmàrè is the umbilical life-line of continuity’; this embodied concept permeates throughout the island of Haiti — undulating dance movements of  Yanvalou, honoring the divine serpent duo known as lwa,  Ayida-Wedo and Damballah-Wedo; where rainbow showers and white offerings activate writhing, from the cerebral cortex winding down to the coccyx.  And in the Ancient star systems of the Dogon peoples exist the serpentine symbolism of the “double-helix”.

 

dnaday2016_fb_logoAmerica’s noted discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953, propelled a Congressional proclamation called National DNA on April 25, 2003.  This initiative transcended into an anniverserial event carried forward by the  National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), now celebrating it’s 15th year.

DNA testing is a powerful tool for identification. ~DNA Diagnostics Center

DNA testing made accessible for home use?! seemed almost unbelievable.  For African Americans on their quest to find their ROOTS marked an important benchmark in Family History Research.  Yet, long before I considered taking a DNA test I needed to consider a few things:

1st  Exorcise historical Family ‘lore, fears and myths concerning taking such a test, in light of how much surplus blood I’ve given at a many Doctor and or Medical visits.

2nd  I actually LOVE biology and particularly became fond of our Genetics component, in High school. Although I was aware of MESA [Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement] my Mom was actually a Health and Safety Lab technician at Lawrence Berkeley Labs and anything less than an ‘A’ in Biology and Chemistry was unacceptable.

3rd  It became apparent that I needed to immerse myself, so I took workshops with Field leaders and binged on very accessible tutorials by Ancestry.com on youtube.com. Learning about the discoveries of other African American Genecymera_20170201_1531421alogists and Family Historians heightened my determination. It was the dynamic delivery of  Mr. Shannon Christmas, experienced genealogist specializing in genetic, colonial American, and African-American genealogy in Virginia and the Carolinas, that tipped my scales.  He’s well-versed, studied and a dynamic lecturer whose sought out expertise and encouragement invoked me to buy 23andMe immediately after his lecture at #Rootstech2017, Salt-Lake City, Utah. Since then, 4 generations of my maternal line are tested. I’ve taken a second test with Ancestry.com and planning my 3rd effort through FamilyTreeDNA.

Soooo, over 1500 DNA matches later, I am a deep diver of Family History research and highly advise that working YOUR lines is a must, as it often said by experts that Genealogy and DNA testing goes hand-in-hand. And while waiting for your results to come back, make certain to interview your walking history – the Elders in your Family and continue to build your tree. In special cases of adoption, I can share that DNA testing will enhance your investigation, along with Genea-friend kin support, with select educational online sources;  Consider every piece of information as a clue towards your find.  To this day, I’ve be in the service to locate biological parentage of cherished friends and DNA matches who are adopted; If there ever was a testimony to share, this area of Genealogy, DNA testing bears powerful impact of transformation.

That being said, take all of these cues of inspiration and further your right to learn about your birthright through your Ancestral codes.  Testing opportunities are accessible, available and now on SALE. ~ workingmylines.org  #workingmylines

Happy National DNA Day and #givepraisetolife

23andMe-30%off
$69 Sales end: APR 25th: www.23andme.com
AncestryDNA$59
$59 Sales end APR 29th: AncestryDNA.com
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$49 Family Finder Sale ends APR 28th: www.familytreedna.com

Rain or Shine, Ancestors come thru!

#nzoCALIFAncestry is my Community platform for cultivating Genealogy kinship and Ancestral/Communal Healing initiatives.

