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Graduate Student Chris Byrd Leads Workshop at Historical Society of Pennsylvania


On March 9, graduate student Chris Byrd, along with Graduate Program Diirector Dr. Judith Giesberg, led a workshop at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania about their project “Last Seen”: Finding Family after Slavery. More than 100 people attended the workshop, which explored the digital resource available for genealogists researching African American ancestors.

This digital resource offers researchers a new tool for telling family stories of separation and survival during slavery, emancipation, and the Civil War. It allows easy access to digitized “Information Wanted” advertisements placed in newspapers by former slaves and United States Colored Troops searching for family members lost by sale, flight, or enlistment.  

The Graduate Program in History is partnering with Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia on the project. 

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Graduate students Blake McGready, Madison Bastress, and Jessica Talarico were recently featured in an article entitled ­How Living In Philadelphia Inspires Three History-Lovers to Pursue Their Master of Arts In History on

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History Graduate Students Discuss Project, "Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery" featured graduate students Chris Byrd and Maggie Strolle in the article entitled Families torn apart by slavery sought lost loved ones in newly archived ads. Click here to read the full article and hear how Dr. Judith Giesberg and her students are creating this digital archive.

Dr. Judith Giesberg, along with Margaret Jerrido, archivist at Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, will offer a workshop on researching the data on March 9 at 1 PM at  the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

Contact the Program Director

Judith Giesberg, Ph.D.
(610) 519-4668

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