Archive for the ‘Lectures’ Category

I am honored to be participating in the 2016 Historical Society of Pennyslvania Researching Family in Pennsylvania Workshop! My presentation, entitled “Researching African Americans in Pennsylvania will be delivered on Thursday, August 4, 2016 from 10:30-12pm. For more information, visit

I am pleased to announce that I am partnering with GirlfriendConnect to deliver a presentation at Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown on June 14.  And I’m excited to be on the same workshop program with Gina Paige, President and Co-founder of AfricanAncestry, the largest African American DNA testing company in the country!  My brief presentation will cover “What is Genealogy and Why it is Important; Basic Family Research Techniques and Tools; African American Genealogy Challenges and Unique Research Techniques”.  Gina will then present “Using DNA to Demystify Roots and Replenish Identities”.  DNA kits will be available for purchase and testing can be done on site. (Spoiler alert: you will have an opportunity to receive your results in Bermuda by attending GirlfriendConnect’s Conference in October! See the GirlfriendConnect website home page for Conference details).  After the June 14 workshop, Gina and I will be available for follow up questions and a personal meet and greet at the reception.

For workshop registration, visit

Family Pearl just completed delivering a six week “Introduction to Genealogy” class to students who were participants in the MS Evening Program at the Inglis House in Philadelphia.  Inglis House enables people with disabilities to achieve their goals and live their lives to the fullest. The MS Evening Program is designed specifically for people with MS who are living in the community.  The two hour, once a week lessons began in September and ended yesterday, and covered everything from census records to historical newspapers to sources of information, from Ancestry.Com and FamilySearch.Org to Family Tree Maker software and scanners for organizing research electronically, and from African American research challenges to Ellis Island research.  The class evolved to a “Genealogy Roadshow” of sorts, as a family tree was created for each of the 5 students, and ancestral charts were printed and distributed at the conclusion of the class.  Students, caregivers and Inglis House staff expressed strong interest in family research and gratitude that theirs had been documented formally.

I’m excited about being asked to repeat a presentation that I delivered back in February for the University of Pennsylvania’s Black Alumni Society entitled “African-American Genealogy 101″. This time, the presentation is being sponsored by the Penn Alumni Relations Office of Multicultural Outreach and the Penn Alumni Education “Office Hours” webinar series.  This webinar is open to all Penn Alumni and will be held on June 19, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Why in the middle of the week you might ask? Well, June 19 is “Juneteenth”, the anniversary of the end of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. What’s that you say? Wasn’t slavery ended with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago? Or the end of the Civil War when Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865? No, if you were in Galveston, Texas, the end of slavery was when General  Gordon Granger showed up with 2,000 Union troops and read General Order Number 3:

“ The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

So June 19, or Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day), has been celebrated since that time, almost consistently.  That celebration is observed in 42 states and the District of Columbia as either a state holiday or special day of observance. While the observance almost ended, it has seen a resurgence.

The presentation covers basic genealogy techniques, challenges unique to African-Americans, and uses some of my personal research, specifically leveraging Bishop Alexander W. Wayman, 7th Bishop of the A.M.E. church, to learn more about how those that came before my generation lived before, during and after the Civil War.

For everyone attending my presentation at Penn tonight, thank you for your interest.  I am posting the African American Genealogy Research 101 handout from the presentation for your reference.  You can print a copy of the African American family research on here.  Also, I will be mentioning the upcoming African American Genealogy Group Conference on April 27 at the Family History Center at the 3913 Chestnut Street.  The link to more information about the conference is located on the AAGG website,, on the Events & Conference page.  Finally, if you are interested in Family Pearl services, such as family history research, family newsletter or website creation / maintenance, or oral history recording and photo scanning / storage online, do no hesistate to call me at 484-318-8756.

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