Friday, November 6, 2009

Class on African American Genealogy

Harriet Thompkins, one of our newer members, is teaching a class on African American genealogy at 6 pm on Tuesday, 10 November. The meeting will be in the Local History Room of the Largo Library.

Harriet will use her own experience in researching her family to demonstrate the research techniques and strategies that can be successful in this challenging area. Every African American who has slave ancestors has a built-in brick wall when it comes to surnames. Slaves often adopted the surname of the owners, or neighboring families, or geographic places. Attaching a surname to an individual ancestor takes exceptional patience and research skill....and, of course, some luck.

If that quest is successful, another wall then looms. That is the challenge of tracing the slave ancestor back to his/her country of origin.

This class can be information regardless of your race because the research challenges and frustrations tend to be universal. Although the ways to break down these brick walls may be specific to African Americans, some of the research thought process are applicable to all of us.

If nothing else, attend the class to celebrate Harriet's success in the tracing of her family in the face of great odds.

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