Sunday, October 9, 2011

Second Black Family History Day

The second Black Family History Day put on by the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC) and the Oakland Regional Family History Center was very successful.  We had 64 participants this time, as opposed to the roughly 175 people who attended in February, but we had three times as many volunteers as last time, and we were able to give much more focused assistance to the people who came (but we still could have used more volunteers and more time!).

Nicka Smith of AAGSNC had organized a good flow for the attendees.  They went from registration to a short introductory workshop for beginners, to assistance in filling out a basic four-generation family chart, to one-on-one assistance in research and looking for information on their families.  (I already warned Nicka that I am going to borrow her ideas for the Jewish genealogy open house being planned for November 13.)  I heard that a couple of people were not able to find any records, but most people found something -- I saw lots of census records, some draft registration forms, and a few additional records.  I helped four attendees in the one-on-ones and lent back-up assistance to a few others.

Nicka plans to continue to have these family history days twice a year, in February for Black History Month and in October for Family History Month.  I'm looking forward to the next one, and to seeing these new researchers come back to the Family History Center to continue their research.  I hope they don't put their new finds on a shelf and wait until February to take the next steps!


  1. It was a great day. The buzz I heard around the computers was electrifying as people were successful finding records. The two people I helped were young adults and it was gratifying seeing their excitement.

  2. Three of the people I helped were older, and we found their parents in census records. They were so excited to see not only their parents' names but names of aunts and uncles they recognized.

  3. Thanks to the both of you for all your help. We had a great time! :)


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