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Summer Sankofa Series

Lemon Project Genealogy Initiative Presents the Summer Sankofa Series

Are you ready to dive deeper into your family history? Well, we invite you to join us for our summer genealogy workshops! The Summer Sankofa Series is an opportunity for family historians to collaborate and learn more about genealogy research.  

If you’ve participated in our recent genealogy workshops, you’ll be ready to join a community of genealogists dedicated to documenting and sharing their stories in an open forum. Together, in the spirit of Sankofa, we are connecting the past and present as we seek to know more about the lives of our ancestors.  

The Lemon Project Genealogy Research Initiative provides family history research workshops and consultations to our descendant community in Williamsburg and the Greater Tidewater area. The continuing education workshops are free to the public and held virtually due to COVID-19 health restrictions. 

The Lemon Project fellow is conducting specific research on enslaved people with ties to William and Mary. Many known and unknown African Americans helped build, maintain, and move the university forward – we want to ensure their stories and lives are never forgotten.


June 15 at 5:30 pm – Lisa Crawley and Hannah Scruggs, National Museum of African American History, Explore Your Family History Center

Records of Intrigue- Register here.

Using a case of “Reverse Genealogy” the story of an enslaved woman will be explored from a record randomly found in the Freedman’s Bank collection. Born around the turn of the 19th century, this story traces a spinner and weaver from the Upper South who loses children during slavery and the Civil War, and survives to see Emancipation and secure an account with the Freedman’s Bank.

Week Following – Genealogy Show & Tell – We will have a brief opening on Black Laws of Virginia and proceed to our discussion and sharing. Friday evening, June 25 at 6 pm 

July  13 at 5:30 pm – Renate Yarborough Sanders – 

Researching Enslaved Ancestors- Register here.

Slave ancestral research can be very challenging, but it's not impossible! In this workshop, the presenter shares and models best practices and methodology for finding and researching enslaved ancestors. Participants will learn to extract data about the enslaved from records of slave-owning communities, using web-based and in-person resources. 

Week Following – Genealogy Show & Tell – A brief opening on WPA Slave Narratives or African American Historic Newspapers -Friday evening, July 23, at 6 pm

August 12 at 5:30 pmAndre Taylor, Oral History for the Family Historian- Register here.

Documenting the memories of your ancestors is vital in genealogy research. Join us if you’re interested in learning about how to do oral history interviews. You’ll learn simple techniques on how to preserve your family history for future generations.  

(Pending - Will decide after consulting with participants) September - Virtual  Family/Community history Showcase