Sunday, March 13, 2016

Davage to Daviage: an African American Family

Over the past few weeks, I've brought my sister over to the dork side. That's right - she is now excited about genealogy!

Our family is pretty well researched and documented, and we enjoy sharing photos, stories and more. However, my brother-in-law's family is tricky.

My brother-in-law, Derek, finds it very difficult to dig up documentation on his paternal ancestry. His mother's side is mostly Caucasian and dates back to the Mayflower, as well as various other early settlers in Boston, Plymouth County, and other areas of Massachusetts. We share several ancestral connections.

His father's side is African American and there was a name change somewhere in there - adding an "i" into the name Davage to make it Daviage.

The paternal surnames we've been able to dig up so far are Davage, Pinder and Gross, all in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. However, there seems to be a lack of uninterrupted chronological documentation in censuses, the usual starting point. This is a case where my sister, who has now caught the Genealogy Bug (!), will need to go directly to vital records, as well as build the family with the sideways searching technique.

Usually the state and federal censuses allow people to build a framework, and then fill in the facts from there. This doesn't seem to be the case with this particular family. Whether it is because they are African American or because of name variations, I'm not sure yet. But this is going to be an interesting adventure for myself and my sister as we work to sort out my brother-in-law's paternal ancestry!

Copyright (c) 2016 Wendy L. Callahan

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