50th Georgia Author of the Year Award Recipient (2014) – Memoir/Autobiography Category

June 8, 2014 MHenderson Blog

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Until the Lion Has His Own Storyteller, The Hunter will always have the Best Part of the Story – African Proverb


GAYA Silver Seal

I am honored to be a recipient of the 50th Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA) “Finalist” (2014)  in the Memoir/Autobiography Category. This is truly a moment in which I will always remember.

Michael Nolden Henderson Author of GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through The Use of Documentation

Michael Nolden Henderson Author of GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through The Use of Documentation

as we waited on hearing the announcement of the final results.

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 This was my category.

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GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation was nominated in this Category

and the results were.


Michael Nolden Henderson “Finalist” 50th Georgia Author of the Year Awards


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I was truly a special moment standing before so many other authors and guest while being recognized as a Recipient of the 50th GAYA for my Memoir – GOT PROOF!



“Until the Lion has His own Storyteller, the Hunter will always have the best part of the story”. African Proverb…..

As you can see big smile and very HAPPY.

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Indeed a Proud Moment for Me on This Amazing Journey- GOT PROOF! – 50th Georgia Author Of the Year Award (GAYA) 2014 (Finalist) – Memoir/Autobiography

 Having my baby sister Jane there with me was Priceless.


Yes, this is my baby sister Jane, all excited and congratulating me for received an awards as “Finalist” at the 50th Georgia Author of the Year Banquet -in the memoir category. (Photo taken by Grady Thrasher)


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Jane Bronner (My Youngest Sister) and I share this Amazing Moment Together

 Here are a few other photos taken during the evening.

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Sharyn Shields, Author of the Wisdom of Dr. Sholes another client of (the Write Image) nominated in the Children’s Book Category

Sharyn says, Congratulations! Michael.

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Sharyn Shield and I sharing the moment

Charlie isn’t the only one with a set of Lovely Angels

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GOT PROOF! Dream Team from BOOKLOGIX – Michael’s Angels

All smiles….

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To learn more about  GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation



Five Authors Share Their Stories About Ancestral Connections to Edgefield, South Carolina

April 28, 2014 MHenderson Blog



At our first meeting at the National Archives Washington, DC  in 2012, Bernice Alexander Bennett looked me in the eye and said, “Michael when are you going to write that book?”  Little did she realize then, that I would be also asking her that very same question.

I had the pleasure of meeting Bernice Alexander Bennett in 2012 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. While there, Bernice and I—both avid genealogists and family history researchers—were encouraged by Anita Paul, publisher with The Write Image, to write about our genealogical research journey and  discoveries. The following year 2013, I published my memoir, Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation.

Bernice, along with four other authors (known as The Memory Keepers), decided to produce a collaborative book, since they all had current and ancestral connections to the town of Edgefield. Their book, Our Ancestors, Our Stories, was released earlier this year.

On Sunday, April 27, 2014, I attended their book signing in Edgefield, South Carolina. It was my first visit to this small town, and I was pleased to meet all five co-authors.

2014-04-27 14.42.49The book signing presentation provided some very interesting insight into the authors’ research methods, strategies, and discoveries. For those who haven’t done African American genealogical research, and even for those with no ancestors in the Edgefield, South Carolina area, the book is a wealth of information about research techniques, South Carolina history, and family connections.

The book opens with Harris Bailey Jr. giving a comprehensive history of the Old Edgefield District. At the book signing, he shared the importance of understanding the history of the area where one’s ancestors lived, and how that historical perspective can aid researchers. The other four authors—Ellen LeVonne Butler, Vincent Sheppard, Ethel Dailey, and Bernice Alexander Bennett—chronicle their quest to learn more about their ancestors who lived in the Edgefield area.

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The Memory Keepers, authors of Our Ancestors, Our Stories: (L-R) Ellen LeVonne Butler, Vincent Sheppard, Ethel Dailey, Harris Bailey Jr., and Bernice Alexander Bennett

Following are some key points the authors emphasized during their presentation:

oaos_coverOral histories are important and could hold some essential information. Talk to as many relatives as you can.  You may hear the same story from different relatives, so pay attention because each version could contain different information. When you put all of the stories together, more pieces of the puzzle will fall into place.  The authors of this book started with oral histories and then found the documents to back up the stories. Oral histories can often get you going in the right direction.

Interview the oldest members of your extended family before it is too late. It is a good idea to speak to the oldest relative and capture as much information as you can about what they know about the family as it relates to your research. You will see examples of this  in the book. I highly encourage you to speak with your elders before everything they know goes to the grave with them. There is an old saying: “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.”

