Nurses, Matrons, Laundresses, and Cooks: Black Women and Their Role in the Civil War

Emily Sienkiewicz

The Center for Family History is spotlighting the essential yet frequently overlooked contributions of African American women in the military. It intricately traces their evolution from initial roles in wartime support to their active engagement across various branches of the armed forces. Our esteemed panelists, Angela Walton-Raji and True Lewis, will illuminate the myriad challenges these courageous women faced, their remarkable achievements, and the significant barriers they shattered. This session aims to provide a profound understanding of their indelible contributions to military history and their pivotal role in advancing gender and racial equality within the armed forces. This webinar is a celebration of their resilience, fortitude, and the lasting impact they have made on both …

Using Funeral Programs to Inform Genealogy Research

Emily Sienkiewicz

Funeral programs are a unique artifact prevalent in African American communities. Produced at death, these programs record biographical details along with family names, dates, and locations. All the data that we family researchers love to have in our own collections. Join Genealogist Renata Y. Sander to learn more about identifying funeral program collections and how they might inform your own family history. About the presenter: Renate Yarborough Sanders is the descendant of formerly enslaved ancestors, enslavers, and free people of color. She authors two blogs: “Into the LIGHT” and “Genea-Related;” and produces a “(Mostly) African-American Funeral Programs” online database. Renate cohosts “Let’s Talk North Carolina Genealogy,” and she has served as panelist and guest on …

Black History Month: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

Emily Sienkiewicz

After the Reconstruction Period of history, the “Black Codes” which had denied free African-Americans their rights to citizenship prior to the Civil War were reinstated in most southern and border states as “Jim Crow Laws”. These laws stayed in effect until Rev./Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead the Civil Rights Movement which dismantled the Jim Crow laws throughout the country. This lecture relives the Civil Rights Movement and the roles that Rose Parks, Rev./Dr. Martin Luther King, the Freedom Riders and the Sit-in protests played. Forgotten martyrs of the Movement who gave their lives in battle for first class citizenship are remembered and celebrated. Register in advance. For details see

Tracing the Path of African Americans from Enslavement to Freedom

Emily Sienkiewicz

Join Hillary Delaney who will share tips and tricks for finding evidence and breaking research barriers in African American genealogy and pre-Emancipation historical research. Specific examples will be used to illustrate how traditional genealogical methods, combined with a creative approach can help to solve the most difficult research puzzles. Hillary Delaney serves as the lead researcher for the African Americans in Boone County History initiative at the Borderlands Archive and History Center in Boone County, KY . She has documented hundreds of Underground Railroad incidents and genealogical data of thousands of individuals once enslaved in Boone County and across Kentucky. Projects developed from this work include: The Underground Railroad in Boone County bus tour (a …

The Role of African Americans in the Civil War

Emily Sienkiewicz

African Americans played critical and transformative role in the Civil War. This webinar will provide a comprehensive overview, highlighting their significant contributions not only as soldiers but also as laborers, spies, and nurses. These roles were crucial to the Union’s triumph. Our distinguished panel, featuring Darius Brown and Nicka Sewell Smith, will shed light on the myriad challenges these individuals faced, their relentless struggle for freedom and equality, and the profound impact their service had on the outcome of the war and the shaping of American history. This narrative eloquently articulates the indispensable role of African American participation in one of the most pivotal conflicts of our nation. For details see

African Americans in the Army: 1868-1948, with Janice Lovelace, PhD

Emily Sienkiewicz

Following the Civil War, when nearly 200,000 African American men served, the U.S. Army established 4 African American infantry (later modified to 2) and 2 cavalry regiments in 1868. They initially served in the West but fought in the Spanish American War and the two World Wars in segregated units. It was not until 1948 that Executive Order 9981 integrated the military. What was life like for these soldiers? Where do you find service and pension records? For details see

Quilts: Secret Codes to Freedom on the Underground Railroad, with Connie Martin

Emily Sienkiewicz

Join Connie Martin to learn about Pre-Civil War Quilts, and the secrets they held. Join Connie Martin as she tells the stories passed down to her great-grandmother Lizzie of how her family survived the antebellum period through trials and tribulations, and how they used quilts that contained hidden codes and secret messages to assist abolitionists–white and black–to guide enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad to Canada. During this presentation, Connie shares eighteen different quilt patterns in replica quilts and refers to a book her mother, Dr. Clarice Boswell, wrote about their family called Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom. Register in advance. For details see

African American Genealogical Interest Group

Amanda Meeks

The group discusses use of variety of sources, including census research, reconstruction and Freedman Bureau records, NARA combined military records of the U.S. Colored Troops, Plantation Slave records, Slave schedules and other. Open to all. For details see