Genealogy

Advanced African American Research

Curious about tracing your roots in Mississippi but could use some guidance in interpreting complex records? Come to the Advanced African American Research workshop presented by Joyce Dixon-Lawson at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 23. Centered around local and state records related to property, this workshop will guide you through the web of genealogical records, showcasing examples of wills, deeds, educable children records, and cemetery records.

Community Curation Day: Preserving Family Photos

Learn how to preserve your family photos for future generations to enjoy at our Community Curation Day: Preserving Family Photographs workshop. MDAH’s professional archivists will demonstrate sleeving and storing techniques. Archival supplies will be provided for guests to use while supplies last. This program is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Register at https://tickets.mdah.ms.gov/Info.aspx?EventID=12

Break Through Brick Walls

A brick wall is not the end of the line for family research. Join professional genealogist Kim Richardson on Saturday, April 30, at 10 a.m. for Break through Brick Walls, a Zoom presentation about the most common oversights in genealogy research and how to overcome the supposed dead-end search for a particularly hard to find ancestor. Registration is free and space is limited. Click here to register online. Registration ends at noon on Friday, April 29.

Intro to Military Research Workshop

Learn how to trace your military family tree with resources available at MDAH on Saturday, February 19, from 10 to 11 a.m. Jeff Giambrone, a historic resource specialist at MDAH, will lead the Finding Your Family: Intro to Military Research workshop at the William F. Winter Archives & History building.

“For anyone doing research into a Mississippi relative's military history, a trip to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is vital,” said Giambrone.

MDAH staff will teach participants how to use military records of Mississippi soldiers from the American Revolution to World War II such as service records, pensions, grave registration cards, World War I draft registration forms, statement of service cards, and World War II discharge records that are available in the MDAH archival collections.

Giambrone is currently employed as a historian at MDAH. He earned his BA in history from Mississippi State University and an MA in history from Mississippi College. He has led numerous introductory genealogy workshops and enjoys helping curious participants research their family roots.

Registration is free and space is limited. Register online here. For more information call 601-576-6800. 

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Finding Your Family: Intro to Military Research

Are you interested in learning more about the military service of your family members? Join us for Finding Your Family: Intro to Military Research at the William F. Winter Archives & History Building on Saturday, February 19, 10­–11 a.m. MDAH staff will teach participants how to use military records of Mississippi soldiers from the American Revolution to World War II such as service records, pensions, grave registration cards, World War I draft registration forms, statement of service cards, and World War II discharge records that are available in the MDAH archival collections.

MDAH Launches Family Genealogy Fellowships

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) will award fellowships of up to $2,000 to support individuals hoping to locate information related to their family history using resources available at MDAH. The fellowships are a part of a year-long initiative in 2022 to expand understanding of the Great Migration and its impact on Mississippi and the nation.

“The Great Migration is the largest internal migration of people in U.S. history. Many families who left Mississippi still feel a close connection to our state. We’re glad to be able to help them come back to Mississippi and research their roots,” said MDAH director Katie Blount.

Ten research stipends of up to $2,000 will be awarded to ten researchers to travel to Jackson, MS, and conduct three consecutive days of research at MDAH. Selected applicants may schedule their fellowships during the months of February, April, May, June, and July 2022. The stipend may be used to cover travel, accommodations, and other expenses accrued during the researcher’s time at MDAH such as the cost of copies. For more information or to apply, click here.

The Great Migration Initiative is a partnership between MDAH and the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA). Additional programs and events include the exhibitions A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration at MMA, The Negro Motorist Green Book Guide at MDAH, joint teacher workshop, and other programs related to art and history. For more information on the Great Migration Initiative, email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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Beginning Genealogy

Curious about tracing your lost family history, but don’t know how or where to start? Join us for our virtual Beginning Genealogy workshop with MDAH director of library services Ally Mellon on Saturday, August 28, at 10 a.m. Participants will learn how to begin genealogical research and use public resources available in the MDAH archival collections. *UPDATE: Registration for this event is now full. 

MDAH Among Top Genealogy Websites in U.S.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s (MDAH) website was named one of the best genealogical websites in the country by Family Tree Magazine, a national family history publication.

“We are grateful for being included on this list,” said Ally Mellon, MDAH library services director. “We strive to connect people with genealogical resources pertaining to Mississippi both online and in person and are delighted others have found the page useful.”

MDAH has compiled a list of online resources for researchers interested in tracing their family history. Reference librarians provide quick answers to basic questions using available reference works and finding aids. Email your research questions to refdesk@mdah.ms.gov.

Due to safety precautions for COVID-19, appointments are recommended for research in the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Available appointment times are Monday–Friday at 9–11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., and 2–4 p.m.  Call 601-576-6837 to schedule your time. Patrons without an appointment will be accommodated as space allows.

Appointment times for Saturdays will be 8:15–10:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History was founded in 1902. It is the second-oldest state department of archives and history in the country. For more information email info@mdah.ms.gov.

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Advanced Genealogy: Tracing Your African American Ancestors

Having challenges with researching your African American ancestors? MDAH Curator of Research and Genealogy Joyce Dixon-Lawson will lead an online workshop using the probate records, deed records, Census records, and personal diaries of former slave owners available at MDAH. Dixon-Lawson will also answer questions and offer tips to help participants negotiate slavery's legacy to find their ancestors. Registration is $10 per person.

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