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Melvin J. Collier
Works at Department of Defense
Attended Mississippi State University
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Melvin J. Collier

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Four Generations of Enslaved Ancestors Held By One Trust
  A scan of
the will of Council Bass, September 2, 1830, Northampton County, North Carolina ( Source ) This weekend, numerous articles reported that actor Ben Affleck asked Dr. Henry Louis Gates to exclude the fact
that one of his ancestors was a slave-owne...
  A scan of the will of Council Bass, September 2, 1830, Northampton County, North Carolina (Source) This weekend, numerous articles reported that actor Ben Affleck asked Dr. Henry Louis Gates to exclude the fact that one...
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Hello sir If you could email I have some questions about your first blog on lou gossett jr. Uspsdl@gmail.com

In short I have a question or two my great grandfather was james gossett and my great grandmother was Elisabeth bates. My grandfather is otis gossett from Union sc
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Melvin J. Collier

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Finding the Connection to a DNA Match Within An Hour!
One
thing I always stress to people when they want to take a genetic DNA test is to
start building their family tree first. Not only that, please have an available
family tree or pedigree chart that they are willing to show to DNA matches upon
request to ai...
One thing I always stress to people when they want to take a genetic DNA test is to start building their family tree first. Not only that, please have an available family tree or pedigree chart that they are willing to show t...
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Melvin J. Collier

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Developing a Historical Timeline
  Are you looking for another way to present the
family history to your family, either for a family reunion booklet or just to
pass on information about the family to family members? Try a historical
timeline. A timeline presents the history is a chronologi...
  Are you looking for another way to present the family history to your family, either for a family reunion booklet or just to pass on information about the family to family members? Try a historical timeline. A timeline p...
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Melvin J. Collier

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Many Family Trees Are Wrong as Two Left Shoes
  Not
surprising to many researchers, many online public family trees on Ancestry.com
are wrong ! Several days ago, my new-found
cousin Janice found an interesting death certificate on Ancestry.com that
contained family names. Turns out, after further inves...
  Not surprising to many researchers, many online public family trees on Ancestry.com are wrong! Several days ago, my new-found cousin Janice found an interesting death certificate on Ancestry.com that contained family na...
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Melvin, I would like to work with you on the Holleman/Hollomon and Early families.  I have added pages of a Bible found in the NC archives - scans online - that begin by stating 

" FAMILY RECORD. (Father of Abner Jackson Holloman) James Holloman A Sun [sic] of Samuel Holloman Christan his wife wos [sic] Born the 25 day of July 1795 John Jenkins Son of Jane Jenkins and Wisley Earley his dadie [daddy?] Was born Oct 6th 1872 (slave) Belonged to James Holloman father of Abner Jackson Holloman." 

"Slaves owned by Abner Jackson's father, James Holloman FAMILY RECORD. Randerl wos [sic] Born January 1839 __ Lewis Tysen wos [sic] borned [sic] December 1857 __ Manier wos [sic] borned [sic] June 1858 JameS R Holloman James James Giles wos [sic] Born June 1840 __ Sikel wos [sic] Born Janua[r]y 29. 1843 __ Tillis wos [sic] Born October 1844 __ Siles wos [sic] Born May 1849 __ Basil wos [sic] Born June 1851 __ [MS crossed out: Wiseley] Wiston wos [sic] Born January 6 1852 __ [MS blotted]nney wos [sic] Born August 1853 __ Alley Ann wos [sic] Born October 1853 __ Goodmar wos [sic] Born May 1855 __ Kirbis Pek wos [sic] Borned June 1856 Boudey was born 1857"

It is fortunate that the slaves were recorded in the family Bible.  I have much more on the Holleman family.  And while I agree that  Charlotte Bass Hollemon was the daughter of Council Bass, I do not believe that she is the same Charlotte Evertte Holloman, wife of James A Holloman to whom the Bible belongs. Yet there has to be a connection with the slaves, as you have found.  I have worked for years on my own tree and on the large group Holyman tree and frankly, even with all the Bass's and Holleman's in my own tree and thousands of Holleman's of every spelling in the Holyman tree, I do not know which Holloman was the spouse of Charlotte Bass. I agree that she is the Charlotte Holleman in the 1860 and 1870 censuses in Hertford living as a widow with black families of earlier slave families; however, I do believe she is the Chalotte married to James in the 1850 census.  Your question whether there were 2 families with similar names in Hertford is a good one. 

