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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Free genealogy event for Black families

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If you want to discover your family history, there is a free opportunity coming your way June 4.

The free genealogy event “Find Your Family, Know Your Roots” will be 1-4 p.m. at Central Library’s Center for Black Literature and Culture. 

While the use of current technology such as DNA testing has positively impacted genealogy, there are concerns that the lack of physical records such as obituaries in newspapers and access to technology could make finding your roots more difficult. In addition, as societal changes make it more acceptable to use the mother’s last name, it may be challenging to find the paternal family line, said Eunice Trotter, event organizer and author of “Black in Indiana.”

The event will feature workshops with genealogists from the Indiana African American Genealogy Group. Attendees are encouraged to bring family photos and/or names of their oldest relatives as the information will be used to start searching family history. A take-home kit will also be provided to help with the next steps on the genealogy journey, Trotter said. 

This event is free and Black families who attend could discover they have a common interest or hobby with other family members or learn about genetic health issues.

While tracing your family history often turns up interesting facts, it also plays an important role in reparative justice programs. As the fight for reparations continues to pick up steam across the country, Black Americans will need to be able to prove they are descendants of slaves to have access to these programs. 

“When people know who they are and where they come from it positively benefits their families, the community and the world,” Trotter said.

Contact intern Mesgana Waiss at 317-762-7848 or email at adjwouw@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @theavgjourn.

If you go:

What: “Find Your Family, Know Your Roots”
When: 1-4 p.m. June 4
Where: Center for Black Literature and Culture at Central Library, 401 E. St. Clair St.
Cost: Free 


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