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September 19, 2020

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Nicka Sewell-Smith is a speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has diverse experience in communications with a background in radio and video production and has been a host for several genealogical topics within the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). She is the host of BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show focused on people of color, genealogy, and family history. Nicka has also served as an expert in genealogical research on the television.

Held in the Balance: The Trask 250

Saturday - 9:30am to 11:00am 

The Trask family ran a cotton empire in Mississippi and Louisiana valued upwards of $4 million, all while remaining residents of Massachusetts. Discover how DNA shared by more than 100 people who descend from their formerly enslaved unearthed this discovery and how a multitude of documents detailing their lives have created a family history project documenting more than 5,000 people.

Finding Isaac Rogers

Saturday - 11:10am to 12:30pm  

Isaac Rogers was a well-known Cherokee Freedmen, U.S. Civil War veteran and Deputy Marshal, but who was he outside of those titles? This is the story of how traditional genealogy, oral history, and DNA collided to reveal his family origins, which include connections to Cherokee Nation leaders, stories of resilience during the Trail of Tears/forced removal, and the true story of life as people of African descent within an indigenous group.

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Melvin J. Collier has been conducting historical and genealogical research for over 25 years and has given numerous workshops and presentations on historical and genealogical subjects. He has worked as an archivist in the Atlanta University Center and has appeared on the television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?”, as an expert genealogist. Melvin maintains a genealogy blog, Roots Revealed at www.rootsrevealed.com and is the author of Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery; 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended; and Ealy Family Heritage: Documenting Our Legacy.

Reconstructing Family Trees Sawed by Slavery

Saturday - 1:30pm to 3:00pm 

All slaves had family members who were sold away or transferred to the slave-owner’s heirs, never to be seen again. Many even took different surnames. It was not uncommon for two displaced brothers to retain different surnames after Emancipation. Collier will present cases of how displaced family members were found.

How DNA Reconstructed Broken Family Trees

Saturday - 3:10pm to 4:30pm 

Collier will present cases on how DNA evidence, coupled with slave ancestral research, enabled him to confirm and populate his family tree with long ties that were broken during slavery.   

$32 IAAGG Member Registration Fee

$42 Non-member Fee

$67 Registration + Membership

For this affordable price and from the comfort of your home,

 where you can leave and return without curious eyes, you can join our virtual genealogy conference.

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Helping You Tell Your Family's Story

You don't want to miss this opportunity to hear Nicka and Melvin together on the same program.

They are both great storytellers. But more importantly, they will share their research techniques with you.

All of our stories must be told..


Friday Evening 6:00pm to 7:00pm 9/18/20

Social time and to ensure your Zoom link works.


Friday Evening 7:00pm to 8:30pm 9/18/20  


-Charles Barker, President, IAAGG

-Denise Anderson-Decina, Central Indiana DNA Interest Group (CIDIG)

Are you wondering which test you should take

and which companies you should consider?

Curious about the accuracy of the ethnicity estimates?

Are the estimates from each company the same?

Why are your results different from your brother and sister's?

You’ll learn how the elements of DNA testing works, how to interpret results and what to do with all the new clues that DNA testing reveals.


 Saturday Evening 6:30pm to 8:00pm 9/19/20 


-Charles Barker, President, IAAGG

-Denise Anderson-Decina, Central Indiana DNA Interest Group (CIDIG)

The "How" to techniques illustrated earlier.

The importance of shared matches and 3rd & 4th cousin matches.

Ancestry.com Thrulines, MyHeritage, 23andMe and FamilytreeDNA.