Sunday, February 5, 2012


The 8th Annual African American Seminar will take place on
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library.
This years' theme is “Celebrating 150 Years of Emancipation”  to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 
The event promises to be the best one yet with more than 20 classes being offered in beginning, intermediate and advanced genealogy instruction. The seminar will enable those in attendance the opportunity to reconnect with their forgotten ancestors. The classes will be taught by seasoned Genealogists from both the Sacramento and Bay Areas.

The Keynote Speaker is Regina E. Mason, a noted Speaker and author of the book, "Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave" which is a story about her formerly enslaved ancestor turned fugitive slave.
Extensive digitalization of records makes it possible for African Americans to track their ancestors including those who were once considered property in this country. These records can enable researchers to leap right over the obstacle that slavery might have caused in the past.
In honor of the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans are being challenged to find at least one formally enslaved ancestor who helped to pave their way to freedom.

Attendees can expect to learn tips and techniques to help them connect with their ancestors to past down to future generations.

The seminar will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library located at 2745 Eastern Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95821.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to register early by March 1, 2013 to ensure entry into their desired classes. However, individuals will be able to register on the day of the event at 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on a first-come basis.

The cost of the seminar is $10.00 for registration and an electronic syllabus which covers entry into the event. The written syllabus materials can be purchased for an additional $10.00 for a paper syllabus or $5.00 for a CD syllabus. Lunch will also be offered at a cost of $6.50.

For more information, please contact (916)487-2090 or log on to


From Hwy 80 -- Take Watt Ave exit, go South on Watt Ave, left onto Marconi Ave, right onto Eastern Avenue. From Hwy 50 -- Take Watt Ave exit, go North on Watt Ave, right onto Marconi Ave, right onto Eastern Avenue.







Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes


In the careful blending of two stories— her own and William Grimes’—Mason makes her quest for roots and her forefather’s past, powerfully compelling and real.   In addition to exploring the life of Grimes as a slave in the South and as a quasi-free man in the North, Mason looks at key historical and genealogical records— beyond the U.S. Censuses—that took her quest for roots and her forefather’s important narrative to an exhilarating new level.  Touching on a few of those records— 18th and 19th century newspapers, military records, wills and slave inventories, rare letters, a manumission record, and the tracking of the ship her ancestor made his daring escape to freedom —Mason hopes to inspire researchers and burgeoning genealogists to dig beneath the surface of American history to reclaim the narratives of ordinary people, who, in the midst of extraordinary circumstances, did amazing things. 
This class will discuss the importance of social history in genealogical research. Sources for locating local, county, state and national history that can add content and texture to your ancestor's lives will be covered along with ways to incorporate this information into telling your family's story. Dates are only the skeleton. Social history helps breathe life into that framework and put "meat on the bones."
Instructor: Annette Madden


There is now a wealth of genealogical information on line and more is being added every day and it is easy to forget the many resources that are not on the computer but are easily accessible and often hiding in plain sight. Among some of the resources to be discussed are local repositories, the use of interlibrary loans, home resources, and oral interviews.
Instructor: Annette Madden

Using Online Historical Black Newspapers

Many historical black and abolitionist newspapers are available online, with more being added. Most are on subscription sites, while some are free. This class gives an overview of the roles of black newspapers, discusses what is online and where it is, suggests access strategies, and shows sample search results.

Instructor:  Janice Sellers

Creating Family History Heirloom Books Using Digital Scrapbooking

This class will teach attendees how to combine the art of Digital Scrapbooking and graphic art with their genealogy research to create a Family History book. They will learn how to personalize the pages by combining family photographs, clipart and backgrounds with their genealogy research "finds" and family biographies to create a Family History Book that represents their family’s unique personality and heritage

Instructor: Karen Burney

Black Trails: Exploring the Great Migration of Blacks Leaving the South
Why Did Your Family Leave The South? In this class, we will explore what is termed, "The Great Migration." We will examine why scores of African Americans picked up and left their southern roots to re-locate to various other urban cities and states in search of equality, jobs, education and other opportunities. We will follow their journeys as they boarded trains, planes, buses, and automobiles to collectively start new lives in more metropolitan areas. Attendees will be encouraged to document their own "Great Migration" stories and/or those of their parents/grandparents to pass along to their descendants. Recommendations for further readings to better understand this important historical event in African American History will be given to attendees.

