Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS)

  • Ancestors*
  • Africa*
  • Africa*
  • Door of No Return*
  • Ancestors*
  • Estate Inventory*
  • 1850/60 Slave Schedules*
  • Will*
  • Ancestors*
  • U.S. Colored Troops*
  • Ancestors*
  • Labor Contract*
  • Ancestors*
  • 1870 Census detail*
  • Ancestors*
  • Land Deed*
  • Tax Map*
  • Homestead*
  • Ancestors*
  • Social Security Appl.*
  • Death Certificate*
  • Funeral Program*
  • Ancestors*
  • The reasons we do this*

AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter


"Discovering Our Ancestors, Our History and Ourselves -- TOGETHER"


(Click thumbnails to view photo galleries. Click "i" icon in photos to view captions.)


Stephanie Powers

MAY 2018

"DNA for Genealogy: What You Should Know."


Janice Bryant and book

APRIL 2018

"Prince Estabrook: An Enslaved Revolutionary War Patriot." By Chapter member Janice Bryant.


Feast Meeting attendees


"Traditional African American Feast and Roundtable Meeting."


Louis and Gene


"Loosening Your Brick Wall." By Chapter member Louis Childers.


Open House scene


"Chapter Open House."


Genealogy Jeopardy board

JUNE 2017

"Chapter Exhibit, Jeopardy Game at GGS Summer Genealogy Picnic." (Non-meeting)


Richard Allen descendant V. Yvonne Studevan

APRIL 2017

"A.M.E. Founder Richard Allen: My 4th-Great Grandfather." Presented by researcher and artist V. Yvonne Studevan.


Velma Maia Thomas

MARCH 2017

"Mamie Williams, Leading Republican: Getting Everything Out of It for the Race." Presented by author and historian Velma Maia Thomas.


Monica with games


"Gathering Info for Family Reunions: How to Make Genealogy Interesting, Fun and Productive." Presented by Chapter VP Monica Hackney.


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Sharing, Conference Update and Prep.


Index-A-Thon Group

MAY 7, 2016

"Freedmen's Bureau Index-A-Thon." Helped FamilySearch reach June 19 completion deadline.


AAHGS-Atl 2016 Incoming and Outgoing Pesidents

FEBRUARY 6, 2016

"New Officers.” Winners announced, gavel changed hands, and attendees heard appeal for volunteers in Chapter-hosted AAHGS National Conference October 13-16 in Atlanta.


Black Doll at AAHGS-Atl 2015 Holiday Meeting


"End-of-Year Meeting.” Camaraderie, silent auction for Oct.13-16, 2016 AAHGS National Conference in Atlanta, and more.


Black Vietnam Veterans Salute


"40 Yrs. Later: Vietnam Remembered.” Lecture and panel discussion about the African American experience in the Vietnam War.


Laura Carter Talk

APRIL 2015

"GALILEO: Georgia's Information Tool.” By librarian and genealogist Laura Carter on using free Georgia library and school Internet search engine for genealogy and everyday life.


AAHGSAtl Jan 2015 Meeting


A look at the year ahead. Meetings and membership drive raffle winners.

Ancient One


End-of-Year Meeting. Sage research advice, music, libations and more.

Robert Williams and Elyse Hill


Black WWII History and WWI Military Records.  By historian and figurine-maker Robert Williams and professional researcher Elyse Hill.  Both are Chapter members.

D. L. Henderson


"Grandma, Tell Me A Story: Genealogy in the African American Oral Tradition."  By professional genealogist and historian Dr. D. L. Henderson, a former Chapter president.

Doris Posey silhouette

Doris Posey

JUNE 2014

"Brick Wall: What's Your Personality?"  By Doris Posey, a Chapter co-founder and our first president.

Elizabeth Olson speaking

MAY 2014

“Tips for Effective Online Searches."  By professional genealogist Elizabeth S. Olson, vice president of the Georgia Genealogical Society.

MARCH 2014

"Genealogy Research Workshop: Richard and Sallie Robinson."  By professional researcher and Chapter member Elyse Hill (standing).