Be sensitive and respect those who don’t wish to discuss the past. Sometimes people are reluctant to discuss family stories due to unpleasant personal experiences. There are some great examples in Our Ancestors, Our Stories of techniques to use when trying to obtain information from relatives who aren’t as enthusiastic about the family history as you are.

Sometimes visiting the place where the family was from is necessary. Many of the authors are descendants of those who once lived in Edgefield, yet the authors themselves live outside of this community. They stressed that if you wish to do a thorough job in researching your family’s history, you must visit your ancestors’ home place. There are many examples of this in the book.

Generally speaking, you will have better success if you focus on only one line at a time. These five authors were striving toward a specific goal of documenting their ancestral connections to Edgefield. They followed various surnames that revealed information to craft their stories. I too have taken this approach.

Genealogy is a journey that requires patience. Don’t expect to get the answers you are looking for in a day, a week, or a month. Sometimes it will take a few years. Be patient and keep searching. There are answers to be found.

Our Ancestors, Our Stories is an engaging compilation of genealogical research. It is well crafted to provide insight into how to conduct family history research. You can learn so much by seeing the steps these authors have taken to research their family lines. Their journey, discoveries, and stories will no doubt inspire.

To order Our Ancestors, Our Stories, visit                                                                                                                         




Nominated For 50th Georgia Author of the Year Awards – Memoir/Autobiography

March 8, 2014 MHenderson Blog

Got Proof!GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation has been nominated for the 50th Georgia Author of the Year Awards  in the Memoir / Autobiography category.

image2.113164339_stdThe Georgia Author of theYear Awards (Gaya) has the distinction of being the oldest literary awards in the Southeastern United States while reflecting the current publishing world. The Awards have grown in prestige and participation since its inception in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. The GAYA changed hands in 1990 to Georgia Writers Association and in 2006 GWA began a strong affiliation with Kennesaw State University’s Department of Humanities.

The video here is a part of my journey and discovery shared with a group at the Louisiana State Museum The Old Mint in New Orleans : Got Proof! French and Spanish Colonial Document Digitizing Project

See more results here:



199th Anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans Wreath Laying Ceremony in Jackson Square

January 8, 2014 MHenderson Blog


Dennis Malone Carter (American, 1827-1881). Battle of New Orleans, 1856. Oil on canvas. 18 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (46.4 x 62.2 cm). Acc. no. 1960.22.The Historic New Orleans Collection

Jan 8, 1815  is the day recognized and celebrated as the Battle of New Orleans. It  was the climactic battle of America’s “forgotten war” of 1812. Andrew Jackson led his ragtag corps of soldiers against 8,000 disciplined invading British regulars in a battle that delivered the British a humiliating military defeat. The victory solidified America’s independence and marked the beginning of Jackson’s rise to national prominence. Hailed as “terrifically readable” by the Chicago Sun Times, The Battle of New Orleans is popular American history at its best, bringing to life a landmark battle that helped define the character of the United States.

This year Jan 8, 2014, marked the 199th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans . I am  a descendant of a Free man of colored named Louis “Innocent” Mathieu Devaux.  He was one of those men, a member of the First Battalion Free Men of Color who stepped forward and answered the call to arm.  I was honored to attend this year’s commemoration and wreath laying ceremony coordinated by the National Society United States Daughter of 1812, New Orleans — Chalmette Cahpter.

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the Cabildo

Many gathered first inside the Cabildo on this cool morning before proceeding to Jackson Square to witness this years ceremony of the 199th Anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.




Below are a few more photos at this day’s event.

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United States Marine Corps Color Guard.








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National Society United States Daughter of 1812, New Orleans — Chalmette Chapter








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Michael Henderson carried out one of the Wreaths to be placed at the monument of General Andrew Jackson.


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Compatriot Edward O Ca (L) and President, Shannon The General Society War of 1812 in the State of Louisiana
















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National Park Service Office gives opening remarks









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Bonnie Pepper Cook, National Society United States Daughter of 1812, New Orleans — Chalmette Chapter presents a few opening remarks.









