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Discover your African American roots. Join the Poplar Forest African American Advisory Group for an interactive experience designed to help you explore your family’s African American history. Hear stories about exploring ancestry and learn about research methods, tools, ideas and strategies for tracing the lineage of your enslaved ancestors.
Admission to African American Family History Day is free, however reservations are required as space is limited to 60 participants. Reservations can be made by getting a free ticket below or by calling the Museum Shop at (434) 534-8120.
The 2018 Program
- 10:00 a.m. —Opening Address by Dr. Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”
- Lunch provided (with reservation)
- Afternoon Sessions—Sessions will be repeated so every participant can attend both
Session A: “Ask the Right Questions—Gleaning Information from Family Conversations” with Dr. Shelley Murphy
This workshop will present tips and strategies for family historians to enhance their research with the art of asking the right questions. We will look at evidence using the simple principles of the “SO WHAT” concept and timelines. This will help attendees learn how to analyze the information, combat some genealogy brick walls and map out a research plan.
Session B: “From Oral History to the Records” with Angela Walton-Raji
This workshop looks at how one can pursue records and oral history, and how to use the proper resources to solve a family mystery. The focus of this session explores an African American family based in Tennessee. The family was separated in 1860 when the slave holder died. More than a century later, at a family reunion, a few extra details were shared by the cousins in attendance. From that session an interesting story arose, about an ancestor who shot someone in Tennessee, and ran away to Texas to never be seen again. A new question arose—who was this ancestor and could more be learned?
The journey to answer the question involved standard genealogy research, but it also required some essential steps to unravel the mystery of this African American family. Oral history was the base, but more was needed. The workshop will outline what steps were used to break through this brick wall.
About the Speakers
Dr. Shelley Murphy
An avid genealogist for over 30 years, Shelley (aka “familytreegirl”) presents genealogy workshops at local, state and national genealogy conferences. Murphy, known for her inspiring & interactive “SO WHAT” with genealogy research, along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Murphy is also a Coordinator and Instructor at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Holds memberships with NGS, APG & historical societies & genealogy groups along with being Membership Chair of the DAR Jack Jouett Chapter. Shelley’s blog is familytreegirl.com & tagline is “Know your roots, they are long and strong.”
Angela Walton-Raji is nationally known as an author, genealogist, podcaster and blogger. She hosts the weekly African Roots Podcast (africanrootspodcast.com) which devoted to African American family history. She is also one of the founding members of AfriGeneas.com, the oldest online website community for African American genealogy. She also authored the book “Black Indian Genealogy Research” the first and only book that addresses the documentation of African-Americans with ties to Native Americans.Ms. Walton-Raji holds a Bachelor’s degree in Romance languages and a Master of Education degree. She currently resides in Maryland where she continues to research and write.