Speakers Bureau

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  • Renate Yarborough Sanders

  • yarsan@aol.com
  • (757) 291-9109
  • Newport News, VA
  • Facebook: Renate Yarborough-Sanders
    Twitter: Nadasue

  • https://bit.ly/ncgenealogy
  • https://familytreewebinars.com/speaker/renate-yarborough-sanders/
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  • Renate Yarborough Sanders is the descendant of formerly enslaved ancestors, enslavers, and free people of color. She authors two blogs: “Into the LIGHT” and “Genea-Related;” and produces a “(Mostly) African-American Funeral Programs” online database.
    Renate is a member of the National Genealogical Society, the North Carolina Genealogical Society (Publicity Director), the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society (member of National Editorial Board and Vice-President and Newsletter Editor for the Hampton Roads Chapter), the Wake County (NC) Genealogical Society, and the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society. She is also a member of the lineage society, “Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage.” Renate cohosts “Let’s Talk North Carolina Genealogy,” an online platform and YouTube show, presenting genealogy programing and virtual events for North Carolina researchers; and she has served as panelist and guest on numerous web shows and podcasts. Renate has provided genealogy education for George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Norfolk State University, The College of William and Mary and for NASA. Her research has been featured on PBS Radio and, most recently, in a National Geographic cover story and podcast. Currently, she is conducting descendant research for Wake Forest University, and she provides coaching and consultation services for clients seeking assistance with genealogical research.
    Renate lectures, nationally, on a variety of genealogy topics but specializes in teaching beginning to intermediate research methodology and sharing specific techniques for researching ancestors of color – both pre- and post-Emancipation. She is a retired elementary school educator, mother of two daughters, and grandmother of three beautiful granddaughters (and a grand dog).

  • Beginning to intermediate research methodology and resources (General)

    Beginning to intermediate research methodology and resources (African Ancestored)

    Slave ancestral research

    Free People of Color research

    Beginning DNA

    North Carolina research

    (By request) - Specific records research, i.e. Freedmen's Bureau, Freedman's Bank, Manuscript Collections, Estate records, etc.

  • Finding Calvin: A Case Study
    In this case study, the presenter demonstrates, step-by-step, how she first confirmed her ancestor's status as enslaved, and then, using exhaustive research techniques followed him through 25 years of enslavement with several different owners. Participants will learn to use specific documents for identifying and documenting the lives of enslaved individuals.

    "We Were Supposed to be NEALS:” Reconstructing an Enslaved Family Using DNA (1 hour)
    After 25 years of researching an enslaved ancestor of unknown parentage, DNA breaks the case and helps to put a splintered family back together. In this case study, which includes an overview of “Finding Calvin,” learn how the presenter was able to work with DNA matches, combined with traditional research to find her ancestral family of origin.

    Researching Formerly-Enslaved Ancestors
    It’s often said that “there’s no such thing as a slave record”, however, many records which document the lives of the formerly-enslaved, do exist! The presenter will share examples of commonly-used record sets for slave ancestral research and will model how to locate and extract information from them about the formerly-enslaved.

    Researching the Formerly-Enslaved: It Takes a Village!
    Researching the lives of the once-enslaved presents a unique set of challenges, primarily because most slave-related documents are embedded in the records of those who enslaved them. Learn how descendants of slave owners can help to enrich the research experience of those whose ancestors were once held in bondage, while learning more about their own ancestors in the process!

    Free People of Color in the Antebellum South: 1800-1865
    Since its beginnings, America has been home to "Free People of Color", the term used to describe people with any amount of African blood, who lived unsuppressed by slavery, prior 1865. This lecture explores records which shed light on the lives of this population, and the legal restrictions under which lived.

    Getting Started with Genealogy Research
    How does one get started with genealogical research? Today’s technological advances make it easy! Getting started means going from what you know, to using a variety of resources – in person and online – to discover the unknown. Learn about common record types, and how to access them, in this informative workshop!

    The Case for DNA – Why Should I Test?
    Are you on the fence about DNA testing? Do you wonder if the results are “real” or if they can truly help you to further your genealogy research? Different types of DNA testing are available and can help to inform genealogy research. Specific examples are shared in this introductory-level presentation.

    Researching Ancestors of Color (1 hour)
    This session explores methodology and resources for researching ancestors of color, to include formerly enslaved and free people of color. Participants learn which record types and web sites are most helpful in this type of research and how to extract data about people of color from various document types.

    Using Funeral Programs to Inform Genealogy Research
    Funeral programs are biographical documents that preserve the history of a deceased person. The presenter will dissect the parts of commonly used funeral programs, modeling how to extract important genealogical information and clues from these valuable documents.

    Who Ya Gonna Call? MYTH Busters!
    From Great-Grandma the “Cherokee Princess” to falsehoods such as, “Slaves didn’t have surnames,” come along as we debunk common genealogy myths and discuss creating a more accurate narrative.

    What To Do When There’s “Nothing” To Do
    Are you stumped trying to find new information about your ancestors? Maybe it’s time for a break! Check out these things to do while pausing your own research.

    Freedom Bound! Escaping Bondage for Life in the North
    Before 1865, free blacks, as well as runaway and emancipated slaves, migrated or escaped to northern states (and Canada), hoping for a “better life” with more economic opportunities. In this presentation, we explore some of the reasons for this movement and take a look at how these northern transplants fared in their new surroundings.

    In Their Own Words: Genealogy in the Slave Narratives
    “Slave narratives” inform us about enslaved persons, enslavers, and communities. Participants will learn to extract genealogical and historical information from these valuable documents.

    Records of the Freedmen’s Bureau: There’s Something In Them For Everyone!
    The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, established after the Civil War to assist in the reconstruction of southern states, created many records related to the formerly enslaved. However, the span of these documents is much wider than often realized. Records related to enslavers and their families, business and governmental entities, schools, churches, and more will be shared in this eye-opening presentation.

    Tic Marks and Number Counts: Understanding and Using the Slave Schedules
    What exactly are the 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules and what is their value to researchers? A closer look at the enumeration of “slave inhabitants” in these years will streamline interpretation of these records and help define the dos and don’ts of working with them.

    Let the Church Say Amen! The Blessing of Church Records for African Ancestored Research
    Finding antebellum records of ancestors of color can be challenging, but church records have proven bountiful sources of genealogically relevant information about this demographic – free and enslaved.

    From This Day Forward - Documenting Marital Unions of Enslaved Ancestors
    Despite the illegality of marriages of enslaved persons in America, unions were established, and couples lived as “husband and wife,” as evidenced by many extant documents explored in this presentation.

    • All presentations are 45-50 minutes, unless otherwise noted, and include an additional 10-15 minute question and answer session, afterwards.
    • All presentations are available virtually and in-person.

  • Legacy Family Tree Webinars
    Allen County Public Library - "The Genealogy Center" (Fort Wayne, IN)
    International African American Museum (Charleston, SC)
    RootsTech Connect 2022 (Annual Conference)
    Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society (National Conference)
    North Carolina Genealogical Society (Fall Conference - Raleigh, NC)
    PBS-NC - "Finding Your Roots" - Panel
    Clayton Library (Houston, TX)
    North Carolina AAHGS Chapters (Annual Joint Conference)
    Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library - (Brightwaters, NY)
    Wind Down Wednesdays - Panel (sponsored by AARP and AASALH)
    Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project (Harrisonburg, VA)
    College of William and Mary - Lemon Project (Williamsburg, VA)
    *Numerous virtual presentations to societies around the country