In conjunction with Paducah’s Annual Emancipation Celebration McCracken County Public Library will present, African American Genealogical Research: Tips and Tools to Help you Find Your Black Roots, with Stefan Jagoe on Thursday August 4, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the library meeting room. Because of the dismantling of families during slavery and the fact that Africans brought no surnames as we know them to America, doing African American family history research can be quite a challenge. Most of African Americans were not included by name in the Federal Census until 1870. Jagoe will present the basic principles of genealogy research and the most common sources utilized, including census records and birth and death records. He will also examine some alternative sources for the African American researcher, particularly for those predating 1870. Jagoe is a Paducah native and avid genealogist. He is a retired officer with the Paducah Police Department and is actively involved in the community serving as Youth Minister at Grace Episcopal Church.
This summer’s meeting will be held at the American Quilters Museum at 215 Jefferson Street in Paducah on July 30th. The speaker will be John Robertson, a longtime Jackson Purchase Historical Society member and author of numerous publications on Kentucky history, with a specialized emphasis on persons and events in Paducah. His topic will be on the letters of Jennie Fyfe who came to Paducah in early 1864 to work at the Marine Hospital. She was an eye witness to Nathan Bedford Forrest’s raid and the “Reign of Terror” under General E. A. Paine. The Fyfe family correspondence is located at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. Photocopies of the letters can also found at the McCracken County Public Library. The director of the American Quilters Museum will provide half-priced guided tours to all members that attend.