As part of the Africans to Americans: 400 Years of History event, the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing Celebration and St. Louis Public Library's Genealogy Room are co-hosting a free workshop to help people of color trace their ancestry in America.

The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 27 at the St. Louis Central Library Auditorium, 1301 Olive St.

Dr. Gina Paige, National Expert and founder of African Ancestry, will provide the keynote address.

Area residents can learn the value of tracing one’s family history and how to get started from a panel of experts. The Ancestry Workshop schedule and speaker lineup is as follows:

Auditorium Lobby for Public Consults

10:30 – 12:30 Open for Public Consultations

Area residents can bring DNA results or family tree for consultation with Association of African Ancestored Researchers & the St. Louis Public Library’s Genealogy Room.

Auditorium for Speaker Event

12:35 Introduction of Speakers - All Speakers on stage

12:40 Connie Eller, “Walk the Dirt”- Learn more about the value of tracing family history and visiting the places where ancestors lived from past to present.

1:10 Christopher Nordmann, “Locating Your Slave Ancestor’s Owner: A Case Study”- Trace an African American family in freedom back to slavery from Missouri to Kentucky to Virginia using a variety of records.

1:40 LaDonna Garner, “Recording Families is Recording Local History”- Family groupings form neighborhoods, and neighborhoods shape into communities. Learn why it is important to preserve the artifacts of these communities to maintain a blueprint of local history.

2:10 Daniel Lilienkamp, “Manuscript Collections: A Tool for Finding Your Enslaved African American Ancestors”- Learn why typical U.S. genealogical research strategies often fail when applied to enslaved African Americans and how to begin researching slave owning families’ detailed plantation records to trace ancestry. (Followed by question and answers.)

3:30 Keynote Address – Dr. Gina Paige, founder of African Ancestry

4:30: Michael Butler DNA Reveal (St. Louis City recorder of Deeds) Dr. Paige will take audience questions following the reveal of the ancestry results of a St. Louis personage.

The Ancestry Workshop is free. For more information, visit, email

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