Genealogy has become very popular in the United States. The Black community has also become interested in their family history as a result of Alex Haley’s “Roots”, and Dr. Henry “Skip” Gates’ PBS series entitled “Black American Lives”. NBC has just started a third season of the show “Who Do You Think You Are?”
All of these shows are interesting, but they all focus on the rich and famous. Febone1960.net thought that it would be nice to give a forum to not so rich and famous people who’ve worked studiously on their family history for a number of years.
These folks know that it isn’t as quick and easy as it appears on these shows, to research your history. They do know something that these celebrities don’t know as a result of someone else doing the work. They know the hard work that goes behind it, and they also know the exhilaration when they actually make a connection to their past. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s still exciting to unfold the mystery of the family’s past.
Terri Cardozo decided to take us up on our offer to discuss her exciting discovery about her maternal grandfather, Charles Howard Matthews.
Below, Terri reveals some of the process of searching your family roots. Above she talks about her discovery on her grandfather and the time period in which he lived in a video. Take a read and a look. Download the podcast to access the video above and read Terri Story to find out about her method of research.
Terri Cardozo’s Story:
It has been a rewarding experience working with Febone1960.net on this project.
I became intrigued with the history of my grandfather, Charles Howard Matthews, when I read his Obituary, many years after his death. With the help of my sister Janice, we began our research.
Slowly we fitted the pieces together, creating a picture of his life – as if we were working on a crossword puzzle.
Fortunately,our Aunt Jean, (Geneva, his youngest daughter) was still alive. Though in her 90′s, she was still able to answer our questions – give names to people in photo’s and recite stories that helped to add color to the documents we found.
We asked family members to look for old photo’s, most shared, some did not.
The more questions answered, the more they generated.
We accept the fact that this will be a life long quest.
Genealogist – Librarians were extremely encouraging, helping us to think outside the box, pointing us in new directions.
TIP: LABEL PHOTO’S WITH NAMES, DATES & LOCATION.
We would be most grateful if anyone who has any knowledge of our grandfather’s career, would share it with us. Please contact me, TerriCardozo@febone1960.net
Are you interested in discovering your family history? Have you already started and would like to share one of your stories by video? Email us at email@example.com.
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The lawyers for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. From left, Louis L. Redding, Robert L. Carter, Oliver W. Hill, Thurgood Marshall and Spottswood W. Robinson III.
Robert L. Carter, leading strategist and persuasive voice in the legal assault on racial segregation in 20th-century America died Tuesday morning in Manhattan. The former federal judge in New York was 94.
The cause was complications of a stroke, said his son John W. Carter, a justice of the New York Supreme Court in the Bronx.
Judge Carter presided over the merger of professional basketball leagues in the 1970s and was instrumental in opening the New York City police force to more minority applicants.
Mr. Carter’s greatest impact came in the late 1940s and 1950s as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. The Legal Defense and Educational Fund was led by Charles Hamilton Houston. Thurgood Marshall succeeded Houston who went on tackle desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Often laboring behind the scenes, Judge Carter had a significant hand in many historic legal challenges to racial discrimination in the postwar years. None was more momentous than the landmark case known as Brown v. Board of Education. Decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Brown abolished legal segregation in the public schools throughout the United States.
Mr. Carter’s well-honed argument that the segregation of public schools was unconstitutional on its face became the Supreme Court’s own conclusion in Brown. The decision swept away half a century of legal precedent that the South had used to justify its “separate but equal” doctrine decided in its’ 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision.
Underpaid and overworked, Mr. Carter and his Legal Defense Fund colleagues argued before the court that the South’s schools rarely offered anything like equal opportunities to black children. Segregation itself, they contended, was so damaging to black children that it should be abolished, on the ground that it was contrary to the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal rights to all citizens.
Mr. Carter spent years doing research in law and history to construct that legal theory before it reached the Supreme Court. Though aspects of segregation law had been struck down before World War II, Mr. Carter’s task was still daunting. His challenge was to persuade the Supreme Court to overturn, finally, a looming obstacle to equal rights, the court’s 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. That ruling upheld a Louisiana law requiring racial separation on railroad cars. The South used that decision to justify a wide range of discriminatory practices for years to come.
