On Friday evening and Saturday, February 18th and 19th, the Jonesborough Genealogical Society and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society – East Tennessee Chapter will showcase a line up of speakers at the African American Genealogy and History Workshop at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659. This event is FREE, but you are encouraged to register ahead of time.
The schedule is below:
Friday evening, February 18th at Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, TN.
5:30 pm to 6 pm Welcome and Introductions
6 pm to 7 pm ZOOM Presentation: Bill Carey, Executive Director of Tennessee History for Kids and Author of Runaways, Coffles and Fancy Girls: A History of Slavery in Tennessee, “Shocking Discoveries of East Tennessee’s Slave Trade in Newspapers”
77 pm to 8 pm ZOOM Presentation: Carmen Bradley Campbell, Genealogist and Member of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society – East Tennessee Chapter, “How to Catch a Whisper: An Overview of Genealogical Tips and Research Tools That Beginner Family Researchers may Encounter as They Search for Their Family’s Historical Footprint”
Saturday, February 19th at Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, TN
9 am to 9:30 am Welcome and Introductions
9:30 am to 10:30 am ZOOM Presentation: Taneya Y. Koonce, MSLS, MPH, “African American Newspaper Research”
10:30 am to 11:30 am In-Person Presentation: Leigh Ann Gardner, M.A., Author of To Care for the Sick and Bury the Dead: African American Lodges and Cemeteries in Tennessee, “Looking for Your Ancestors in Unusual Places.”
11:30 am to 12:30 pm Lunch on your own
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm In-Person Presentation: Dr. Wilma A. Dunaway, Professor Emerita of Sociology at Virginia Tech, Author of Women, Work and Family in the Antebellum Mountain South, Slavery in the American Mountain South, The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation, and The First American Frontier: Transition to Capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860
1:30 pm to 2 pm Wrap-Up
A few years ago, Bill Carey spent months collecting every runaway slave ad, slave-sale ad and slave-wanted ad ever published in Tennessee’s newspaper. He found more than 900 different runaway slave ads alone. He then studied the history of slavery and the slave trade to better understand what the ads meant (it’s not always obvious). The end result was the book Runaways, Coffles and Fancy Girls: A History of Slavery in Tennessee. In this session, Carey will talk about some of the high (or low) points, with a focus on shocking discoveries about the history of East Tennessee. (For instance, a major slave trader lived in Elizabethton; some of the earliest property acquisitions in Knoxville were made by trading slaves; and newspapers were very much part of the slave trade.) Bill Carey is a former reporter, the founder of the non-profit organization, Tennessee History for Kids, a history columnist for Tennessee Magazine, and the author of several local and state history books.
Taneya Koonce is an enthusiastic genealogist with a long-standing passion for exploring family history and more than 20 years of professional expertise in information science, research, and information organization. Taneya volunteers extensively in the genealogy community, with current leadership roles in the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, the USGenWeb Project, and the National Genealogical Society. Taneya also runs a Facebook community for family history enthusiasts, the Academy of Legacy Leaders™, a group to foster education, inspiration, and camaraderie for family history activities.
Leigh Ann Gardner received her MA in History with an emphasis in Public History from Middle Tennessee State University. She developed an interest in documenting African American history during her time at the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU, both as a graduate student and later as a staff member. Her thesis was entitled, “The African American Presence at the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site, 1784-1900.” During her time at the Center for Historic Preservation, she worked on several projects for historic sites in East Tennessee. She has spent over a decade documenting African American benevolent and fraternal groups and their cemeteries in Tennessee. Her book on the subject, To Care for the Sick and Bury the Dead: African American Lodges and Cemeteries in Tennessee will be released by Vanderbilt University Press in February 2022.
Wilma A. Dunaway earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D degrees from the University of Tennessee. She completed her dissertation about the integration of antebellum Appalachia into global capitalism, where she received a fellowship from Woodrow Wilson Foundation. From 1999 to 2015, she taught as an associate professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech. In 2015, she earned the title of professor emerita. Dunaway’s research interest includes women’s work, slavery, and Appalachia among others. She is an author of three books. These books include: Women, Work and Family in the Antebellum Mountain South. Cambridge University Press (2008), Slavery in the American Mountain South (2003), The African-American Family in Slavery and Emancipation (2003), and The First American Frontier: Transition to Capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860 (1996). She also has won the Weatherford Nonfiction Award twice, including Best Book about the Southern Appalachian Region from the Appalachian Studies Association (1996, 2003) and the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Tennessee in 2015. Since 2000, she has helped more than 300 families to identify their ties to slave ancestors and to former slaveholders.