The Prince George’s County Council Member Todd M. Turner (District 4), the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center at North Brentwood, and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society-Prince George’s County MD Chapter sponsor a free genealogy workshop on Saturday, May 14, from 2:00-3:30 p.m., at the South Bowie Library, 15301 Hall Road, Bowie, MD 20721.

The series of workshops teach participants the fundamentals of African-American historical and genealogical research.  The workshops provide the attendees with a step-by-step “how to” guide to tracing African-American lineage.  Activities include: surfing genealogical websites on the Internet, repositories for storing your research, developing a family tree, understanding DNA testing, planning family reunions, genealogical research using military records, unlocking the mysteries of slave records, genealogy for children, etc.  These workshops are conducted at the Hyattsville, Greenbelt, Largo Kettering, and South Bowie libraries on Tuesday or Saturday.


Slave Records

For many African Americans, the slavery era is the most difficult to research. There were no census records, no marriage records, no birth or death records for the majority of persons of African descent prior to 1870. Most enslaved people did not even have a surname and had often been separated from friends and family. Finding ancestry in these cases can be daunting. The workshop will provide some methodology on how one might sort through available data on the slaveholder’s family to break through some of the brick walls surrounding this era.


Presenter: Edna Greene Medford, Ph.D.


Dr. Edna Greene Medford is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of History at Howard University. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Teacher Education (history emphasis) from Hampton Institute (Virginia), a Master of Arts in United States history from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland at College Park. She has been a professor at Howard University for nearly twenty-nine years and chair for almost six.


Dr. Medford has authored, co-authored, or edited four books and more than two dozen articles on African American history, the administration of Abraham Lincoln, race, and Black freedom. Her publications include: Lincoln and Emancipation (2015); Historical Perspectives of the African Burial Ground: New York Blacks and the Diaspora, ed. (2009); The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views, co-authored (2006); and The Price of Freedom (2 volumes, edited). She serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Abraham Lincoln Foundation, Washington History magazine, the Ulysses S. Grant Association, the Lincoln Forum, and the Abraham Lincoln Association. She has provided interviews and on-air commentary on both television and radio programs, at home and abroad, including C-SPAN, the History Channel, the Smithsonian Channel, CBS Sunday Morning and National Public Radio. She has lectured across the nation and in international settings, including the Netherlands, South Africa, Northern Ireland and Canada. Her honors and awards include: the Business Award from the National Capital Area chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, the special bicentennial edition (2009) “Order of Lincoln,” granted by the state of Illinois; the “2006 Outstanding Graduate Faculty of the Year Award” by the Howard University Graduate Student Assembly; the 2013 “Professor of the Year Award,” from the Howard University Student Association; the Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana; and the “Lincoln Diploma of Honor” from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee (the university’s equivalent of an honorary doctorate).


From September 1998 to 2010, Dr. Medford served as a member of the Board of Directors of Borders Group, Inc., the parent company of Borders Books, Music and Café; Books Etc.; and Waldenbooks.