Helping African Americans Trace Slaveholding Ancestors Using DNA

I was thrilled to present at RootsTech Connect 2021, the world’s largest family history technology conference which attracted over one million attendees globally. I shared a session on Helping African Americans Trace Slaveholding Ancestors Using DNA. I outlined my four-step approach developed over years of genealogy experience: create a family tree; talk with family members; use research to extend your tree; and leverage extensive DNA testing. Learn how I used this approach to uncover that my third great grandfather Henry Johnston, born enslaved in Catawba, North Carolina in 1848, was the son of an enslaved woman named Milly and her slaveowner John Smyre Jr. whose family emigrated from Germany to North Carolina in the early 18th century. Watch my session below.