Clifton Park genealogist helping African Americans uncover family history
Tara Patregnani is a professional genealogist. People turn to her to find out more about the ancestors they know and those they don’t.
In recent years, more African Americans have come to her at Capital Genealogy, looking for information that will tell them who they are.
However, slavery has made it difficult to tell the entire story about the lineage of African Americans. Black slaves were considered non-human and looked upon as property, so their surnames were often the same surname as their slave holder.
There was a separate slave schedule of the census taken in 1850 and 1860. Slaveholders were interviewed, with a list of the slave population.
Those poorly, handwritten, pieces of paper were often destroyed or lost prior to the 1870 census, but Patregnani says she’s had success obtaining some information for African American clients.
Even with the least amount of information, if Patregnani can’t give African American clients all the information they want, she says she can give families more info than they previously had or confirmation of their oral history.
See how Patregnani took the small amount of information NewsChannel 13’s Elaine Houston had about her own family, and used it to uncover lots of history she never knew by watching the video.