News West Edition

‘Discover Your Roots’ conference to be held March 14

LOS ANGELES – “Discover your Roots,” the 13th annual conference focusing on African-American genealogy, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 14 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1209 S. Manhattan Place.

The keynote speaker will be Margaret Lewis, president of the San Diego African American Genealogy Research group.

“We feel fortunate to have Marti Lewis as our keynote speaker,” said Alma Bailey, organizer of the event. “She’s not only an expert in family history research, but she’s an expert at inspiring others to want to research their family history.”

With more than 20 teachers and classes, the event will have something for everyone, Bailey said, including user-friendly, high-quality instruction for those who want to get started finding their heritage and classes for the experienced researcher.

Bailey said the conference focuses on African-American genealogy because “researching our family history is unique.”

“Complete records were not always kept due to slavery and forced migration,” she said, “but there are more resources available today and these conferences can help provide direction.”

Bailey, the church’s chairman of African-American public affairs, launched the conference as a collaboration between the church and several African-American genealogy groups. It was created as a way for people to access the church’s “Freedman’s Bank Records,” widely considered to be the largest repository of lineage-linked African-American records in existence.

The California African American Genealogical Society, the San Diego African American Genealogy Research group and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are co-sponsors of the conference.

For more information or to register online visit DiscoverYourRoots.org or call (800) 533-2444.