“We have one fundamental contention,” Mr. Carter told the court. “No state has any authority under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to use race as a factor in affording educational opportunities among its citizens.”
Mr. Carter insisted on using the research of the psychologist Kenneth B. Clark to attack segregated schools, a daring courtroom tactic in the eyes of some civil rights lawyers. Experiments by Mr. Clark and his wife, Mamie, showed that black children suffered in their learning and development by being segregated. Mr. Clark’s testimony proved crucial in persuading the court to act, Mr. Carter wrote in a 2004 book, “A Matter of Law: A Memoir of Struggle in the Cause of Equal Rights.”
As chief deputy to the imposing Mr. Marshall, who was to become the first black Supreme Court justice, Mr. Carter labored for years in his shadow. In the privacy of legal conferences, Mr. Carter was seen as the house radical, always urging his colleagues to push legal and constitutional positions to the limits.
Mr. Marshall had encouraged him to play the gadfly: “I was younger and more radical than many of the people Thurgood would have in, I guess. But he’d never let them shut me up.”
Robert Lee Carter was born in Caryville, in the Florida Panhandle, on March 17, 1917, the youngest of nine children. The family moved to New Jersey when he was 6 weeks old, and his father, Robert L. Carter, died when he was a year old. Annie Martin Carter, his mother, took in laundry for white people for 25 years.
Mr. Carter recalled experiencing racial discrimination as a 16-year-old in East Orange, N.J. The high school he attended allowed black students to use its pool only on Fridays, after classes were over. After he read in the newspaper that the State Supreme Court had outlawed such restrictions, he entered the pool with white students and stood up to a teacher’s threat to have him expelled from school. It was his first taste of activism, he said.
Judge Carter attended two predominantly black universities: Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he enrolled at 16, and Howard University School of Law in Washington. Enrolling in Columbia University as a graduate student, he wrote his master’s thesis on the First Amendment. Parts of the thesis was used in preparing for the school segregation cases in the 1950s.
Mr. Carter joined the Army a few months before the United States entered World War II. That experience made a militant of him, he said, starting with the day a white captain welcomed Mr. Carter’s unit of the Army Air Corps at Augusta, Ga. The captain, Mr. Carter states in his memoir, “wanted to inform us right away that he did not believe in educating niggers.”
“He was not going to tolerate our putting on airs or acting uppity,” Mr. Carter said.
In spite of repeated antagonisms, Mr. Carter completed Officer Candidate School and became a second lieutenant. He was the only black officer at Harding Field in Baton Rouge, La., and promptly integrated the officers’ club, arousing new anger. The determined Mr. Carter was soon transferred to a training base in Columbus, Ohio, where he continued to face racial hostility.
After leaving the service in 1944 he was hired as a lawyer at the Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The organization was then the legal arm of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It later became an independent organization. By 1948, he had become Marshall’s chief deputy and soon became active in the school segregation cases. One notable case was Sweatt v. Painter, in which the Supreme Court ruled in 1950 that the University of Texas Law School had acted illegally in denying admission to a black applicant.
Mr. Carter was also involved in housing discrimination cases, the dismantling of all-white political primaries in several Southern states and the ending of de facto school segregation in the North.
Mr. Carter was disappointed when Marshall passed him over and chose a white staff lawyer, Jack Greenberg, to succeed him as director-counsel of the fund in 1961. Considering it as a demotion, Mr. Carter moved to the N.A.A.C.P. as its general counsel. By then the NAACP was a separate entity. Mr. Carter resented what he considered as Mr. Greenberg’s undercutting him.
Mr. Carter resigned in protest from the N.A.A.C.P. in 1968 when its board fired a white staff member, Lewis M. Steel, who had written an article in The New York Times Magazine critical of the Supreme Court. After a year at the Urban Center at Columbia, he joined the New York law firm of Poletti, Freidin, Prashker, Feldman & Gartner. President Richard M. Nixon nominated him to the federal bench for the Southern District of New York in 1972 at the recommendation of Senator Jacob K. Javits, Republican of New York.