Frazine Taylor photo

JUNE 2013

Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama: A Resource Guide.  By the book's author, Frazine Taylor, an Alabama archivist and research authority.

Melvin Collier photo

MARCH 2013

"Breaking the Brick Wall."  A brainstorming session by since-relocated Chapter member Melvin J. Collier, author of his family history book, 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended.


(Click thumbnails to view photo galleries. Click "i" icon in photos to view captions.)


Judy Weaver talking

MARCH 2018

"Everyone Has a Story." By Chapter member, author Judy Weaver.


Enslaved and Free People of Color poster


"The Enslaved and Free People of Color in Antebellum Georgia." (Non-meeting)


Jackie Henderson


"How to Compile Church Records (When There Are None)." Presented by Chapter member Dr. Jackie S. Henderson.


We Must Educate shirt

JUNE 2017

"Genealogy Research Networking."


Jon Carlsten and book

MAY 2017

"DISCOVERED: Names of 100+ Enslaved in My VA Family's Book." Presented by Jon Carlsten.


AAHGS-Atl Dec 2016 Meeting


End-of-Year Meeting.


AAHGS-Atl Veterans Day Tribute 2016


Meeting/ Vets Day Tribute: Blacks in WWI. Featuring Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr., co-author of "Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War....", and Chapter member Robert Williams.


AAHGS-Atl Indexing Meeting

MAY 28, 2016

"Freedmen's Bureau Indexing: The Final Stretch."


AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter April 2016 Meeting

APRIL 2016

General Session.


Tamika Strong and audience

MARCH 2016

"Using What You Have to Get What You Need." Workshop by Chapter member Tamika Strong, explored family tree clues around us.


Terri Mitchell at AAHGS-Atl meeting


"Business, Sharing.” Hosting plans for 2016 AAHGS National Conference, plus Chapter election and sharing summer discoveries.


AAHGS Metro Atlanta Heritage Fair

Special Event: JULY 2015

"Heritage Fair.” Chapter member genealogy exhibits and ancestor memorabilia, plus advice for beginners.


Ericka Tinsley, Monica Kaufman Pearson

JUNE 2015

"Using Social Media to Boost Your Family Research.” By member Ericka Tinsley on connecting with genealogy enthusiasts. Bonus: Monica Kaufman Pearson on GA's first Black congressman.


Garry Compton, William Durant and Tree of Unknowns

MAY 2015

"My Ancestor Discovery: What/Who I Found and How.” By members Garry Compton, who traced to 1812 and William Durant, who found politicians.


Hattie McD workshop with insert

MARCH 2015

"Genealogy Research of Hattie McDaniel.” Workshop traced the actress' family back to her father's service in the Civil War's U.S. Colored Troops.


Rev Roland Barksdale-Hall and Ancestor


"210 Years Later: From Georgia Slavery to the Atlanta Braves and Globetrotters."  By AAHGS-National Publications Director Rev. Roland Barksdale-Hall, whose ancestor (on the screen) was born enslaved in Coweta County.

Adam Adolphus - mike

APRIL 2014

African Americans of Washington County, Georgia: From Colonial Times through Reconstruction.  By the book's compiler of 30,000+ names, Chapter member Adam Adolphus, Sr. (Read more about him on our Membership page.)

StoryCorps black people

StoryCorps speaker and screen


StoryCorps -- A community event presented by our Chapter and the Auburn Avenue Research Library invited the public to participate in StoryCorps' mission. Still underway, the project records and preserves family memories for future generations. Results can be archived at the Library of Congress, and at the National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington, DC.

Tamika Strong photo

MAY 2013

"Internet Resources for Researching Newspapers."  By Chapter Vice President Tamika Strong, a librarian.

Velma Maia Thomas photo


"A Case of Black Nation Building in the Old South."  By author-historian Velma Maia Thomas about Benjamin Davis Sr., an early 20th-century Auburn Avenue newspaper editor, politician and Odd Fellows official.

