Thursday, Oct. 10 was the first day of the 40th Annual AAHGS Conference in Hyattsville, Maryland. This year’s theme is 400 years of Black History: The Struggles, Challenges, and Perseverance. The day began with a panel discussion about the importance of the organization that is both genealogical and historical in 2019 and the significance of the 400th anniversary of the first documented Africans to America in 1619. The panelists included Founder of AAHGS, Dr. Elizbeth Clark Lewis; AAHGS National President, Gene Stephenson; and AAHGS Vice President of History, Ric Murphy; and Zann Nelson, moderated by Toni Byrd-Vann.
Later in the afternoon, I began to see more and more people with their red AAHGS conference bags, and I knew that the registration table was open for business. There was a steady flow of people getting their badges, bags, and general information about the conference throughout the afternoon. Attendees were also able to attend sessions today including:
· New Members/First Time Attendees Orientation presented by Dr. Shelly Murphy
· Getting the Most of Family Search presented by Carol Kostakos Petranek
· Sharing of Research Findings on and Offline presented by Erica Tinsley
· Overcoming the Hurdle of the 1890 Census presented by Natonne Kemp
This evening was the State of the Society Meeting. During this meeting Gene Stephenson discussed the hard work of the national executive board, the chapter presidents, and the conference host chapter that not only makes the conference possible, but also the everyday work of the organization. Next was the 2019 International AAHGS Book Awards Ceremony.
Book winners included:
· Forced American Heroes: Coloring and Activity Books Volume II by Janelle McDowell
· Simone Visits the Museum by Keisi Bramort
· Fate & Freedom: Book III – The Middle Passage by K.I. Knight
· Baltimore Civil Rights Leader Victorine Q. Adams by Ida E. Jones
· Chance or Circumstance? A Memoir and Journey Through the Struggle for Civil Rights by James Mapp
· If I survive: Fredrick Douglas and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection by Celset-Marie Bernier and Andrew Taylor
· In Search of Purity: Popular Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes 1915-1935 by Shantella Y. Sherman
· The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960) by Walter Curry
· Dred Scott: The Inside Story by David Hardy
· Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN: First African American to Command an Aircraft Carrier by Ric Murphy
· Finding Otho: The Search for our Williams Ancestors by Kathy Lynne Marshall
· From Carefree to Caregiver: A 31 Day Devotional to Balance, Encourage, and Support You in Your New Role by Teraleen W. Campbell
· Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery and the Leagacy of Margaret Garner by Mary E. Frederickson and Delores M. Walters
· Southern Roads and Selected Poems by Karl W. Carter
Today was a busy day. Attendees were able to learn, support each other’s research, put faces with names that are followed on social media, get to know strangers, and just enjoy being around other family historians.
To see photos and videos from today follow us at www.facebook.com/AAHGS and www.youtube.com/AAHGSmedia
We have two more genealogy fun filled days ahead of us! Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive updates on days two and three of the conference!