On the bench, Judge Carter became known for his strong hand in cases involving professional basketball. He oversaw the merger of the National Basketball Association and the American Basketball Association in the 1970s, the settlement of a class-action antitrust suit against the N.B.A. brought by Oscar Robertson and other players, and a number of high-profile free-agent arbitration disputes involving players like Marvin Webster and Bill Walton.
In 1979, his findings of bias shown against black and Hispanic applicants for police jobs in New York City led to significant changes in police hiring policies and an increase in minority representation on the force.
Mr. Carter, who lived in Manhattan and died in a hospital there, married Gloria Spencer of New York in 1946. She died in 1971. Besides his son John, Judge Carter is survived by another son, David; a sister, Alma Carter Lawson; and a grandson.
Well into advanced age, Mr. Carter retained the fire of a civil rights fighter who believed that much remained to be done in the pursuit of racial equality.
“Black children aren’t getting equal education in the cities,” he said in an interview with The Times in 2004. “The schools that are 100 percent black are still as bad as they were before Brown. Integration seems to be out, at least for this generation.”
“I have hope” he went on to say.
“In the United States, we make progress in two or three steps, then we step back,” he added. “And blacks are more militant now and will not accept second-class citizenship as before.”
If you wish to hear about the Brown decision in his own words, you can view the Febone1960.net Black History Month Calendar video clip which includes Judge Robert L. Carter.
Febone1960.net extends its’ condolences to the family of this legal genius and fellow Howard Law Alum.
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In January of this year, the Federal Communications Commission blessed the merger of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable and residential Internet provider, with NBC-Universal. The Justice Department immediately followed suit, removing the last obstacle to the unprecedented consolidation of media and Internet power in the hands of one company.
In response to this huge merger, Josh Silver, co-founder and former President/CEO of the Free Press posted an article in the Huffington Post exclaiming at the top of his lungs that we should be afraid and mad as hell.
Silver pointed out that the new NBC Comcast Corporation now controls an obscene number of media outlets, including the NBC broadcast network, numerous cable channels, two dozen local NBC and Telemundo stations, movie studios, online video portals, and the physical network that distributes that media content to millions of Americans through Internet and cable connections.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called it “a proud and exciting day for Comcast. It was not a proud day for Danny Bakewell and the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Bakewell who is President of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and President and CEO of the Bakewell Company is now understanding the warning bell sounded by Mr. Silver and the Free Press.
July 1st, 2011, NBC News and Interactive One announced a partnership that will form the premier African-American digital news alliance with the widest audience reach in the industry. This reach will be carried out through NBC News’ TheGrio.com and Interactive One’s NewsOne.com. Both fall under the umbrella of NBC Comcast. NBC owns theGrio, and Comcast owns an interest in TVONE which owns NewsOne.com. TVONE is the brain child of RadioOne mogul, Cathy Hughes and her son Alfred Liggins who are African Americans.
Based on comScore measurement, the combined net audience of NewsOne and TheGrio was 2.1 million in May 2011, up from 661,500 in May 2010. As the online usage of Black Americans continues to grow, this digital alliance between TheGrio and NewsOne presents a new opportunity to better connect, inform and engage the African-American audience.
TheGrio.com, a division of NBC News, is a daily online news and opinion platform devoted to delivering stories and perspectives that reflect and affect African-American audiences. The video-centric interactive community is populated with both aggregated and original content on topics ranging from breaking news and politics to health, business, and entertainment.
Interactive One has more than 15 million members and reaches millions of Black Americans each month. With approximately 3 billion annual page views on its suite of sites, the company has become the definitive social network for Black America through BlackPlanet, as well as a number of leading content sites. These sites include: NewsOne (www.NewsOne.com), which provides up to the minute, comprehensive coverage of newsworthy events relevant to Black Americans across the country and the world; TheUrbanDaily (www.TheUrbanDaily.com), the eyes and ears for Black Americans looking for what’s hot online, on the airwaves, in theaters, and on the street; HelloBeautiful (www.HelloBeautiful.com), the definitive lifestyle resource for today’s Black woman; and Elev8 (www.Elev8.com) a site devoted to elevating the mind, body and spirit.
