Webinar Abstract: Our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. They lived, worked, socialized, and married in the midst of a larger group of people. Those people included not just family members but friends, neighbors, employers and fellow employees, fellow churchgoers, and business associates. Genealogists often refers to this group with the clever shorthand of the “FAN” club—their friends, associates, and neighbors. Researching this larger group of people often leads to greater success in reconstructing families. Ms. Smith provides guidelines and several case studies of applying the technique.
Presenter: Robyn Smith has been researching her family and others for over 25 years. An engineer by day, Robyn applies those research and problem-solving skills to the field of genealogy. She specializes in Court and Land Records, Genealogy Skillbuilding, and Slavery Research. From 2008-2012, Robyn taught an Advanced African American Genealogy class at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD. Robyn has lectured at genealogy conferences and for institutions such as the Smithsonian African American Museum. She has published numerous articles about her family history, including two articles on her Maryland roots in the peer-reviewed Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. For more than twelve years, she has authored a popular genealogy teaching blog called Reclaiming Kin (www.reclaimingkin.com). Her blog focuses on growing genealogical research skills for all genealogists and the unique challenges of researching the enslaved. In addition to writing and teaching, Robyn also has a special passion for documenting the histories of communities and promoting adherence to genealogical standards.
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