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Compatriot Edward O Ca (L) and President Shannon Walgamotte, The General Society War of 1812 in the State of Louisiana










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Compatriot Edward O Ca (L) and President Shannon Walgamotte, The General Society War of 1812 in the State of Louisiana






















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National Society United States Daughter of 1812, New Orleans

















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National Society United States Daughter of 1812, New Orleans

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Compatriot Michael Henderson and Compatriot Ike Edwards Members of the General Society War of 1812






City Of Columbus Georgia Recognizes Michael Nolden Henderson Author of GOT PROOF! with Proclamation

November 14, 2013 MHenderson Blog

Columbus, Georgia Recognize Michael Nolden Henderson with a Proclamation  November 9, 2013

I had the pleasure of speaking to the Page Turners Book Club at the Mildred L. Terry  Public Library in Columbus, Georgia about my recently published memoir titled, Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey through the use of documentation.   And after as few questions and answers,  I was presented with a Proclamation from Honorable Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor of Columbus, Georgia  proclaiming Saturday, November 9, 2013 as Micheal Nolden Henderson Day.  Now how cool is that?

Here are a few pictures of the day’s event.

Mildred L. Terry Library

Michael  Nolden Henderson                                                   Mildred L. Terry Library in Columbus, Ga  at the Page Turners Book Club

Page Turner Book Club

City of Columbus Ga Proclamation

Page Turner Book Club GOT PROOF!

Page Turner Book Club GOT PROOF!



James Dent Walker Award Recipient 2013

October 14, 2013 MHenderson Blog

Michael Nolden Henderson

James Dent Walker Award 2013

I was Incredibly honored to receive the James Dent Walker award for excellence in African American genealogy research from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc (AAHGS) on October 12, 2013 at this years AAHGS conference.

This award is named after James Dent Walker who was the Founder and the first President of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (National). In 1977, a few historians and genealogists, led by James Dent Walker, an archivist, met to discuss concerns and the need for an organization that would focus on the family history and genealogy of minority groups. They felt the research and support for these groups had been overlooked. This group wanted to encourage and support the historical and genealogical studies of families of all ethnic groups, with a special emphasis upon Afro-Americans. (Taken from AAHGS Fifth Anniversary Booklet: 1977 – 1982, compiled by Paul E. Sluby, Sr.)

In 1978 James Dent Walker was named as National Genealogy Society Fellow (FNGS) and in 1999 named National Genealogy Hall of Fame.

Tamela Tinpenny-Lewis, President of AAHGS, Inc., Michael Nolden Henderson (Recipient of the James Dent Walker Award 2013) Alica Harris Co-Chair of the Awards Committee.

(L-R) Tamela Tinpenny-Lewis,President, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Michael Nolden Henderson,James Dent Walker Award 2013, Alice Harris,Co-chairperson AwardsCommittee

Mrs Barbara Walker, Founder and Past President of AAHGS, Michael Nolden Henderson

Mrs Barbara Walker, Founder and Past President of AAHGS, Michael Nolden Henderson, James Dent Walker Award Recipient 2013

This was a special moment for me as I shared with Mrs. Barbara Walker, wife of the person the award I received is named after, James Dent Walker.  Mr. Walker was instrumental in spearheading the research and eventual gathering of African American and Native American patriots who participated in, yet were left out of, the narrative of the American Revolution.

Because of his work and that of many others in 2001, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) published a book identifying African Americans and American Indian Patriots of the Revolutionary War. Seven years later, an updated version was published in 2008 titled, Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the American Revolution, The Guide to Service, Source and Studies. The names of 32 men of color and one woman of color from Georgia identified as patriots of the American Revolution are included in this book. Three in particular I found interesting in Georgia were Austin Dabney,  Mammy Kate, and Daddy Jack (see page 617 once you download file).

In February 2011, I discovered the story of a heroic rescue made by an enslaved woman named Mammy Kate and her husband, Daddy Jack of their slaveholder named Captain Stephen Heard. Heard was captured by the British at the Battle of Kettle Creek on 14 Feb 1779, and was taken to a POW camp in Augusta, Georgia to be executed. Years after his rescue, he became the 12th Governor of Georgia. See more about Mammy Kate story here:

I questioned why these two enslaved persons, who had risked their lives to save their slaveholder, had not been recognized as patriots of the American Revolution. As the first African American inducted into the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), I suggested that my local SAR chapter honor Mammy Kate and Daddy Jack with a patriotic grave marking ceremony. On Oct 15, 2011, this ceremony was held see more here.  Patriot Kate became to first woman of color to be recognized as a Patriot of the American Revoluiton in the State of Georgia.


What an honor it was to receive the James Dent Walker award named for the man whose work inspired me and so many others to continue the work of researching and documenting African American and History and Genealogy.