Interactive One was launched by Radio One in 2008 to complement Radio One’s existing portfolio of media companies targeting the African American community.
Although this relationship opens up the potential for co-marketing and promotional opportunities that includes Interactive One’s various digital assets such as Radio One’s 52 radio stations, TV One and Reach Media (Tom Joyner Morning Show), and the many platforms of NBC News, it pulls the rug out from an already struggling, near death Black newspaper business that got it’s start when John Russwurm along with a minister by the name of Samuel Cornish established the first African American newspaper, the Freedom’s Journal in 1827 in New York City. See One Way Ticket
Danny Bakewell made his feeling known recently when he confronted Comcast’s David Cohen at the 40th anniversary conference of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow coalition.
Cohen responded to Bakewell by indicating that the new NBC Comcast Corp has hired Burrell Advertising agency giving it $7 million to spend with Black newspapers.
You can listen to their exchange in the video above.
The bottom line? Cathy Hughes and her son along with their shareholders make out very well. Hopefully this means original programming of quality from TVONE. This in turn will give BET more competition. Even though we might see the extinction of the Black newspaper as it existed in a non digital format, it will be good to see better programming for the African American community.
Further, we won’t cry too much for Mr. Bakewell. Aside from being a community activist, Bakewell is a minority media owner and businessman. His most recent media acquisition is the purchase of WBOK Radio station in New Orleans, Louisiana, which adds to his family’s growing media holdings, which includes the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper, the oldest and the largest Black-owned newspaper on the West Coast and the recently named nation’s Number One Black Newspaper.
Also, as Chairman of the Bakewell Company, one of the largest African-American owned development companies in the United States, Mr. Bakewell brokers and heads multi-million dollar revitalization efforts in the cities of Los Angeles, Compton, Pasadena, and other California communities.
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The protest in Libya is all over the news. The poverish citizens have grown tired of the iron fist ruling of veteran leader Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and his spendthrift sons.
We are appalled at Gaddafi’s use of force. Defying demands to step down, Muammar Gaddafi ordered air-strikes against the Libyan protesters.
American citizens now watch in horror as the protesters fight for democracy unfolds. Similar to the civil rights movement in the United States the protesters have taken to the streets demanding democracy.
Because of our democratic society here, we vote for our government officials. As a result, we are under the impression that such barbaric behavior displayed by the defiant dictator would never be considered here.
If Americans think that such barbaric behavior couldn’t happen in our country, think again. We are still learning about the horrors of the Jim Crow era where racial etiquette was and still is the rule of the day.
The latest revelation is the medical crime perpetrated against 5 year old Vertus Hardiman.
Imagine being a 5 year old black boy who is subjected to a radiation experiment that leaves your head deformed. Imagine that the high volumes emitted also leaves a hole in your skull. That exactly what happened to young Vertus.
A film has been made of his ordeal. Entitled Hole In the Head: A Life Revealed Vertus Hardiman, it explores the ugly secret of Hardiman’s experience with an unethical medical profession. Vertus was one of ten children, experimented on with radiation by a county hospital in Indiana during 1927. All attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Indiana. The experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to unsuspecting children whose parents signed permission slips for the treatment blindly. No doubt racial etiquette influence their decision to use these children as guinea pigs.
Vertus Hardiman was the youngest victim and now at age 84, unburdens himself of an incredible story of this stark medical crime. The crime had severe physical complications for Vertus – namely, a harshly irradiated and malformed head, with an actual hole in the skull.
Remarkably, not one person in Vertus’ community had ever been aware of this situation – because he always wore a wig and woolen beanie right up to the time he made the disclosure.
During filming Vertus reveals his secret and in his own words says, “For over 80 years only four individuals outside a few medical specialists have ever seen my condition; I hide it because I look like some monster.” Over his life he was criticized, teased and scorned by those who had no idea what the wig hid for 80 years.
Four additional survivors of this horrific event had astonishing similarities, but none as far-reaching and severe as Vertus.
