I am an engineer by day, but my true passion lies in genealogy. I have been a researcher, writer, and lecturer for over twenty-five years.
Through Reclaiming Kin, I share tips on genealogy skillbuilding for all genealogists, and on researching slavery and the enslaved.
Join my mailing list below to receive my posts and get a free PDF with some of my favorite tips!
(Media Note: If you quote a post, please credit me by name, Robyn N. Smith.)
Editable Research Tables For Sale
I make extensive use of tables for organization, analysis and citation in my research, and they have proven very popular with genealogists. These require Microsoft Word and a Windows platform. The Genealogy Source Table Collection includes 10 blank, editable source tables for death certificates, city directories, obituaries and funeral programs. See more details in the flier here and they are available for purchase for $10 .
I also have a Slavery and Freedom Collection available for $20. There are 15 tables, blank and editable for you to populate, as well as samples of using each. For more details, see the flier here, and you can purchase them here.
WEBINARS FOR VIEWING!
At your request I have finally made available for viewing past popular webinars! My Vimeo ON Demand video page lists six videos you can choose from to watch for 3 months ($15 each):
-Finding the Last Slaveowner: Guidance and Case Studies
-Cluster Research: Using Groups of People to Find Your People
-Using Deed Records to Uncover Your Family
-Do You Have an Artificial Brick Wall?
-Putting it All Together: Making Sense of All the Research You've Done and
-More Than Just a Name: Incorporating Social and Community History Into Your Research
Just go to my Vimeo page and make your selection. The poster on each page *provides the link to the handout* for that lecture, so be sure to copy it.
I have gotten so many requests over the years from those who couldn't make the live webinars so I hope you enjoy this new feature.
Join my mailing list below to learn about upcoming webinars.
20 August 2022, 1-3:30 pm [PAST EVENT], Eastern Standard Time: Join me for a two-hour lecture and workshop on Using Deed Records. The second hour is hands-on, and I want you to bring the deeds you've found along with your questions. I'll illustrate transcribing deeds, show you how to find your county deed records on FamilySearch, and you will receive my PDF Beginner's Guide to Using Deed Records, a $12 value! This event is $20. See flier here. CLICK HERE TO SAVE YOUR SEAT!
13 March 2022, 1-2:30pm [PAST EVENT], Eastern Standard Time: Can’t find some of your ancestors in the census? Mining the Census: Are You Finding Every Clue? is for you. Join me as I present this NEW webinar that covers why we miss our ancestors in these records and presents numerous strategies to assist in finding every clue in census records. This event is $12. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!
30 January 2022, [PAST EVENT], Eastern Standard Time: Join special guest genealogist Taneya Y. Koonce and I as we present our joint Zoom webinar, Organize Your Genealogy! Start your year off with tips and strategies that can help you in the new year & beyond. See flier for more details. This event is $25. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW!
26 September 2021 [PAST EVENT]: Acclaimed genealogist Melvin Collier and I will be presenting an all-new 2-hour lecture titled More Than Just Names: Incorporating Social and Community History Into Your Research from 1:00-3:30 EST (please note it is Eastern Standard Time). See flier for details; cost of this event is $25. Register now! Seating is limited.
I love to hear from my readers. Use the form below to get in touch with me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Researching African-American Families
"While African-American genealogical research in many ways is like all genealogical research, the era of slavery makes the task especially challenging. The difficulties include using records that provide no surnames, the constant sale and breakup of families, and the lack of identification of fathers.
For descendants, I would add the substantial emotional impact of seeing an ancestor's name attached to a dollar value, or being valued in a list with silverware and cattle. Slavery's reach is still with us, and part of the gift of doing African-American genealogy is recovering the stories of those caught in its grasp who could not in their own time leave their own witness."
Genealogy Through the Years
How to Cite These Posts
Robyn N. Smith, [insert post title], Reclaiming Kin (https://reclaimingkin.com: accessed [insert date you read the post]), [insert the date the post was written].
My Locations and Surnames
Holt, Barnes, Broyles, Harbour, Bradley, Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Suggs, Springer, Fendricks, Sherrod/Sherrill
Montgomery County, MD
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval, Madison, Taylor Counties, FL
Neely, Smith, Harris, Garner
Robeson County, NC
Locklear, Dial, Lowery, Strickland
Favorite Family History Quotes
"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard
"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."
"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"
"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh