04 February 2014

African-American Genealogy Programs

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, says:
Public libraries have a responsibility to serve the needs of patrons interested in genealogical research by providing basic genealogical reference materials and how-to-do-it books in the library and by providing access to additional genealogical research materials through interlibrary loan or referral. 

The Beaufort County Library takes the guideline to heart and allows the Beaufort District Collection to expand upon the rubric to offer occasional programs and workshops about doing genealogy on ancestors from this area.  Because February is Black History Month, the BDC is hosting a special family history research workshop highlighting resources for uncovering African-American ancestors at the St. Helena Branch Library soon:

We will provide an overview of the resources within the library system to help you get started. No need to register.  This BDC@ St. Helena Branch program is free.  But as with all family history research, there are always more ancestors to locate and other sources to consider, and other places to get additional help.  

If you're ready to dig deeper and focus in on the 1870 Brick Wall using Freedmen's Bureau Records,  our sister cultural heritage organization, the Heritage Library is offering a wonderful opportunity to learn from Toni Carrier, founding director of Lowcountry Africana and the USF Africana Heritage Project on Sunday, February 16th.  Here's the notice I got from the Heritage Library about the session:

Breaking Through the 1870 Brick Wall: Locating Your African American Ancestors in SC Freedmen's Bureau Records

Toni Carrier, Founding Director of Lowcountry Africana and the USF Africana Heritage Project
Sunday, February 16, 2014;
2:00 - Wine Reception; 2:30 - talk

Researching African American family history before 1870 has always been difficult because of the lack of plantation and civil war records documenting the enslaved peoples of the lowcountry. Toni's special research interest is finding and digitizing records to assist African American famly history researchers in tracing ancestors back before the 1870 federal census.
Call the library at 843-686-6560 to reserve a seat.

The Freedmen's Bureau Records are in Ancestry Library Edition, a database that the Beaufort County Library provides on our computers inside our buildings.  You can also access Freedmen's Bureau records in the BDC's Research Room.   FamilySearch.org also has the SC Freedmen's Bureau records posted at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2127881

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