This documentary also shows that the Lyles Station experiments were not an isolated event. One such example involved radiation experiments performed against one hundred thousand darker-skinned immigrant children in Israel in 1951, a tragedy financed by the United States Army. Amazingly, many of these victims arrived on U.S. soil in cages for further study, an attempt to determine human reaction to over-exposure to radiation.
This story should encourage at high levels a hunger for education, especially for an accurate all inclusive account of American history. Never again should the Jim Crow atrocities be permitted to occur in this country.
Take a look at the trailer above. If you are not a registered voter, after seeing the trailer, you should run out to nearest Supervisor of Elections office and register. Those who are registered should learn about your candidates and vote not by block delivered by some poverty pimp, but judiciously.
Remember just like Gaddafi, Jim Crow had children, and grandchildren who are now public officials riding the Tea Party Express.
We should no doubt support the protest in north Africa, but we should also stay vigilant of threats to democracy in this country, cutting them off at the path. Remember, Never Again!
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On February 9, 2011 the College Hill library located in a black community of East Tampa, Florida was renamed the C. Blythe Andrew Jr. Public Library.
You could tell that a political election was imminent as elected official after elected official both white and black stood before a standing room only crowd to praise the memory of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin publisher who died in 2010.
Through the Florida Sentinel Bulletin the community icon whom they praised engineered social change as he provided a much needed voice for people of color residing on the west coast of Central Florida.
The road to this monumental day started long ago on the continent of Africa where a free and tranquil African culture rapidly transformed into bondage. Shackled in the bottom of a hot slave vessel as they laid in their own sweat, urine and feces, the nightmarish journey maneuvered the waves of a horrific middle passage.
Some would survive while others would not. Those not strong enough or those who chose not to continue the journey into the unknown were buried at sea.
The Charleston harbor would more than likely be the final port for disembarkation and these human beings would now be considered as chattel. The inhumane treatment did not. It continued on plantations as an African culture and the humanity of those captured was destroyed. As time would go on, at no choice of their own, their DNA would also be changed.
The nightmare eventually turned into a dream as a war between the states emancipated the African descendants.
The United States Constitution was amended at the end of the war which assured that the African descendants would not be returned to bondage. Citizenship was afforded to these individuals, and the men of color were given the right to vote.
This era was known as reconstruction. Reconstruction would be brief, and the African descendants would experience a set back in their dream as the white people, who were angered by their emancipation, would curtail their enjoyment of full citizenship. Through the black codes and eventually the separate but equal Jim Crow laws a form of racial etiquette would be practiced. This practice would brand the citizens of color as second class citizens.
During the brief period of reconstruction, a former slave by the name of Solomon had a dream of owning his own farm. In pursuit of that dream, Solomon would worked as a farm hand.
In 1870 the federal census document reveals that Solomon Augustus Andrews was born about 1849 in the state of Georgia. In 1870 he resided in Henry County which is known today as metropolitan Atlanta.
Solomon was also listed as living in Union Springs Alabama. Single and working as a farm hand where ever he could find work, Solomon had accumulated the sum of $100.00. This is quite a savings for a man who was a slave 7 years earlier. In 1870 Solomon could neither read nor write. Of course we know that this was not uncommon since it was illegal to teach the slaves how to read and write.
There was however, a slave by the name of William Wallace Andrews who had been taught by his slave owners how to read and write. Acknowledged as the patriarch of black Little Rock, Andrews operated a clandestine school to teach his wife whom he married in 1848 and other slaves to read and write. The classes were disguised as prayer meetings.
Henry County Georgia, Union Springs, Bullock Alabama had all been part of the Creek Indian nation. The Creek Indians were forced to abandon these lands and ended up in Little Rock, Arkansas which was part of the trail of tears.
As the region grew and land needed to be cleared for large plantations, the need for a large labor force increased. Slaves were brought in to tend the fields, do carpentry, be brick masons, and serve in the homes of their owners at various jobs.
Solomon settled down in Sparta, Georgia, and on November 21, 1872 married Marietta Simmons who was born in Sparta in 1858. On February 4, 1874, their son William Wallace Andrews is born.
