DNA, Data, Deeds & Dust

Genealogy 101: Climbing Your Family Tree

Discovering your family’s unique story is like solving a puzzle. However, getting started can sometimes seem daunting. Join us on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Libbie Mill Library to learn more about your family’s history. The program is free and open to the public. This discussion, led by Bessida Cauthorne White, an author and genealogist, will provide tips and strategies for beginning family research. It will include an overview of basic genealogy terms and tools, the use of public and private records, internet sources, oral history, and DNA. Attention will be given to the challenges associated with researching African-American families. Libbie Mill Library is located 2100 Libbie Lake E. St. Richmond, Va. 23230.

geneaology flierBrief Biography of Bessida Cauthorne White

Bessida Cauthorne White (B.S., J.D.) has been a genealogist for nearly 40 years. She is the family historian for nine of her families and manages DNA results for more than thirty family members and friends. She is co-founder and president of Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society and a founder of the Greater Richmond Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. In 2015, she chaired the National Conference of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Held in Richmond, this is the only  national gathering of African-American genealogists to have been held in Virginia.

White is the editor of A Reunion of Recipes: The White Family Cookbook (1990), co-editor of Help Yourself! There’s a God’s Mighty Plenty: A Treasury of Recipes from the Cauthorne & Brooks Families (First Edition 2000 and Second Edition 2017), and co-editor of Gather at the Welcome Table: The Angel Visit Baptist Church Sesquicentennial Cookbook. She  has recently undertaken the task of identifying persons who were enslaved at Menokin and their present-day descendants. Menokin, located in Richmond County, Virginia, was the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee,.a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
An activist, retired attorney, and lay historian, she is president of the board of the Rappahannock Industrial Academy Alumni Association and serves on the boards of the Middlesex County Museum & Historical Societyand the Library of Virginia Foundation. White is a member of the Menokin African American Advisory Work Group and serves as church historian and vice-chair of the trustee board at Angel Visit Baptist Church, Dunnsville, Virginia.



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