On a rainy Sunday, November 26, 2017, one enters the double doors of the Community Room of the Oakland Main Public Library, [OPL]  interested to research their Family History, open for messages and possibilities.  By the day’s end [literally] the room had indeed been imbued by an early evening of compelling Family stories shared, stories passed down and some in fragments; one attendee brings 2 stacks of Family data research, another brings a table long chart of her Family Tree – this session is primed. #RiteOn

We began this day getting right to work to chart our Family tree on a template provided, instrumental to guide the attendees’ next steps in their research.  The room was prayed up and prepared to receive 16 faithful and determined Family members who openly gave voice to their Ancestors’ by calling out their names, as those in the room who shared a common surname echoed back in response:

     Akridge, Amey, Barnes, Barnum, Blackman, Brady, Brooks, Butler, Callahan, Calloway, Chancey, Chenoweth, Coleman, Cook, Cornell, Donaldson,  Dozier, Dunn, Garcias, Gayle, George, Hairston, Hall, Harding, Hemphill, Homer, Hunter, Lewis, Livingston, Lowery,  Lynn, McClennon, Moore, Mosely, Motley, Nash, Olivo, Orias, Ortiz, Pacheco, Pittman, Robinson, Stamps, Tan, Thomas, Turner, Van Hook, Walston, Waters, White, Wright…

We also cite the places our Ancestors traveled and sojourned; including those who were shipped and or sold away, migrated through many regions, across waters, trails, and areas such as:

Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Texarkansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia,  Chile, China, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Liberia, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and California.

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Session II – Genealogy/kinship attendees at Oakland Public MAIN Library, conducted by R. Califa Calloway, #nzoCALIFAncestry. Sunday, November 26, 2017

     As our aural senses were briefly disturbed by outside bellows of anger and resentment being ushered out of the Library’s temporary cove, we braced ourselves and re-centered with deeper focus. [Bless ’em]  Each member was steadfast to share their story, even with gentle time warnings. [I, feeling like biting my nails, carefully glancing at the time] I stay mindful recognizing that the room had become safe space.  For some, it was their first time and their hearts desire to find a Father or learn more about that unknown great from the South, while others wanted to expand a Family line — all knowing that everyone in the room is genuinely listening with shared intentions in kinship; As a Genealogist / Teaching Artist I was elated, and as a conductor I respectfully surrendered to the process.

My keychain arsenal holds over 23 library cards from throughout the country, I love meme_LoveLibrarieslibraries!    It was a distinct pleasure to introduce the OPL’s Genealogy and Historical Records online to aid in their Family History research. With some surprised and others eager to dive in, the time had prospered forward to put research into motion, and so we began with the Ancestry.com’s Library EditionEach attendee started with “that Ancestor”  and was guided through each search prompt, aided by a few additional tips to advance the search in cases of the unknown:

  • Add Mother and Father or sibling
  • List the State and Country if you don’t know City
  • Estimate birth and death year
  • List known resident locations
  • Clarify “Race/Nationality” prompt [Ancestry.com]
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Click the link to see the list of online resources at Oakland Public Library:

The minute each attendee, pushed Ancestry’s “search button” a quiet stir hit the room;  heads were hunched down tenaciously gleaning U.S. Census records to locate “that Ancestor”.    According to the nation’s “oldest record keeper” the National Archives and Records Administration [NARA]

“Census records can provide the building blocks of your research, allowing you to both confirm information, and to learn more.” ~ NARA website

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When “Walston cousins meet. Thank you,  Deborah Bryson

I’ll add that Census takers are human too *wink*.   In the next moment, an unknown Father’s information was located;  Hmmm looks like there’s more than one Family member with the same name, how could this be true? Another’s Family line extends a generation, while further research by a 1st session attendee, leads to documents from the Philippines corroborating her “Tan” connection.

[now we’re over time]  A school bell rings in my head, reminding me of my Mama Georgia’s saying “Play time is ovah, time to come on in”.  As a Professional Dance Teacher, I now urgently give cues to relentless minds now locked in on finding out more and announce to make preparations to gather in a circle.  The room was now filled, and so was every attendee filled with discoveries made possible by their Ancestor’s presence.  I’m deeply humbled, I am too filled, yet remain reticent to skillfully guide us into the ’round — hands clasped, hearts full, Ori-centered to release, give thanks, align and “Give Praise to Life”.  *breath*

Egun Ire’o, Egun Iba’se  // R. Califa Calloway, #nzoCALIFAncestry

Follow my latest campaign and Sophomoric journey to the Genealogy Mega-Conference #Regina2RootsTech2018, Salt Lake City Utah;  I’m cultivating Genealogy / Family History/ Ancestral kinship sessions and taking names to advance my expertise and training in Genealogical methods, research strategies, and Technology.

