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FREE Genealogy Workshops

Footprints and Roots

saturday, June 15, Watkins Nature center, 8:30 am-4 pm
Lectures and workshops on African American genealogy and history
Sponsored By the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Inc. and their partners

Where did you come from? Are your roots in Maryland, the Carolinas, the West Indies, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, South America, or elsewhere? Were your ancestors part of a great migration northward or westward within the United States or were they immigrants from another country? If you know, come and share your research strategies. If you don’t know, learn how to find your ancestors at the annual “Footprints and Roots” Juneteenth Celebration Seminar. You can attend one or all three genealogy sessions. There will be a mid-day break in the workshops so that participants can enjoy some of the musical entertainment.

Since you’re never too young to begin this journey, special workshop sessions are planned for children ages 7-12. These workshops are FREE to the public.


Pre-registration is preferred, but not required. To register for the genealogical workshops, visit or call Carolyn Rowe at 301-292-6987 or Jane Thomas at 301-292-1207, or download a registration form here. For more information about Juneteenth, call 301-627-2270 or 301-218-6700, TTY 301-218-6768.

Free Seminar Schedule

8:30–9 am Registration/Continental Breakfast
9-9:15 am Opening/Welcome (Auditorium)
9:15-10:20 am Keynote Speaker: Alcione M. Amos, Curator
Anacostia Community Museum
10:20-10:30 am Break
10:30–11:20 am Morning Sessions:
  • Children’s Session
  • Beginning Genealogy: How to Begin Discovering Your Roots
  • Beyond the Search in Family Search
  • The Underground Railroad: Revised Edition, Volume 2
11:30 am–12 noon Harmony Hallers Line Dancers (Auditorium)
11:20 am-1:30 pm
Lunch Break
11:30 am - 5 pm Juneteenth Celebration @ Watkins Regional Park
Shuttles to/from festivities outside Nature Center
2:20–2:30 pm Break
1:30 - 2:20 pm
Afternoon Sessions:
  • Children’s Session
  • A Free People’s Civil War
  • Freedman’s Bank Records: A Federal Resource for Black Family Research
  • Funeral Programs 101
2:20 - 2:30 pm Break
2:30 - 3:20 pm
  • Children’s Session
  • DNA Testing
  • Be Careful What You Throw Away: That Clutter May Have Clues to Your Ancestry
  • Genealogical Research in Hampton Roads: Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach

3:20 - 3:30 pm BREAK
3:30 - 4 pm Wrap-Up/Announcements/Evaluation
Schedule subject to change.