NARA - National Archives and Records Administration

10/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/18/2021 06:20

Calling all Genealogy Buffs for Oct. 20 Program

Washington, DC

Dig genealogy? You're not alone! Discover the roots of this national obsession-from family trees written in bibles to birther conspiracies, digitization, and commercialization-on Wednesday, October 20, at 1 p.m. ET, with Francesca Morgan, author ofA Nation of Descendants: Politics and the Practice of Genealogy in U.S. History. Learn about the hobby that has exploded into wildly popular DNA kits and even TV series, from the original Roots to Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are!

Morgan shows that genealogy has always mattered in the United States, whether for taking stock of kin when organizing a family reunion or drawing on membership-by blood or other means-to claim land rights, inheritance, learn about medical histories, biological parentage, and ethnicity.Karin Wulf, Director and Librarian of Brown University's John Carter Brown Library, joins Morgan for this talk. The program is free but advanced registration is encouraged. Watch the livestream on the National Archives YouTube channel.

See the related New York Times storyby Reid Epstein about longtime National Archives staffer Sam Anthony's search for his roots-with a DNA kit and the help of Deputy Archivist Debra Steidel Wall: "52 Years in 11 Days: A Son, Facing Death, Finds His Father." After struggling with cancer for years, Sam Anthony was running out of time. Before he died, he found the courage to mail a letter that he had long been afraid to send.

Francesca Morganis an associate professor of U.S. history at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and is also the author of Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America, which focuses primarily on four women's groups that played radically different patriotic roles: the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Women's Relief Association, and the National Association of Colored Women.

Karin Wulf is the Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library. She previously was executive director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, where she focused on underscoring expansiveness and inclusion in early American history.

Background: The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the federal government, including records of interest to genealogists, such as pension files, ship passenger lists, census schedules, and Freedmen's Bureau materials.

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