Do not hesitate to sign up for specialized seminars that are not geared towards your ethnic background or interests. I spent a wonderful three hours yesterday at Redcliff Plantation (now a South Carolina state park) with an African-American group, although I don’t have African-American roots. I learned a lot about my fellow curious genealogists, and also picked up several important tips about my own searches. Redcliff had many, many slaves in its heyday and the young park ranger there, Elizabeth Laney, has been spearheading genealogy searches of the former inhabitants. Her results have inspired and informed folks from all over the country, much to their joy. One tip I picked up was collecting funeral notices or bulletins. Many libraries and museums collect them, making copies, and giving them back to the owners. They can include a wealth of information. Another tip was to check insurance records which give ages, illnesses, and deaths.
Sue Markland Ellis
Aiken, South Carolina