Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a New 10-part PBS Series That Explores Race, Culture and Identity Through Genealogy and Genetics

Finding Your Roots builds on the success of African American Lives 1 and 2 and Faces of America, journeying deep into the ancestry of remarkable individuals Harry Connick, Jr., Robert Downey, Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend, Branford Marsalis, … [Continue reading...]

Mayor Hits Genealogy Lottery

Cory Booker, the Mayor of Newark, today calls New Jersey home. But in the first episode of the new PBS series, "Finding Your Roots," Mr. Booker explores his genealogy with the help of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.  Skip Gates reached out to … [Continue reading...]

Family Tree’s Startling Roots

Thirty-nine lashes “well laid” on her bare back and an extension of her indentured servitude was Elizabeth Banks’s punishment for “fornication & Bastardy with a negroe slave,” according to a stark June 20, 1683, court document from York County, … [Continue reading...]

For African Americans Seeking to Reclaim Family History, University of Buffalo Workshop Offers Hope

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Because so many of their ancestors were slaves, African Americans have often had a difficult time tracking down documentation of their early roots through public and genealogical records and, as a result, early family histories may … [Continue reading...]

‘It gives me gooseflesh’: Remarkable find in South Side attic

It wasn’t much more than a ghost house by the time Rufus McDonald got the call. The front door of the abandoned home near 75th and Sangamon was unlocked and swinging in the wind. Drug addicts, squatters and stray animals carried away whatever … [Continue reading...]

Major find shows cruel life – and death – of slaves

As Professor Mark Horton tells me as he opens the lids, these boxes represent almost the entire sum of the physical relics of the Middle Passage. These personal possessions had been lovingly clung to by the terrified Africans after their capture, … [Continue reading...]

Mary Walker’s Descendants Realize Their Rich Family History

Mary Walker was a former slave who escaped her owner, fled north, and came to owna Cambridge landmark. Recent celebrations at the Blacksmith House have brought generations of Walker’s descendants to the Harvard Square home. It’s the first time … [Continue reading...]

South Jersey history is all in the family

Sisters Marion Buck and Elizabeth Johnston are determined to make sure their family’s historic legacy is preserved. The nonagenarian members of the Still family — South Jersey’s best-known African-American dynasty — are links in a chain that began … [Continue reading...]

African-Americans unearth family histories via new technology

Like so many others, Patricia Watts longed to find out more about her family history. For several years, she searched databases and made numerous trips to local libraries to research her family tree. It was during an exhaustive search of her … [Continue reading...] Partners with W.E.B. DuBois Institute to Publish the Patriots of Color Database

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- In honor of Black History Month,, a website devoted to making family history simple and affordable, today announced the launch of the Patriots of Color Database. … [Continue reading...]