Instructor: Karen Burney

Let Freedom Ring! The Emancipation Proclamation and Finding Your Ancestors Before and After It

It's hard to believe that 150 years ago, a fierce battle was waging over the whether all people of these United States would be recognized as citizens and extended the same rights and liberties under the law.  In this class, attendees will learn just what the Emancipation Proclamation was and what it meant for many of their ancestors. It will be explained what states it affected, why it was enacted and to whom it provided freedom for. You will also learn how to track your formerly enslaved ancestors before and after its enactment through census, wills, probate, conveyance, plantation, military and other records.


Instructor: Karen Burney

Finding Our Ancestors:  The Beginning

Deals with documents needed to assist in the beginning stage of family history.  It provides information that is acquired when carefully analyzing these documents.

Instructor: Lynette Williams


Creating an exciting Family History Jigsaw Puzzle

Want to give a fun and exciting gift?  Consider creating something special using family pictures.  These jigsaw puzzles are easy to create and can be great fun for family and friends.  Come learn how to create this unique gift. 
Instructor: Linda Todd

Using Photoshop Elements to Restore Photos

Photoshop Elements is a very powerful software product and is one of the favorite photo editing programs.  Using 6 simple tools within Photoshop Elements you can restoring photos that are faded, torn or otherwise damaged.

Instructor: Linda Todd

Family Reunion Planning: Starting with Nothing and Making it Something

All family reunions must start somewhere. Learn tools and tips that can start or restart your much needed gathering.

Instructor: Nicka Smith

Freedmen’s Bureau Records: A Gem In Our Own Backyard

The Freedmen's Bureau is an often underutilized record set which can lead to confirmation of a last slaveholder and tracing your ancestors before the 1870. Learn about the history of the bureau, its organization, and the types of records you can find within the more than 1,600 rolls of microfilm maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Instructor: Nicka Smith

DNA Research: Basic Terms, How To Find Relatives, and Narrow

down the Slaveholder or Ancestor

Have too many questions about DNA but you’re afraid to ask? Get the skinny on how DNA basics and how to include it in your genealogical search.

Instructor: Nicka Smith


The Militant Matron: Dr. Nettie J. Craig Asberry

Nettie J. Craig Asberry, PhD (1865-1968) worked tirelessly within her Tacoma, Washington community to make it a place where people from diverse walks of life could live a dignified existence. Known for her work in fighting racism and in helping to open doors for women, she was founder of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP, as well as serving as President of the Washington State Federation of Colored Women's Organizations.

Instructor: Antoinette Broussard


Beginning to Intermediate African American Genealogy

This presentation will explain the steps needed to begin an African American Family History Project. More specifically, class members will learn the creative use of various organizing tools, e.g., an Ancestor Chart, a Family Group Worksheet, and a Research Log. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of preserving a family’s oral history and home sources.  The presentation will cover selected intermediate research strategies.

Instructor: Juliet Crutchfield

Monticello Connection
Call it genealogical serendipity! Sometimes you find family history when you are not even looking for it. The instructor will tell the story of how she stumbled upon the connection between her ancestors and Thomas Jefferson’s famed Monticello.
Instructor: Melvyn Gillette
Look What You May Find from and In-Complete Death Certificate!

Come see how you can take what little information you have to help you further your lineage. Life is a 360 degree situation.  Sometimes you have to go all the way around to find the information you need to finish your research.

Instructor: Taffy Couts




















From Hwy 80 – Take Watt Ave exit, go South on Watt Ave, left onto Marconi Ave, right onto Eastern Ave.


From Hwy 50 – Take Watt Ave exit, go North on Watt Ave, right onto Marconi Ave, right onto Eastern Ave.




The cost of the event is:

Registration & Electronic Syllabus:     $10.00

Optional Add-Ons:
Paper Syllabus                                 $10:00

CD Syllabus Only:                            $  5.00

Lunch                                              $ 6.50

Those interested in attending the seminar are encouraged to register early by March l, 2013. However, registration will also be available on the date of the event.

Registration and check-in for the event will be located inside the lobby of the main Eastern Avenue entrance.



Parking is available in both the front and rear of the building. This includes handicapped parking spaces which are located near entrances.




Ed Lucky - Chairperson
Karen Burney - Publicity and Advertising
Linda Bradley - Program Coordinator
Jackie Chauhan-Syllabus
Lynette Williams-Syllabus
Barbara Tyson- Committee Member
Kathy Knight- Publicity and Advertising
Sharon Styles- Committee Members
Linda Lucky- Committee Member
Norman Todd-Committee Member
Linda Todd- Committee Member


The 7th Annual African American Family History Seminar is sponsored by the following individuals and organizations:

Councilmember Bonnie Pannell
California Black Chamber of Commerce
Sacramento Convention and Visitor's Bureau - Juneteenth Committee
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

We would like extend our appreciation for their sponsorship.