, 2022-12-22 11:45:00,
Amateur genealogy has become a national passion. But Black Americans researching their family histories often find dead ends at 1865, with the trauma of slavery, family separations, and missing documentation. Now, a local historic site is launching a project to help fill in the blanks.
The 246 Years Project is an initiative of Morven Park and Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk Gary Clemens and his Historic Records Division team. Morven Park is building an online database organizing fragmentary information about Loudoun’s enslaved communities, allowing descendants to delve deeper into their family histories.
“At 1865, you hit this brick wall. … You had to be your own researcher to find your family,” Morven Park Executive Director and CEO Stacey Metcalfe said. “We’re pulling it all together.”
The 246 Years project officially launches in February and will offer free public access to the database by the end of next year. The initiative takes its name from the 246 years between 1619, when the first enslaved Africans were brought to Jamestown, and 1865 when the 13th Amendment abolished slavery. Before 1865, the names of the enslaved were omitted from government records including census, birth, and death registries, making it challenging for descendants of enslaved people to trace their ancestry through online genealogy services.
To read the original article from news.google.com, Click here