Reverend Claude W. Black Jr. was fascinated by his own family history. He conducted extensive research into his genealogical background and left behind folders of historical documents and recordings related to his family connections and prominent relatives, both immediate and distant. Reverend Black traced the origins of his family name, Black, back to a slave family originally from Virginia. The slave owners forcibly moved the family to Texas in 1859. After their emancipation, the family made a life for themselves in the Texas and Oklahoma area.
Mysteries abounded in Rev. Black's genealogical research, as he discovered an unidentified ambrotype of a young man along with many different sets of writings and census information. Connecting the dots, the Reverend may have identified the man in the image as his own great grandfather. Rev. Black worked hard to foster connections with his distant and close family, attending many reunions for all the branches of his family, and maintaining contact with and information about the lives of all of his living relatives. Reverend Claude Black also cared deeply about his extended family through ZerNona, saving items related to his stepson and step-grandchildren’s lives.