Celebrate Black History Month and trace your roots at the library
American Genealogy - African American genealogical research can be challenging, difficult, and frustrating.
The underrepresentation of African Americans in public records, as well as the absence of legal surnames for slaves, creates seemingly insurmountable obstacles. African American genealogy requires practices used by highly skilled detectives. During Black History Month in February, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will host experts who possess those “detective” skills and have developed techniques to push past African American genealogy’s research “brick walls.”
How to Pick Apart a Death Notice and Obituary Saturday, Feb. 2 p.m. at the Main Library
Thomas D. Jordan, native Cincinnatian, Xavier University graduate, and member of the African American Genealogical Group of the Miami Valley, is the co-host of “New Day,” a community affairs television program on WCPO-TV9. He has identified 13 of 16 of his greatgreat grandparents. Jordan will share his techniques on how to maximize clues found in newspaper death notices, obituaries and the funeral program biographies.
African American Genealogy Seminar with Dr. Deborah Abbott Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Main Library - 2 sessions with Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D., a specialist on African American research, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Public Library and the Hamilton County Genealogy Society. Dr. Abbott is on the faculty of the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and serves as the Cleveland District Trustee for the Ohio Genealogical Society. Her first session is on African American Research: From Slavery to Freedom at 11 a.m. at the Main Library. The most difficult part of genea- logical research for African Americans is finding and correctly identifying slave ancestors and their owners. Researching during the slavery era is challenging, but not impossible. Abbott introduces clues and resources needed to re-create an African American journey from slavery to freedom using case studies that illustrate methods for connecting former slaves to their slave owners. Her second session is on Cluster Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Ancestor 2 p.m. at the Main Library.
Cluster genealogy, an important strategy for genealogists of all ethnicities, is invaluable in African
American research. Using fascinating case studies, Dr. Deborah A. Abbott demonstrates the importance of researching ancestors through extended family members, friends, and community. Learn how tracing records of others can lead to your ancestor.
Searching for Descendants of African American Civil War Soldiers: Giving a Narrative to Cincinnati’s Forgotten Heroes is Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library. In the fall of 2012, the City of Cincinnati asked the Library’s Genealogy & Local History Department to track down present day descendants of seven African American Civil War soldiers buried in unmarked graves in Wesleyan Cemetery, in order to honor the deceased veterans with tombstones. Join a panel discussion with the Rev. Mendle Adams of the Masonic Lodge Brothers Memorial Project, librarians, and researcher Dr. John Bryant as they share the roadblocks they encountered and breakthroughs they made researching these heroes. The panel will present their findings and the various resources they used to piece together narratives of the soldiers and connect the past with the present.
For more information, contact the Genealogy & Local History Department at (513) 369-6905. All programs take place at the Main Library in the Study Area across from the department on the 3rd floor of the South Building.