As these clues fall into my lap, it seems as if he is right there helping me to uncover leads, directing me to a landmark, or inspiring someone to share information about him with me. I thought I had exhausted city directories in my search to document family members between census years. I used Columbia City Directories to locate him in the 1920's after he migrated from Greenwood County. I found him in the 1910 Census in Clinton (Laurens County), but only last week I discovered him in the 1917 Clinton City Directory.
|Rev. Lafayette Vance (Lula), pastor Friendship AME Ch, r 132 W Carolina Ave.|
He is listed with my great grandmother, Lula, and the directory revealed he was pastoring at Friendship AME Church in Clinton. I could not wait to locate this church. I even have other Vance families listed in the area to check out.
Very excited, I had just enough time to snap a few photos of the building. I did not see a cemetery. As I walked toward the building, a nice lady across the street asked if I needed help. She came over to talk to me, and I told her about finding the reference to my great grandfather. Before I knew it she had unlocked the building and presented me with the history of the church in a wonderful booklet.
I did manage to keep the tears back as we browsed the booklet, and she explained that there is another church in the area, Mount Pleasant AME which was considered my family's church. Another lead! Friendship AME has been around since 1880, and the church cemetery, located on the original site nearby, is where members who were former slaves are buried.
I cannot say enough about staying on the trail of your ancestor and conducting exhaustive research.