Ever wanted to trace your family history? Starting your family genealogy can begin with a simple worksheet called a pedigree chart. This was something I learned after interviewing Lisa Crawley, the Resource Center Manager at Reginald F. Lewis Museum .
This museum celebrates the rich contributions of African Americans from Maryland and beyond through exhibitions, family activities, films, concerts, lectures and more. Located on the fourth floor of the museum, the Resource Center has a reference collection with a focus on African History and culture. When I learned that the center also helps members of the public trace their family history, I asked to meet with Ms. Crawley to answer Five Questions:
1. Can just anyone walk in here and do their own Genealogy Research at the Resource Center?
” Yes we will assist anyone on a walk in basis on Wednesdays and Fridays between 12 and 4pm. No appointment needed.”
2. What is the first step in researching your bloodline ?
” A person has to choose which side of their family do they have the most information about, the maternal or paternal to get started.”
3. What records are usually found first or the easiest in the search ?
” Census records usually are the foundation of an initial search. Once we find that it opens up alot of doors. In times past, multiple generations lived under one roof, so a wealth of information usually exists there that we can branch off into different directions. ”
4.What types of books are in the resource center and can people check the books out as they would in a library ?
“We are constantly adding books to our in house library. We have everything from first person slave narratives to books about African American achievements. People are free to come here onsite and access them but they cannot check them out.”
5. Do you ever have special events here at the resource center ?
“Yes, we currently have a speaker series where we host various experts come and speak about a particular topic. These are also open to the public. We have them listed on our website and also here posted at the museum.”
This Spring, be inspired to travel to Baltimore, visit the Resource Center at Reginald F. Lewis Museum and start your family tree !