Obviously, the slave Wisely Early belonged to James S Holloman who had a wife Charlotte though. And with your research of the slave families, the Early and other related families were in the Bass family wills, too.  I found Council's will and as I come from Bass and Holleman, these are major research families for me.

As an aside, you may want to look at James Norfleet Holloman,  grandson of James A (of the Bible above) and son of Abner Andrew J, who left all of his property (he was wealthy) to his mulatto children by Mary Jane Chavis.  They could not legally marry but he did not deny Mary Jane or their children. 

Often I find wills of my families in NC upsetting as they willed slaves like property on the same pages with their livestock and split families up.  It is immoral in every way.  But I do enjoy working with my DNA cousins who descend from slaves.  As soon as we match DNA, I contact them to see if we can we work together to figure out our connection. We help each other as much as we can. I am pretty good at finding wills and connecting families. I would really like to work with you on this particular family.  Thank you for your blog postings!  Denise Keeter Goff

Links for the 2 trees are 1. Mine (Abrams Keeter Lowe Patnode)  2. Holyman (Holyman/Hollyman Genealogy and Allied Families Please feel free to add comments in the trees.

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/24162775/person/26208241867

http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/44918492/person/6277760829
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Melvin J. Collier

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Wondering, Pondering, and Theorizing with DNA
With
DNA and genealogy research, I talk to myself all the time. No joke! I’d bet
that I am not the only one! Wondering, pondering,
and theorizing out loud is actually the nature of documental and genetic
genealogy research. To wonder is to think about it. T...
With DNA and genealogy research, I talk to myself all the time. No joke! I’d bet that I am not the only one! Wondering, pondering, and theorizing out loud is actually the nature of documental and genetic genealogy research. T...
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Thanks +Dante Eubanks You do the same!
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Melvin J. Collier

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Am I Seeing Double?
  1777 John
Bass of Northampton County, North Carolina wrote out his will on June 14, 1777.
He left 19 slaves to his children and grandchildren (Northampton Co. Will Book 1, p. 292) . Let’s take a look at the
names of those 19 enslaved people.   To
son Jaco...
  1777 John Bass of Northampton County, North Carolina wrote out his will on June 14, 1777. He left 19 slaves to his children and grandchildren (Northampton Co. Will Book 1, p. 292). Let’s take a look at the names of th...
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Melvin J. Collier

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Jumping to Conclusions with Genealogy and DNA
In
genealogy research, as well as genetic genealogy, jumping to conclusions is
easily done. Researchers may find something or someone that looks like a
promising clue to tracing back further, or researchers may even find something or
someone that looks exci...
In genealogy research, as well as genetic genealogy, jumping to conclusions is easily done. Researchers may find something or someone that looks like a promising clue to tracing back further, or researchers may even find some...
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Melvin J. Collier

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The Truth Is In the Spit
  Within
the past two weeks, I have discovered two great and revealing DNA matches. They
are great discoveries because after I analyzed their family trees, I discovered
that they are descendants of Uncle Random. Discovering these two DNA matches in
the same...
  Within the past two weeks, I have discovered two great and revealing DNA matches. They are great discoveries because after I analyzed their family trees, I discovered that they are descendants of Uncle Random. Discoverin...
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Amy W. Kelly's profile photo
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Melvin J. Collier

