Upcoming Events

African American Family History Day- NOW VIRTUAL

October 17 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Find your roots with help from genealogists who specialize in researching African American family histories. Join the Poplar Forest African American Advisory Group online for an interactive experience designed to help you navigate historical records in search of your African American family tree. Hear stories about exploring ancestry and learn about research methods, tools, ideas and strategies for tracing your ancestors. Admission to the digital event is free, but registration is required (via the form below) to receive the link to the livestream.

About the Program

Join Aurelia Crawford and Brandon Dillard as they share the stories of Monticello’s oral history project documenting the descendants of those enslaved by Thomas Jefferson. Aurelia and Brandon will talk about the historic subjects they study, the importance of ongoing research, and the ways in which this history and its study changes over time.

Then, Renate Yarborough Sanders will present, “The Case for DNA: Why Should I Test?” Are you on the fence about DNA testing? Do you wonder if the results are “real” or if they can truly help you to further your genealogy research? Learn about the different types of DNA testing and how each can help to inform genealogical research. Examples of real-life DNA success stories will also be shared.

Meet the Speakers

Aurelia Crawford

Aurelia Crawford, Research Assistant for the Getting Word African American Oral History Project at Monticello, started as a guide at Monticello more than 15 years ago.  She’s shared the history of the site with thousands of people from all over the world.  Aurelia joined the Getting Word Project seven years ago as a researcher, and has helped many people trace their family roots and share their histories since.

Brandon Dillard

Brandon Dillard, Manager of Historic Interpretation, joined Monticello’s staff in 2010.  He works with the staff on interpreting difficult knowledge by combining skills from a career in hospitality with his academic focus on race, memory, and power.  Brandon assists the Getting Word Project in an administrative capacity.

Renate Yarborough Sanders

A descendant of formerly enslaved ancestors, enslavers and free people of color, Renate Yarborough Sanders has been engaged in genealogical research for over 23 years. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society, and the Tyrrell County (North Carolina) Genealogical and Historical Society. She authors two blogs: “Into the LIGHT and “Genea-Related,” and is a panelist on BlackProGen LIVE, an online program about researching ancestors of color. Renate also co-hosted her own YouTube series, this summer, which focuses on North Carolina genealogy research.

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October 17
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
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Poplar Forest
1542 Bateman Bridge Road
Forest, VA 24551 United States