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She Ready!!!

#nzoCALIFAncestry Genealogy kinship service welcomes Cultural Presentations, Conference and Panel invite; I am enthusiastic about Intentional Retreats & Inner-Circle gatherings that facilitate Communal & Ancestral Healing works.  Dedicated to restoring Family Charters, I partner in Personal Development and Transformation initiatives as Family Reunions and Family gatherings are a fave.  Contact me today, and let’s envision.

R. Califa Calloway

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  • #nzoCALIFAncestry Genealogy Kinship sessions appeared in concert with the            Malonga Center Community Ancestral Installation at the Oakland Public Main Library, Nov. 2, 2017 – Dec. 1, 2017 | Curator/Lead Artist: Regina “Califa” Calloway
  • Made possible through shared partnering:  Nzo Califa Dance Works, Kongo SQ West Kinship Society, Oakland Public Main Library & DelinaDream Productions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amandla – Brother Sechaba J. Mokoena of South Africa, iba’e

Most recently I took on the commission of installing an Ancestral Community altar paying homage to beloved Arts and Cultural leaders who’ve transitioned into the Ancestral realm, all-knowing that this calling was a whole lot greater than the actual work.  Thinking from a genealogical perspective led me to the daunting task to actually research sunrise and sunset dates associated with the names located.  Eventually, another tier added to these efforts was to locate the place of birth and place of death.

Reared, educated, trained, performed, in the richness of the Bay Area’s Cultural landscape, my honing grounds is that of the African Dance and Drum Community in Oakland, California preceded by my Mother. [see nzoCALIFA dance.blog post] Mentored as a Cultural gatekeeper, now prospering these gifts into a Dance mediumship for service, I envision this opportunity for Ancestral and Communal healing, a mission shared by 2 of my Dance kinship who serve as co-commissioners for Oakland’s Life is Living Festival: African in Oakland – Dance Zone.  United we bring into focus, The Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, celebrated Arts portal and cultural cradle place nationally renown also represents for us as “Nzo”, our house, village house and or sacred home, with a mission to elevate its vitality by intentionally honoring our beloved transitioned, treasuring their contributory gifts today.

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#nzoCALIFAncestry:  U.S. Public Records Index researched Communal Ancestor   Sechaba J Mokoena of Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa

Immediately the need is to remember our dead transitioned and restore Ancestral rites of atonement in the Community. Approaching this process like a “Spiritual Architect” coin-phrased by Pastor Yolanda Batts of Brooklyn’s Celebration Spiritual Center, I bring my tools as a Field Research Genealogist to the table, ready to shed light upon those good folks who I’ve known through my Oakland Village of African Dance, Drum, and Culture — more than just to say their names, it is important to share their stories cultivating the wealth of knowledge already invested in the Community and to encourage such exchange among each other.  From a collected roster of names collected, over 40 to date and growing, my first attempt guided me to research an International comrade who used to wail the call of Zulu warriors with songs of Freedom envisioning the unification of Africa.  As an expatriate of apartheid South Africa, I also learned that Brother Sechaba J. Mokoena was a touring member of critically acclaimed South Africa musical “Ipi N’Tombi” eventually defecting to the United States in the 80’s,  becoming a resident of the Bay Area.

#nzoCALIFAncestry: I located the record above, showing Brother Sechaba’s birthdate and as a resident of Oakland, California, North Oakland, known as the Upper Telegraph area today; he flourished as a founding member of prominent South African Cultural Groups, Zulu Spear band, and U-Zulu Dance Theatre, always keeping his vision of a United Africa. I am still locating his death date, I have an approximate year based off my recollection at the former Citicentre Dance Theatre back in 2004.

