Americans often think they don't have any genealogical or family
history information to begin their research. This lecture is designed
to dispel that myth by presenting an array of strategies, methods and
techniques to research forward. At the completion of this lecture the
participant will have developed an appreciation of his/her historical
past and the vast array of ancestral, artifacts, heirlooms, family
memorabilia and other treasures.
Janis Minor Forté is a
genealogist, writer and lecturer who has received awards and citations
for her research achievements. The granddaughter of a slave, Forté has
been researching the history of her family since the late 1970s. Using
a compilation of traditional and non-traditional sources, she has
successfully traced her maternal ancestors to 1754; and her paternal
ancestors to 1810 and has documented one line of her family to the
African Island of Madagascar. (See Black Family History Series - Details below.
Topic: Black Fashion History
Slide show during lunch (Noon – 1:00PM) – not a formal class.
video features some of our most beloved and popular trends, showing how
black fashion evolved since the 1920s with iconic styles inspired by
jazz, Motown and hip-hop. It also provides a look back through
black history using the lens of fashion.
Location: VanderVeen Room – Grand Rapids Public Library
**Co-sponsored by WMGS**
interest and knowledge of your family's ancestors is a common question
for most American families. What parent or grandparent hasn't had a
child ask about the family history, where they came from, what was
their job, how did they meet their spouse? While these are universal
questions it can be challenging to find the answers. This is especially
true for Afri-can Americans interested in their family history. Join us
during Black History Month for a series of workshops that will feature
local and regional speakers and offer an opportunity to connect with
others around your family history.
Registration is not required, however lunch will be provided if you RSVP to email@example.com.
All workshops will be held in the VanderVeen Center except for the 1:30 program on February 3 (auditorium).
Saturday, February 3
10:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: Why Genealogy? An Intro to Researching Your African American Ancestry - Janis Forté
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Uncovering your African American Genealogical Treasure Trove Hiding in the Attic - Janis Forté
(This is the WMGS Monthly meeting and mini-class)
Saturday, February 10
10:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: Even gangsters had to register: WWI draft cards and selected service - Janis Forté
War I Draft Registration cards reveal more than just basic identifying
information of eligible men. Following registra-tion, men completed a
form with hundreds of questions. Janis Minor Forte will examine the
development of identifying infor-mation on these cards and the path the
cards lead to other Selective Service System records, including men
identified as delinquent and/or deserters, along with classification
ilsts and community based local board systems.
1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.: Freedmen's Bureau - Janis Forté
Minor Forte will talk about the Bureau of Refugee, Freedmen and
Abandoned Lands records, which provide an array of information on the
individual, personal, family and social life style of post-Civil War
societies. The local governmental, eco-nomic and social network of the
community is revealed in these records, as well as family groups and
kinships of those lost or sold in slavery. African American researchers
learning to use these records will discover a treasure trove of
genealogical, economic and social information.
Saturday, February 17
10:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m.: Schedules, wills and probate - Linda Guth
class will explore schedules of the U.S. census, specifically the
agricultural and slaves schedules. The class will also look at wills
and probate records to talk about the role they play in black families.1:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.: The census: how to use it and track family members - Linda Guth
This class will look at how to use U.S. Federal census records to find information on African American ancestors.
Saturday, February 24
10:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m.: The ABCs of DNA - Jessica Trotter
can DNA testing tell you? What test should you take? What does it all
mean? DNA testing can be a powerful tool to wield in your genealogy
toolkit. Librarian and genealogist Jessica Trotter will offer a
beginners' overview on tests, testing companies and how you can use
1:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m.: African Americans in GR, Pre Civil War and Post Slavery - Cynthia Bailey and Ruth VanStee
Bailey and Ruth VanStee will introduce Grand Rapids African Americans
and highlight individual stories. You’ll learn about civil rights
leaders in Grand Rapids long before Dr. King began his work, the early
community leaders, church organiz-ers, businessmen and women leaders of
social welfare efforts. The talk will also highlight various sources
available at the Grand Rapids Public Library which you can use to tell
your ancestors’ stories.