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How to Research Enslaved Ancestors: Episode 134

By Family Tree Editors

This month, Lisa is joined by contributing editor Sunny Morton to discuss key strategies for researching enslaved African American ancestors. Plus, a quick tutorial on RootsTech apps from FamilySearch’s Jen Allen, tips for deciphering shared matches in your DNA and much more.

Ep. 134: February 2020

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In this episode:


How I Did It, With Kenyatta D. Berry (1:15)

Kenyatta D. Berry shares how she used newspapers to build a family history story.

Share your story of discovery and you may just hear it here on the Family Tree Magazine Podcast! Email your story to: FamilyTree@yankeepub.com.

How I Did It with Kenyatta Berry

How to Research African American Slave Ancestors (4:00)

Contributing editor Sunny Morton shares a few tips from her article in Family Tree Magazine, “Trace Your African-American Slave Ancestors,” co-written with Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D.

Sunny also discusses several exciting new African American resources coming online:

  • Smithsonian Magazine has announced the arrival of a new website. Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade is set to launch in Spring 2020.
  • The free genealogy website FamilySearch has recently added or updated over 30 historical record collections with relevance to African American genealogy.
Sunny Morton

DNA Deconstructed (14:25)

Your DNA Guide Diahan Southard is back to explore three problems with shared DNA matches, including when your matches aren’t actually related.

Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard

Best Genealogy Websites (21:23)

Lisa chats with Jen Allen, Director of Events at FamilySearch, to talk about how you can use the RootsTech website and app for a great experience at the conference.

RootsTech Apps:

RootsTech Jen Allen

From the Editor’s Desk with Andrew Koch (29:58)

Editor Andrew Koch gives us an inside look at all the recent happenings at Family Tree.

Highlights from the Magazine

Andrew discusses the latest issue of the magazine, which is all about websites. The feature story, “The Fab Four” by Sunny Morton, compares the four genealogy giants: Ancestry, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage.

Get your copy of the Mar/Apr 2020 issue on the Family Tree store.

Family Tree Magazine at RootsTech

If you’re headed to this year’s RootsTech conference, stop by the Family Tree Magazine booth (1404 in the Expo Hall) to pick up a copy of the magazine and say hi to the editors.

Keep up with all the latest RootTech news from Family Tree Magazine on the website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (remember the hashtag: #NotAtRootsTech).

Family Tree University Relaunch

Family Tree University is in full swing after being re-launched in December. Andrew gives us a preview of some upcoming courses:

  • Google Earth for Genealogists with Lisa Louise Cooke
  • Research Your Scots-Irish Family History

Browse all Family Tree University courses by visiting the Courses page.


Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems Podcast in your favorite podcasting app or with the Genealogy Gems Podcast app in your app store, and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!

Lisa Louise Cooke, host of the Family Tree Magazine podcast.