And if ever there’d be a living archive so true to date, that’d capture his views, this video documentary discovered from online research delivers!  Listen to the message and learn more about Brother Sechaba.  AMANDLA Brother Sechaba Mokoena!

Give praise to life.   ~R. Calloway, #workingmylines

Community Ancestors
“Give Praise to Life” Fall Ancestral Harvest Commemoration, Oakland, CA. @nzoCALIFA

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  • Public record accessed from Ancestry.com
  • Video published by Sonny Walebowa
  • #nzoCALIFAncestry: Continued works, documenting and preserving beloved Communal Ancestors transitioned from the Malonga Center Community legacy. Installed at Life is Living Festival and “Library Edition” Oakland Public Library

When Ancestors inform the Dance

Interview theme “Whose Do You Belong to?!” conceived by Regina Califa, #Dancestory Project Curator, hosted by Wanda Sabir New Orleans native and celebrated International Journalist/Activist of Wanda’s Picks.com  [originally recorded 08.07.15]

“Dancestory” is a guided movement source of embodied knowledge – UNEARTHED.               It incites exploration of cultural pathways and Ancestral histories, bridged with                  field-research and Technology.

___________  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW HERE –> “Whose Do You Belong to?”

SM_nzoCALIFAncestry-promoAD                       Project Founder and Teaching Artist, R. Califa shares a wealth of wisdom                                                                about her Sojourn joined by many in Dance+Spirit+Genealogy.

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#DANCESTORY CAMPAIGN REPORT BACK: www.gofundme.com/Dancestory2013                     for project updates and further inquiry.

 

Family Reunion: Coleman / Culverson, SoCAL recap.

Southern California-– I am a double Family descendant belonging to the Coleman and the Culversons on my maternal side and at the helm hails my 90 year old Grandmother Elsie Waters, daughter of Mabel Coleman and Cleveland Culverson of West Carroll Parish, Louisiana.  My Grandmother along with my Grandfather married as “Waters” although they had known each other since my Grandmother was 13 years old. They moved to West Oakland, California at the end of WWII and bought their 1st piece of property on Campbell Street.

Coleman / Culverson Family Reunion - Southern California 2015

Our Southern California Colemans and Culversons were the host for this year’s Family Reunion. I was absolutely thrilled to be in attendance, to share my love for Family History at the same time to speak with Elders who would know the story beneath the story of the many living Elders and their descendants and of our celebrated Patriarch, Perry Coleman. Tis a major feat to bridge the convening of these double cousins, yet Coleman and Culverson Families have organized reunion for nearly 17 years. I am fortunate to have been a part of the Northern California branch to launch its first Family History pamphlets and books in 1993, inspired by my Grandfather Claude Waters Jr, these efforts forwarded to this day by my Grandmother Elsie Waters – Today there are 5 pieces of self-produced booklets, with another project underway.

Coleman & Culverson Family Reunion pix 

[upper lft] Family Matriarchs

[upper rt] Taking notes in consultation with Family Elders at the table.

Coleman/Culverson Family Reunion -Southern California 2015

[btm left] Bakersfield 2017 Family Reunion Announcement by Cousins O.C. and Odella Johnson

[btm right] In the grand scheme of things, nothing else matters but the love and compassion that we show to one another.  ~Pastor J. R. Coleman The Word Community Church, Fresno, CA

 

#Dancestory2015
          Coleman Family Church – Los Angeles branch            St. Reed Missionary Baptist Church

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#Coleman Family Mothers convene to say “Farewell” until next…Cousin Jimmi Coleman, Matriarch Elsie Waters [front] daughters [upper] Katie Waters, Selyah Waters & my Mom Patricia Calloway along with cousin Deidre Coleman, wife of our cousin Duane aka Pastor J.R. Coleman.
Cousin kinship

