Know Your Roots - Y Magazine
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Alumni Updates

Know Your Roots

Sp08_3137When Colette Thomas Smith (BS ’58) of St. George, Utah, discovered that most resources for African American genealogy required upper-level expertise to use, she decided to create one on the genealogy 101 level. Her book, Secrets to African American Roots, includes basic steps to finding one’s black ancestors. Beginning with tips on how to collect oral records from family members, Smith details the challenges of tracing black family history and explains how to find documents through such sources as the Freeman Bank Records. Smith graduated from BYU without any genealogy experience but was soon called as a ward genealogy instructor. She continued teaching on the ward and stake levels for 30 years and has taught colonial and southern states genealogy at BYU’s annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. Her 62-page book is available from many online bookstores.