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The original item was published from 1/10/2023 9:45:38 AM to 2/1/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: January 10, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Discovering African American Heritage through Genealogical Research


On Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 2:00 pm the New Rochelle Public Library in partnership with the Westchester County Historical Society will present “Discovering Your African American Heritage by Building a Family Tree” with  Joyce Sharrock Cole, Ossining Village Historian and certified genealogical researcher.

 Using her own journey of researching her family lineage, Joyce will demonstrate how she was able to discover her ancestors and piece together a largely unknown history. She will show how the claiming of surnames impacted Black people, and how other ethnic groups that immigrated changed their names to assimilate and escape prejudice. She will give tips on how to navigate this as you do your own family research. This workshop will focus on African American families, although the on-line and print resources are applicable for all genealogical searches. 

 Driven by her passion for genealogy and local research, Joyce is an advocate for all people to learn about their family and their community’s past, as it fosters a better understanding of themselves and the community that has shaped them. 

 Joyce earned a BS in Organizational Management from Mercy College and certification as a Genealogical Researcher from Boston University. She is a founding member and lead researcher of the Little Bertie County Genealogical Society, which facilitates the Ossining Public Library Genealogy Group, and is a trustee of the Westchester County Historical Society. 

 This 90-minute workshop will be presented in-person in the Ossie Davis Theater of the New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle and will also be available via Zoom. Registration for virtual attendance required at Registration for in-person attendance requested at or phone, 914-813-3706.

 The New Rochelle Public Library (NRPL) is a community resource that seeks to improve the life of every citizen in our city. The Library offers a comprehensive print and digital collection that includes retrospective and current materials, up-to-date technology for public use, and a wide range of community services and programs tailored to a diverse audience. Chartered in 1894, NRPL is a school-district library with its own operating budget and a Board of Trustees composed of seven elected members. It has served the 79,000 residents of New Rochelle from its Main Library building in the downtown business district since 1979. A smaller branch, located in the park in front of the New Rochelle High School, was restored through a grassroots effort and currently operates as the Huguenot Children’s Library. Learn more at . Follow us on Facebook @NRPublicLibrary and Instagram @n.r.p.l.

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