Cousins strengthening Family ties. Cousin Rashad, my Brother Jon & me ;) All from James Gabriel Coleman line.
Cousins binding Family ties. Cousin Rashad, my Brother Jon &  Me. *James Gabriel Coleman line
Cousin Chara - key organizer of this year's Reunion ever so thankful for her assistance in assuring my participation
Cousin Chara – key organizer of this year’s Reunion.  A BIG thanks of gratitude to you cousin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            #nzoCALIFAncestry

Coleman Family Patriarch Born 1879 Tuskola, AL
        Coleman Family Patriarch, Perry Coleman
Born 1879 Tuskola, AL   Died 1947 Epps, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana

The Ultimate Family History Interview Primer – Author, Nicka Smith

Ago Ire’o Monday – ’tis the Season for a plethora of reason to keep cultivating OUR story. Former Bay Area folk, Sis Nicka Smith is a maven in the field with a powerful creative platform through her lens. Get to know her deep works as Family Historian and Educator – I enjoy her staunch advocacy in keeping our stories relevant and us in the know.  

Learn more about: WhoisNickaSmith.com   Listen to Nicka with host Bernice Bennett on BlogTalkRadio

Nicka Smith Author of the Ultimate Family History Interview Primer.

‪#‎Genealogy‬ ‪#‎FamilyHistory‬ ‪#‎AtlasFamily‬ ‪#‎EastCarrollParish‬ ‪#‎AfricanAncestoredgenealogy‬ ‪#‎Maagi2015‬

411: Afrigeneas.com –

In May 2013,  I answered “The Call” for applicants  and applied for the Afrigeneas.com sponsored scholarship to attend the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute [MAAGI].  (smile)  July 2013 marked my first intensive experience at a genealogy institute of any kind. My experience at MAAGI will always be an organic compass in my life guiding my works as an emerging Genealogist and Family Historian.

Cultural Heritage, Ancestor traditions and Family History have always been a running thread in my creative works, scholarly area of focus and through Family Gatherings. Inspired through a Family HIstory book initiative by way of my paternal Grandfather Claude Waters, Jr in the early 90’s, motivated me further to unearth more information about our stories.  My Ancestral quest resonates in shared vision with the pioneering Afrigeneas.com – I encourage all adjoined on this trek to learn more, visit the site or join a chat forum exchange amongst experts.

Afrigeneas.com VISION:
” To find and document the last slaveholder and the first African in each family.”

Afrigeneas.com
photo: courtesy Afrigeneas.com web guru on Facebook

Afrigeneas

Family Reunion – What’s Your Story?!

Family Reunion
Every story weaves a legacy of History, for rebuilding cultural heritage, Family legacy and kinship ties.

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
– Marcus Garvey

Build a branch, shake down some leaves REUNITE and ReBuild Familial ties; whatever the Season, start TODAY and “Work da lines” I share “My Calling”: http://bit.ly/1kGSCVJ

#Calloway #Hunter #Waters #Culverson #Coleman

Revisiting Family Tree of Surnames

A

R Waters Calloway - working Family Tree of Surnames researched. 2014
R Waters Calloway – Working Family Tree of Surnames researched. 2014

Give praise to the Life of our Ancestors imbued with infinite wisdom to UPlift our own. Honor breath -speak their names for the vitality of yOUR existence for they are with you, GIVE light towards their ascension for the healing.

Adjoin in Familial – Communal kinship increasing the power of these riteful works making what we do powerFULL. Egun iba’se Egun ire’o *a dupe Baba Yagbe Awolowo Onilu for the added fuel of inspiration.

#‎workingdalines‬ ‪#‎RiteOn‬‪#‎FamilyHistory‬ ‪#‎CommunityPreservation‬  visit: Congo SQ West Kinship Society

Learn more: Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI)AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy