Victory via Google: Alfred Segree Michaels

My research on this family today has pretty much been like:




Which is to say, THIS HAS BEEN THE BEST GENEALOGY DAY EVER! Why? Because with the names I just found, I can now complete a 4 generation pedigree chart for the first time in my life. That's right--I've made it clear back to the end of the US records at least half a dozen times, but still didn't know all of my great grandparents... until today!

So as it turns out, my ancestors couldn't have picked a better place to meet in Canada than Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Vital Statistics page pretty much just changed my life.




So with Muriel's new birth and death information, I decided to start from the beginning to start looking for her family. Because she was born in Nova Scotia, I decided to see what Nova Scotia would have available. After Google searching "Nova Scotia genealogy," I ended up here. I typed in her information, and found her marriage record.



So from here, we learn that her husband's name is Alfred, not Albert. Normally I would be skeptical about just taking up this record when the first name is different. But the names are similar, her name and birth information match what I've been told, and there is a family legend about these people being Jamaican. How many other Michaels families of Jamaican/Nova Scotian descent can there be in Canada in 1936?

So, let's just ask the pink elephant question: is Alfred Segree Michaels black? The record doesn't say. But now because of the marriage record, I have his parents' names and where to find them: Saint Mary Parish, Jamaica.

These lines are the first time my family history research has ever left the United States. I'm descended from original settlers all across the board except on this one line. How do I go about researching Jamaican ancestry?

Please. I'm Generation Y. When I don't know something, I Google it. "Jamaica genealogy" it is.

From what I've gathered, doing Jamaican genealogy gives you two basic options. You either use the resources in Jamaica (i.e. pay someone in Jamaica to research it for you) or you use FamilySearch.

To FamilySearch we go. After adding the new names into Family Tree, I looked for Alfred and found a record of his birth in Belfield, Saint Mary




He was born on 13 September 1911 in Belfield, Saint Mary's Parish, Jamaica to John Michaels and Amy Morris. Still no indication of his race. But this really should be enough information to keep searching for him in both Canada and Jamaica.

For now I have to take a break because I don't have access to Canadian records on Ancestry.com. It requires a membership I'm simply not going to pay for, because I can get access to it for free. I can either go to the Delaware Archives, who I'm sure must have it, or I can go to the Family History Center at my church in Dover. I've already seen quite a few records on the Canadian side I'm dying to explore. 

Hopefully next week I'll be able to make the trip. When I do, this story will definitely continue, and is bound to get even more interesting from here.