Helping African Americans Trace Slaveholding Ancestors Using DNA

Was “Slave Master Smyre” my ancestor?

Good research starts with a good question, and this was mine. My third great grandfather Henry Johnson was born enslaved in Lincoln County, North Carolina in the 1830s. My family’s oral history identified his father only as “Master Smyre.” Who was this man? Was this true? How could I be sure?

African Americans face many challenges in advancing their family histories. One key challenge is successfully tracing back to slaveholding ancestors.  Many African Americans have European ancestry dating back to slavery, the result of offspring between white men and enslaved women. Lack of documentation has traditionally made it nearly impossible to trace these connections. 

DNA testing offers African Americans new possibilities to discover and validate these relationships. In this session, I will teach successful strategies for researching slaveholding ancestors using DNA. I will share how I used extensive DNA testing to validate Henry Johnson as a descendant of the slave-owning Smyres who emigrated from Germany to North Carolina in the early 18th century.

For more DNA content visit here
https://www.familysearch.org/rootstech/rtc2021/search/results?category=00000175-8a3d-d198-ad77-de3ff7780000

00:00 – Intro
00:35 – A Family History Question
06:27 – Applying my approach as a genealogist
09:15 – Uncovering slaveholding ancestry
15:06 – Leveraging DNA Testing
20:45 – Family and Reconciliation

This presentation was part of RootsTech Connect 2021. Find hundreds of free family history classes, keynotes, and more. http://familysearch.me/RootsTech

#rootstechconnect

RootsTech is hosted by FamilySearch, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to creating inspiring family discovery experiences. RootsTech is the premier global event and learning resource for making family connections and receiving guidance to help people learn more about their families.

FamilySearch is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people all over the world connect with their family: past, present, and future. Our partnerships with thousands of record custodians and major genealogical organizations allow us to make billions of records available for you to research your family tree free of charge! Regardless of where or how you research your ancestry, we have specialists all over the world to help you experience the joy of connecting with your heritage.

Our desire to Connect with the Past, Present, and Future https://youtu.be/3cmj5kGm2Xw
Find keynotes like this and hundreds of free family history classes here. http://familysearch.me/RootsTech

Subscribe:
http://familysearch.me/youtube
http://familysearch.me/youtubeportuguese
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Connect with FamilySearch:
Visit: http://familysearch.me/home
Like FamilySearch on Facebook: http://familysearch.me/facebook
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FamilySearch is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people all over the world connect with their family: past, present, and future. Our partnerships with thousands of record custodians and major genealogical organizations allow us to make billions of records available for you to research your family tree free of charge! Regardless of where or how you research your ancestry, we have specialists all over the world to help you experience the joy of connecting with your heritage.

Our desire to Connect with the Past, Present, and Future https://youtu.be/3cmj5kGm2Xw
Find keynotes like this and hundreds of free family history classes here. http://familysearch.me/RootsTech

Subscribe:
http://familysearch.me/youtube
http://familysearch.me/youtubeportuguese
http://familysearch.me/youtubespanish
http://familysearch.me/youtubeeurope

Connect with FamilySearch:
Visit our site: http://familysearch.me/home
Like FamilySearch on Facebook: http://familysearch.me/facebook
Follow FamilySearch on Twitter: http://familysearch.me/twitter
Follow FamilySearch on Instagram: http://familysearch.me/instagram

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