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As I combed through files on my laptop, I found a document that I scanned during one of my visits to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.  I have family members trained to unearth family artifacts whenever they get a chance.  One of those expeditions uncovered a document attached to my mother. 

My mother was born and reared in Louisiana.  She taught in the state, as a young adult, after graduating from Xavier University of Louisiana.  So, finding documents such as a college diploma or teaching certificate were not unexpected.  What was brought to the service, however, was a document that highlighted her spelling prowess. It was a Dictionary Proficiency Certificate. Yes, you are reading correctly.  The State of Louisiana issued this certificate to my mother, Velma Francis, when she was eleven years old.  I now have another document to investigate. My research questions: Was acquiring this document necessary to move from elementary to high school?  What happened if a student did not meet the requirements to receive the certificate?  How many years did the state issue such a certificate to students?  Was it required of all students in the state, or only non-white students? My mother attended Catholic school, so were Catholic/parochial school students and public school students required to take the test?

This document is another treasure that should be tagged and evaluated. I must now research the names/signatures on the document, as well, to see what details they may reveal. When this certificate came to my attention, I repeated a line that I say to myself quite often these days, “Why wasn’t this document/photo/piece of ephemera brought to my attention when folks who could explain it were still on terra firma?” Oh well, c’est la vie! I will add another task to my list. And the research continues.

Marie B. Scott

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Meeting dates                                                  
April 9                                                        
May 14                                                         
June 11



Say hello to your 2022 Executive Board!

Marie Scott - President
Lamont Monroe - Vice President
Gayle King - Recording Secretary
Jeryse Kelly - Corresponding Secretary
Tom Campanella - Treasurer
Paulette Howard - Financial Secretary

Thank you for serving on the board and helping us all stay diligent with the research of our family stories.


Welcome to your 2022 Committee Chairs!!!

Upper Row
Marie Scott - Executive Board Committee
Lamont Monroe - Membership Committee
Tom Campanella - Finance Committee
Phyllis Grimes - Program Committee

Lower Row
Roz Matthews - Bylaws & Policies Committee
Linda Parham - Nominating Committee
Cheryl Franks - Audit Committee
Jeryse Kelly - Social Media/Technology Committee

Get connected, volunteer and help your genealogy society.


BFGHS and Amazon Smile:

Our organization can earn money on items we purchase from Amazon!  Use the link below and search for our organization.  It will show our location as New River. Each time you shop from Amazon, sign into the Amazon Smile and we earn a percentage back. 
"The NYC Department of Records & Information Services announced free access to more than 9.3 million historical vital records on their website. The new online vital records platform lets visitors search and view historical New York City records of birth (1866-
1909), death (1862-1948), and marriage (1866-1949). High-quality copies can be downloaded and printed from the site at no charge."

Click on the link below or the image above to read more information on this fabulous opporunity!

Online Helps

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society

International African American Museum

Library of Virginia

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Smithsonian Freedman's Bureau Records

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Arizona State Library, Archives & Records

New York Public Library

BFGHS on ABC 15 News!!!!!

LDS Genealogy - US Genealogy Records Directory

NGS - National Genealogy Society

Historic Preservation Story Maps

African American Experience in Tempe



BFGHS was awarded grant dollars from ACF-Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI), as part of its 2021 mini grant cycle.

BFGHS reguested $400 for the Vicky Daviss-Mitchell Presenter Series.

Thank you Marie Scott for the vision and Margaret Hangan for filling out the paperwork!

Kuddos to our board, committees and members!

Pictures on Left - Grant awardees
Pictured on Right - Margaret Hangan, Gayle King, Lamont Monroe, Paulette Howard, Linda Morris, Marie Scott, Rosalind Matthews, Linda & Wayne Parham


Upcoming April 2022 Events
  • April 9, 2022 - General Meeting - "What's in a Name" - E. Leumas - 10am
  • April 13, 2022 - Membership Committee Meeting - 7pm
  • April 14, 2022 - Efficient Genealogy Research - Charts and Timelines are effective research tools - 7pm - R. Matthews
  • April 20, 2022 - DNA SIG - Phyllis Grimes - 6:30pm
  • April 25, 2022 - SM/IT, Website Committee Meeting - 7pm
  • April 28, 2022 - "African American Lineage" - Marriage Certificates, Bonds, License, etc.  - R.Matthews - 7pm
Upcoming May 2022 Events
  • May 3, 2022 - Executive Board & Board Meeting - 7pm
  • May 12, 2022 - "Efficient Gen. Research" - FAN Club research (Cluster research) - R. Matthews - 7pm
  • May 14, 2022 - General Meeting - "Identifying the Slave Holder & Reconstructing Slave Era Families - J. Forte`- 10am
  • May 16, 2022 - Finance Committee Meeting - 7pm
  • May 18, 2022 - DNA SIG - Phyllis Grimes - 6:30pm
  • May 26, 2022 - "African American Lineage" - Census Workshop - R. Matthews - 7pm
Upcoming June 2022 Events
  • June 6, 2022 - Start editing Q3 newsletter
  • June 9, 2022 - Efficient Gen. Research - County History Research (Unique record collections in your County) - R. Matthews - 7pm
  • June 11, 2022 - General Meeting - "KY A-A Civil War Soldiers Project"- D. Gediman - 10am
  • June 15, 2022 - DNA SIG - Phyllis Grimes - 6:30pm
  • June 23, 2022 - "African American Lineage" - WWI and WWII - Draft Registrations - R. Matthews - 7pm
Past Meetings - January, February & March
January Meeting -  - top left
February Meeting -  - top right
March Meeting -  - Bottom row
April 1 - Paulette Howard
April 5 - Janis Minor Forte
April 10 - Rosalie Turner-Mullins
April 20 - Doris Robinson
May 9 - Larry Lee
May 26 - Cheryl Franks
May 27 - Dominic Scott
June 6 - Linda Parham
June 13 - Tom Campanella
June 17 - Damita Moore
June 27 - Tinia Bradshaw

BFGHS Newsletter

Our newsletter will arrive quarterly (January, April, July and October) to paid members.  Please add to your contact list to help ensure its arrival in your inbox.  You may submit stories, research information, genealogy hacks, etc., along with a graphic and any web link(s) one month prior to newsletter deadline to or  See chart below

January - Submit by December 1st
April - Submit by March 1st
July - Submit by June 1st
October - Submit by September 1st
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