Michael Thurmond reading from his book Freedom


FREEDOM: An African-American History of Georgia, 1733-1865.  By the book's author, Chapter member Michael Thurmond, about the little-known struggle by blacks and others against slavery in the state.

Chapter Meetings

Our meetings are held monthly (except July and August) and typically include discussions, presentations and problem-solving techniques for African American family history research.


Meetings are free and open to non-members. We hope you'll join and become an active member in support of our endeavors!


We usually meet on the fourth Saturday of the month (the site varies) unless otherwise announced via this website, email and other means.




2018 Chapter Meetings and Events


January 6 [REPLACES DEC. 9, 2017 MEETING] -- "A Traditional African American New Year's Feast." 1 p.m.-4 p.m. You bring main dishes (such as "soul food" or other delectables, plus desserts). The Chapter will bring beverages and paper products. See your email from us for details. (Wesley Chapel Branch Library - 2861 Wesley Chapel Road; Decatur, GA)


February 3 -- "The Enslaved and Free People of Color in Antebellum Georgia." 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Laws governing social and political activities, the restricted life of free blacks, slavery in coastal counties, the case of a black woman declared white, records at the Georgia Archives, efforts at returning to Africa, and a will document specifying freedom for the testator's enslaved persons. Shed accurate light on the pre-Civil War era for more-informed ancestor research. Presented in partnerships with Georgia Humanities and the Friends of Georgia Archives and History. (Georgia Archives - 5800 Jonesboro Road; Morrow, GA)


March 24 -- 1 p.m. "Everyone Has a Story," presented by Judy Rose Weaver, Chapter member and author of two books about her Mississippi ancestors. Find how to use your historical documents, oral testimonies and memorabilia to tell your ancestor's saga. (Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church - 66 Howard Street, NE; Atlanta, GA)


April 14 -- 10 a.m.-1 p.m. "Prince Estabrook: An Enslaved Revolutionary War Patriot," presented by Janice Bryant, Chapter member. Estabrook was one of several African Americans among the Minutemen in the battle against the British on the Lexington Green in 1775. He fought in Concord, Cambridge and Ticonderoga and was freed after the war. (Scott Candler Library; 1917 Candler Road; Decatur, GA)


May 19 -- 1 p.m. "DNA for Genealogy: What You Should Know." Which testing company to use, what to do with a 4th-cousins list, the possibility of tracing African tribal ancestors, and more. (Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church - 66 Howard Street, NE; Atlanta, GA)


June 23 -- 1 p.m. "New Look for Afrigeneas Website," presented by B. J. Smothers, co-founder, and Alabama researcher. (Mechanicsville Branch, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library - 400 Formwalt St., SW; Atlanta, GA)


September 22 -- 1 p.m. -3 p.m. "Writing Your History," presented by Peggy Vonsherie Allen, Decatur resident and author of "The Pecan Orchard - Journey of a Sharecropper's Daughter," the 2009 story of her Alabama family's lives. (Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church - 66 Howard Street, NE; Atlanta, GA)


October 27 -- 1 p.m.-3 p.m. "South-View: A City of the Dead," presented by Dr. D. L. Henderson on her newly published book of that name about the historic black-owned 70,000+-grave cemetery in southeast Atlanta. (Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church - 66 Howard Street, NE; Atlanta, GA)


November 17 -- 1 p.m.-3 p.m. "Ways to Honor Your Ancestors," presented by Johnette Brooks, founder of "Holla at Your Ancestors," a genealogy organization, and an expert and experienced "Tribute Specialist." She will discuss how to request commemorations, such as official public proclamations, markers, and renaming of buildings, roads and other sites. (Turner Monumental A.M.E. Church - 66 Howard Street, NE; Atlanta, GA)


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2016: Hosted AAHGS 37th Nat'l Conference


AAHGS 2016 Conference Banquet Panorama


Click photo to view gallery of scenes and videos.


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Our Chapter's Collaborations


The AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter partners with other organizations to produce special programs and observances related to our general areas of interest. Examples are below.