Earliest Known Arrival of French Ancestors to Quebec Canada Confirmed

September 27, 2013 MHenderson Blog

La Société des filles du Roi

While tracing my Louisiana Creole roots beginning with my mother’s maternal line in New Orleans, I was successful in locating and documenting two of my earliest known French ancestors who arrived in Quebec, Canada in the years 1665 and 1668.  See previous blog post here of another documented discovery recorded and certified by the American-French Genealogical Society.


Francois Trottain dit St Surin and Jeanne Hardy are my 9th generation great grandparents.  After learning that Jeanne Hardy’s husband Francois Trottain dit St Surin was a member of the first expedition of Royal troops (Carignan-Salieres Regiment) to arrived in Canada in 1665 and he would become my earliest known french military connection, I  submitted an application for membership in La Société des Filles du Roi et Soldats du Carignan, Inc.  My genealogy and membership was approved  Aug 2013.  Here below is a little bit about my discovery.

300px-Rgt_Carignan-Sallières_1665-1671The Carignan-Salieres regiment arrived in Quebec City in the summer of 1665, the first contingent  arriving on Jun 18.  This was the first  expedition of Royal troops to Canada. The Regiment counted twenty companies and each company was made up of three officers – a captian, a lieutenant and ensign – two sergeants, three corporals, five anspenssades and forty soldiers, including at least one drummer.  Four  other companies drawn from the regiments of Ligniéres, Chambellé, Poitou and Orléana coming from the West Indies also came to Quebec City with Marquis de Tracy, the new governor general.

Considering that the colony had about 3200 inhabitants, the arrival of some 1200 soldiers and 80 officers had an extraordinary impact on its development. A body of troops of this magnitude in Canada completely transformed what had until then been a precarious military situation for the  colony.  Finally,  towns could be built to clock the Richelieu River, the Iroquis’ traditional route.  In just a few weeks, the french went from the defensive stance that had been necessary for almost a quarter of a century to a new tactic: attacking the Iroquois on their own territory.

About  Francois Trottain dit St SURIN: Son of Francois Trottain and Jeanne Gripon of the Parish of St Severin of the Village of Saint Seurin-d’Uzet.  Now Chenac Saint Seurin d’Uzet, 17120, near Mortagne-sur-Gironde , 17120, Charente Maritime,. Poitou Charentes (Saintonge).

He was in the Naurois Company of the Carignam Regiment. They departed La Rochelle, France aboard  the Justice on May 24 1665 and arrival in Québec City on Sept 14 1665,  according Viateur Boulet / Bosher /.

Before the departure of the regiment in September 1668, he witnessed the marriage contract of his comrade Alexander Teschinay in Quebec August 13, 1668.  He married  on August 16, 1668 in Quebec City, Jeanne Hardy, Les Filles du Roi (daughter of the King) who departed Dieppe, France aboard the La Nouvelle France ( the new France) some time in 1668 and arrived in Quebec, New France on Jul 3, 1668.  She was the  daughter of Pierre Hardy and Mary Daviau or Daniau of the parish of Saint John the Perrot, diocese of La Rochelle Aunis (Charente-Maritime).  To learn more about these women on stuff you did not learn in class  Podcast.howstuffworks see here: Les Filles du Roi

François Trottain become Trottier according to the census of 1681, was a carpenter, seigneurial notary, bailiff and tax attorney Batiscan. He was said to also have been royal notary and keep notes Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Champlain, Batiscan and Sainte-Anne. Probably he never received his commission as royal notary, but the authorities allowed the seigneurial notary conscientious, appropriating this imposing title.

Jeanne Hardy died April 5, 1716 in Batiscan. François Trottain died on February 9 and was buried Feb. 11, 1731. (Died August 9, 1731 for Landry)? Household established in Batiscan. (5 children).

(Tanguay, vol.1, p.572; Jetté, p.1091; Dumas, p.256-57; Landry, p.324; Sulte, Hist., vol.5, p.61(3);  Raymond Douville, D.B.C., vol.2, p.665; DBAQ, t4, p.418; Langlois, p.484

 There is more,   Please see here.



GOT PROOF! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use Of Documentation

August 7, 2013 MHenderson Blog

Got Proof!I have just published my first book, a memoir, titled “Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation.

As a family history researcher, I have been asked on many occasions what got me started looking into my family history in Louisiana. What were some of my most interesting discoveries found along the way, and when was I going to write a book? As these questions came up I started to see a pattern with my responses. (more…)



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