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African-American Genealogy Research Topics at the 2011 OGS Conference
Six presentations at the 2011 OGS Conference will appeal to genealogists interested in African-American research.
The 2011 Annual Conference of the Ohio Genealogical Society will be held March 31 to April 2, 2011, at The Hyatt on Capitol Square, in Columbus under the theme “Genealogy through the Centuries.”
Three lectures will be presented by Shamele Jordan, researcher, writer, and former president of the African American Genealogy Group in Philadelphia. In one, she will discuss “African American Genealogy: I’ve Traced My Family Back to 1870, Now What?” Researching African American ancestors pre-1870 presents unique challenges. Learn sources and techniques to locate ancestors during the Reconstruction and Slavery Era.
In a second presentation she will cover the very important topic of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau, existed from 1865 to 1872. In this presentation, entitled “Freedmen’s Bureau Research Strategies,” she will teach strategies to help search for ancestors in field office records.
In her third presentation, “Free & Bound Slaves: Researching United States Colored Troops, Jordan will teach how to locate and analyze service records, pension records, and other Civil War records. This is important because over one hundred thousand African American men served in the Union Army.
African American newspapers are a severely underutilized source, according to Tim Pinnick. In the presentation, “Finding and Using African American Newspapers,” he will demonstrate how they often hold the key to solving research problems along with providing unprecedented insight into the social activities of black communities, both urban and rural.
Pinnick will also discuss “The World War I Draft Card: Don’t Do Research without It.” World War I draft registration cards contain valuable imbedded pieces that can reveal clues to help open genealogical roadblocks.
A case study, “Born to Serve: The Life of an Ohio African American Nurse in World War I, “ will be presented by Deborah A. Abbott, PhD. In this presentation, follow the genealogy of one of the pioneering women of World War I. Learn the strategies and techniques used to reconstruct the life and military experiences of this Piqua, Miami County, Ohio native.
Another program element of interest is the “African American Roundtable Discussion.” Have questions about your African American ancestry? Need to discover strategies for researching this particular area of genealogy? Sign up for this hour-long discussion group and share with like-minded researchers.
The complete conference program and registration form is downloadable from the OGS website at www.ogs.org. For questions about the program, contact Conference Chairperson Diane Gagel by telephone at (419) 878-0697 or by email at Conference 2011.
Ohio Genealogical Society is the nation’s largest state genealogical society with over 5500 members and chapters in all 88 counties. It recently opened a new library and headquarters in Bellville, Ohio. For information about the OGS Library, contact