October 2017: 5th Annual Archives and Genealogy Day

(Display Tables at Georgia Archives)

AAHGS-Atl at GA Archives and Genealogy Day

The AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter hosted exhibit tables at this free day-long event presented by the Georgia Archives and the Friends of Georgia Archives.

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Feb. 2017: The Enduring Chronicle:

African Americans and World War I:

Over There and Over Here

(with National Archives at Atlanta)


World War I panel

Dr. Morrow speaking

Click left photo to view program. Click right photo to view highlights. LEFT PHOTO: NARA at Atlanta education specialist Joel Walker, featured speaker Emory University professor Dr. Pellom McDaniels, III; AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter member and black-military history expert Robert Williams; and panel discussion moderator, Tuskegee University history professor Dr. Lisa Bratton. RIGHT PHOTO: Featured speaker University of Georgia professor Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr.


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Feb. 2017: Reconstruction in Georgia:

African-Americans in Research and Records

(with Georgia Archives)

McMeans-Lukiri Jackie's Grands Bryant speaking

Click left photo to view progam. Click middle photo to view highlights.


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Dec. 2016: Awards, Offices at GGS Holiday Mtg.

(Georgia Genealogical Society)

GGS 2016 Award to AAHGS-Atl

AAHGS-Atl Officers in GGS 2017-2018 Board


Click left photo to view 2016-2017 President Gene Stephenson II receiving our Chapter award from the GGS. Click right photo to view Chapter members on GGS 2017-2018 Board. NOTE: In right photo, two of our members are also GGS officers: Emma Davis Hamilton, Director of Membership (5th from left), and Madelyn Nix, Recording Secretary (3rd from right).


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Feb. 2016: Reconstruction & Promise of Freedom

(Part 2) (with National Archives at Atlanta)

Dr Edna Greene Medford

Reconstruction Symposium 2016 Audience


Click left photo of keynote speaker Dr. Edna Greene Medford to view highlights.


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Feb. 2016: Black History Month Program

(with Georgia Archives)

Cemeteries, freedom papers, genealogy, brick walls, research resources and more. Click left photo to view highlights.


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Feb. 2015: Reconstruction & Promise of Freedom

(Part 1) (with National Archives at Atlanta)

Dr. Heather Williams

Freedgirl searching

Click left photo of keynote speaker Dr. Heather Williams to view program. Photo at right: portrayal of emancipated girl searching for brother who was sold away during slavery. Click to view highlights.


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Feb. 2014: Civil Rights & the Railroads

(with National Archives at Atlanta)


RR Panel

RR Pullman Porters

Click left photo to view program. Click right photo to view highlights. LEFT PHOTO: keynote speaker John Marshall Law School professor Anthony Baker; Lovejoy High School history teacher Sharon McMeans-Lukiri; NARA at Atlanta education specialist Joel Walker. RIGHT PHOTO: Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters members.


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Feb. 2013: Emancipation Proclamation 150th Year

(with National Archives at Atlanta)

Harriet Tubman photo Harri Jones photo United States Colored Troop enactor Professor photo

Click left photo to view highlights. (L-R) "Harriet Tubman"; keynote speaker and "African American Civil War Museum" curator Hari Jones; USCT Martin Delaney portrayer Marvin Greer; professor Anthony Baker.


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April 2013: Tony Burroughs Lecture

(with Atlanta History Center)

Tony Burroughs group photo

Tony Burroughs (seated, center), a renowned genealogist, is the author of the popular research book, Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree.

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Feb. 2012: Gullah Culture

(with National Archives at Atlanta)

Gullah Geechee Dancers photo

Click photo to view highlights.


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Ancestry Day at the National Archives at Atlanta

A day-long seminar in 2010 about and the National Archives, featuring experts from both organizations. View the flyer here. See scenes in the Photo Gallery on our Members Only page.




Atlanta 1906 Race Riot Coalition to Remember

A 4-day collaborative remembrance held in 2006 for the victims of this white-on-black riot, sparked by a race-baiting political campaign and false charges of black men assaulting white women. We conducted a national search for descendants of the victims and coordinated a memorial service at South-View Cemetery, where the black victims are buried. View the program agenda here.

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