In the second episode of Series Two – The Granddaddy – Andrew gets to meet genealogist True Lewis. He’ll be finding out how she got started in her research, what challenges she has faced in researching her enslaved African-American ancestors, how she joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and about her work with Nicka Sewell-Smith as one of the hosts of Black Pro Gen Live.
Life Story – Ike Ivery
True chose her Great Great Grandfather, Isaac ‘Ike’ Ivery for her Life Story.
Ike was born into slavery to William and Minta Ivey in approximately 1853, in Alabama. The family added the ‘r’ to create the family name ‘Ivery’ when they were emancipated in Alabama, thus diluting their connection from slave owner Mr Ivey.
Ike married True’s Great Great Grandmother Mary Haynes in 1875, and he would go on to be married three times – Mary Haynes, Mary Henry and Berta Hatcher, with his marriages resulting in a total of 23 children.
True’s family clearly has very fond memories of Ike and they have held family reunions which have seen 300 people attend, and True even made a documentary about his life, and you really get a sense of love, celebration, and respect for him throughout True’s telling of his life story.
It sounds like he was also a familiar face in his community through his work as a local farmer, and through his chaplaincy at the Mt. Coney Missionary Baptist Church that he helped found, and in which he laid in state upon his death in 1937.
The Brick Wall – Anna Maria Lambert
It’s off to Albany Township, Berks County in Pennsylvania, USA to see if we can break down one of True’s long-standing research brick walls – her 5x Great Grandmother Anna Maria Lambert.
Anna Maria, sometimes recorded as Anna Mary, was born June 19th, 1764, in Albany Township, but it’s unclear who her parents were. True has heard rumours that her parents were Dorothea Zimmerman and Nicholas Lambert, but she’s not sure, and hasn’t seen documented evidence for herself. To add to this, Anna’s death date is not certain either – it is believed to be somewhere between 1820 and 1829 – ambiguous due to a broken headstone in Marklesville, Pennsylvania.
It is known that Anna married in 1783 to Nicholas Barrick (True’s Patriot ancestor), but even the location of this marriage is a bit vague – other than possibly in Tyrone Township or in Berks County also in Pennsylvania.
In her searching, True has run DNA tests with most commercial family history testing companies, and her mitochondrial (female line) ancestor group, which contains Anna Maria Lambert, is U5b1c2.
If you think that you can help True to break through her research brick wall, then you can contact her on her website or over on her twitter profile @MyTrueRoots. Alternatively, you can send her a message via our Contact form, and we’ll pass it on.
In the meantime, True is very happy to accept Andrew’s offer of help, but her enthusiasm might just come at a cost…
Series Two, Episode Two
- Andrew Martin: Host and Producer
- True Lewis: Guest