The 1880 federal census shows that Solomon did realize his dream for he was a farmer who owned his own farm mortgage free. Solomon and Marietta were also the proud parents of three children. In addition to William, they now had two girls, Lucy and Rosetta.
1880 federal census also indicated that both he and Marietta could now read and write and apparently made it a point to see that their children received an education from the Sparta public schools.
An educated William Andrews migrated from Sparta Georgia to Apalachicola Florida. In 1900, he met his wife Henrietta Smith. Smith who was a student was also the step daughter of the man who owned the boarding house where William resided. William made a living as a barber. By 1910, William and Henrietta had married and were the proud parents of two sons: Cyril Blythe Andrews and William Wallace Andrews II.
In 1912, William moved his family to Jacksonville, Florida after being elected as the Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias of Florida.
William Wallace Andrews & Henrietta Smith Andrews
Following in the foot steps of his mother who had passed away and father, William and Henrietta made it their duty to educate their two sons. Cyril attended Atlanta University and had enrolled into The University of Chicago’s law school. While in Chicago, young Cyril worked in his spare time at the Chicago Bee and the renowned Chicago Defender.
Interestingly, in 1919 William I started the Florida Sentinel newspaper and when he became critically ill, Cyril withdrew from law school to return home as its’ editor. William II attended medical school at Howard University and started a practice in Jacksonville.
Cyril would eventually move to Tampa, Florida and William would relocate to Kansas City.
During the depression the circulation of the paper was halted. Cyril turned his attention to other business endeavors such as life insurance and real estate. However, in 1945, Cyril Senior resurrected the Sentinel, and in 1959 after buying out his competitor the Florida Bulletin he would publish the black newspaper twice a week.
C. Blythe Andrews I
In 1931 William Wallace Andrews I died. By this time, Cyril had married Johna Bell Thompson, and the two raised two sons of their own. William Wallace Andrews III would matriculate to Talladega College located in Talladega, Alabama and to Meharry medical school in Nashville, Tenn. William returned to Tampa with his wife Nancy as a surgical doctor.
Cyril II who also matriculated to Talladega College in Alabama, graduating in 1950. After a stint in the Army, he returned to Tampa and worked for his father, first as a reporter, eventually moving up into leadership positions. He took over at the Florida Sentinel-Bulletin when C. Blythe Andrews Sr. died in 1977.
Cyril Senior was civic minded. He was one of the original organizers of the Tampa chapter of the NAACP Alpha Psi Alpha fraternity. He was appointed and served on several boards, representing the interest of the black community. For his dedication to public service, he received numerous plaques and citations.
Walking in the foot steps of his father, Cyril Jr. was involved with many local boards and organizations supporting the poor and working class members of his community. He served on the board of Tampa General hospital. Cyril Jr. who like his father was known as C. Blythe Andrews would also invest in a low income private housing complex. He also advocated medical care for the poor through the Hillsborough County HealthCare Plan.
However, the one thing that was very dear to him, the one thing that brought the standing crowd out on this particular day was the library which now holds his name. C. Blythe Andrews Jr., and his family were instrumental in acquiring the land where the library stands. They have donated book collections and given their time as volunteers.
The C Blythe Andrews Jr. library initially started as a double wide trailer in 1989. The current 8500 square foot facility opened in 1994. Today the facility holds a collection of more than 31,000 volumes of books. There exist a room to listen to audio books and in keeping with technology, the library is also set up with public use computers.
Lillian Andrews Ponquinette with her St Peter Claver students
Also present on this day was William Wallace Andrews III with his wife Nancy and two of their four daughters. Sharon is a psychiatrist for the VA in Tampa. Their daughter Lillian devoted her life to education as a teacher. Lillian Andrews Ponquinette currently teaches science at St. Peter Claver Catholic School in Tampa, Florida.
Regardless of whether the name is Andrews, if they descend from Solomon Augustus and Marietta Andrews education and community activism runs in their veins.
Special Thanks to Eileen B. McAdams (firstname.lastname@example.org) for her assistance with the Hancock county, Georgia genealogy search.
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