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Many Family Trees Are Wrong as Two Left Shoes
  Not
surprising to many researchers, many online public family trees on Ancestry.com and other sites are wrong ! Several days ago, my new-found
cousin Janice found an interesting death certificate on Ancestry.com that
contained family names. Turns out, aft...
  Not surprising to many researchers, many online public family trees on Ancestry.com and other sites are wrong! Several days ago, my new-found cousin Janice found an interesting death certificate on Ancestry.com that con...
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Melvin J. Collier

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20 Do's and Don'ts of DNA
  I
have a prediction! 2015 is going to be a phenomenal year for everyone who
partakes in genetic genealogy. The interest in genealogy has really catapulted
over the past five years, and many people are turning to DNA technology to try
to find the answers t...
  I have a prediction! 2015 is going to be a phenomenal year for everyone who partakes in genetic genealogy. The interest in genealogy has really catapulted over the past five years, and many people are turning to DNA tech...
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I would love to know more about the DNA test.
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Melvin J. Collier

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Why Many African Americans Should Do the Genetic DNA Testing
  My
great-great-grandparents, Hector Davis
& Lucy Milam Davis of Panola County, Mississippi Since
I started researching my family history in 1993, I have seen the interest in
genealogy leapfrog! Many African Americans are actively researching to document
t...
  My great-great-grandparents, Hector Davis & Lucy Milam Davis of Panola County, Mississippi Since I started researching my family history in 1993, I have seen the interest in genealogy leapfrog! Many African Americans ar...
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Hi Melvin. I am very interested in my heritage. We thought it was from Madagascar but that is hard to determine.  We have a very interesting story. Please email me at aliyyahharvey@gmail.com as I would be very interested in speaking with you further. Thank you 
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Melvin J. Collier

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Today, I had a conversation with someone who strongly speculates that his ancestors were enslaved on several large plantations in the Mississippi Delta. He has been unable to figure out who the last enslavers were (except one). The fact that most former slaves from large plantations did not take the plantation owners' surnames plays a big role in his difficulty. I have this situation on one side of my father's family from Vicksburg, MS, an area adorned by large plantations. I'm re-posting this 2012 blog post because it chronicles how I was able to FINALLY figure out the plantation and the name of the plantation owner...after 17 years! Hopefully, others will learn some research tips from my experience discussed in this blog post to break down brick walls much quicker.
Note: This article was written on April 6, 2011, soon after I knocked down a major brick wall after 17 years.  This article was transferred from my website to this blog. (Edited 11/23/2014) “Brick Wall” is a metaphor used ...
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+Omolade R. Roddy I may be connected to Roddys from So. Carolina. Check out this blog post for further info: http://rootsrevealed.blogspot.com/2014/12/wondering-pondering-and-theorizing-with.html
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People
Have him in circles
763 people
Josiah Schmidt's profile photo
Emily Kowalski Schroeder's profile photo
Alexis Ayaana's profile photo
Rillia Jones's profile photo
Ramona McNees's profile photo
Javier Leshnom's profile photo
Rasmus Dahlqvist's profile photo
Diane Beckley's profile photo
Kim Hanks's profile photo
Education
  • Mississippi State University
    Civil Engineering
  • Clark Atlanta University
    MA, African American Studies
Story
Tagline
Author, History and Genealogy Hobbyist, Mississippi Native
Introduction

WELCOME! I've been conducting historical and genealogical research since I was 19. It is a lifelong journey. This blog combines my passion for writing and genealogical research. I am currently the author of two books, Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery (2008) and 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended (2011). I appeared on the NBC show, “Who Do You Think You Are,” as one of the expert genealogists in the Spike Lee episode (2010). I give workshops and presentations on historical and genealogical subjects. I'm a graduate of Mississippi State Univ., receiving a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. In pursuit of a career change, I earned a Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies from Clark Atlanta Univ. (2008) and later completed graduate courses in Archival Studies. I have worked as an archivist while residing in Atlanta. Federally employed, I now reside in the Washington, D.C. area.

Work
Employment
  • Department of Defense
    present
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Gender
Male