Monday, September 30, 2019

Renate Yarborough Sanders - Speaker Profile

I am an experienced teacher and genealogy presenter, available for speaking engagements, both in-person and virtually! Please email me at yarsan@aol.com for information about availability and fees. I would love to be considered as a speaker for your next event!

Speaker Bio

Renate Yarborough Sanders has been engaged in genealogy research since 1997 and has been giving genealogy related presentations, to a variety of audiences, since 2012.  She is the descendant of formerly-enslaved ancestors, as well as enslavers and free people of color. Renate is the author of two blogs: “Into the LIGHT”, which focuses on her own family history; and, “Genea-Related”, which is a platform for presenting a variety of information of genealogical interest.  Renate also produces a “(Mostly) African-American Funeral Programs” online database, in which she publishes vital data extracted from funeral programs. For a more extensive bio, please email Renate at yarsan@aol.com.

Image result for microphone    Current Topics:
       Finding Calvin: Following My Enslaved Ancestor Through Multiple Owners: A Case Study
In this presentation, the researcher models the process used in verifying an ancestor’s slavery status, and shares the methodology and documents used to document his owners during 25 years of enslavement.

Researching Free People of Color in Antebellum Years: 1800 – 1865
Discussion of the lives and circumstances of FPOC in the states of North Carolina and Virginia, the laws enacted to exert increasing control over them, and a look at useful record types for researching this population. (This talk can be broadened to include other areas.)

       The Case for DNA: Why Should I Test?
Are you on the fence about DNA testing? Do you wonder if the results are “real” or if they can truly help you to further your genealogy research? Participants will learn about the main types of DNA testing, and how each can help to inform genealogical research. Examples of real-life DNA success stories will also be shared.

        Getting Started with Genealogy Research
How does one get started with genealogical research? Today’s technological advances make it easy! Getting started means going from what you know, to using a variety of resources – in person and online – to discover the unknown. Learn about common record types, and how to access them, in this informative workshop!

     Getting More Out of Your Genealogy Research: Methods, Documents, and Websites
An in-depth exploration how to extract information from certain types of documents, as well as a modeled approach to using some of the more popular websites for genealogical research. This session can be extended include an additional “Part 2” hands-on workshop, with participants on computers, for an added fee.

         Researching Enslaved Ancestors
The presenter shares and models best practice and methodology for researching formerly enslaved ancestors. Participants learn about helpful record types and web sites and how to extract data about the enslaved from records of slave-owning communities.

         Researching Formerly Enslaved Ancestors: It Takes a Village!
This talk is designed for descendants of antebellum property owners, particularly those who enslaved other humans. The focus is on how descendants of slave owners are crucial to and can assist in the efforts of those researching the formerly enslaved.

         Researching Ancestors of Color
This session is specific to researching ancestors of color, to include formerly enslaved and free people of color. Participants learn which record types and web sites are most helpful in this type of research and how to extract data about people of color from various document types.

         Using Funeral Programs to Inform Genealogy Research
Funeral Programs are often rich with genealogical information. In this talk, the presenter will dissect the parts of commonly used funeral programs, and model how to extract important genealogical information and clues from these valuable documents.                                                    

In Their Own Words: Genealogy in the Slave Narratives                    Uncovering the genealogy of the formerly enslaved can often be challenging; but sometimes, the information is left in first-hand accounts, commonly known as "Slave Narratives.” From books, to projects set up to learn about life during slavery, researchers can find an abundance of genealogical and other information about enslaved families, their owners, and their communities - straight from the mouths of the Ancestors.

Remember: Email yarsan@aol.com to book me for your upcoming event!


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  1. Is there a discount offered for AAHGS members such as myself? I'm a Newport News descendant now living in WA State. I'm DNA tested via Ancestry, 2/2017 and also follow tree members @ familytree.com.
    In a nutshell, I have traced my paternal(James) ancestry to 1815 SC. My maternal Meekins traces to Henley & Tabitha circa 1805.Most members trace back to Nash County, NC.
    My hope is on the paternal SC side to discover the AA siblings/parents of mulatto Ervin/Nora James. Ervin for sure was son of white slaveowner, George O. James who migrated from James County, VA app. 1800 to Darlington County, SC. Nora too is thought to have been a product of old George. Research of George O. James goes back to 1563 Wales.
    Approximate cost to include AA sixth generation James siblings/parents of Ervin/Nora? Ervin was one of the first AA owners of land(1870) in then Marion, now Florence County, SC.

  2. Hi, there. Please send me an email at yarsan@aol.com to discuss rates for this kind of project. I look forward to hearing from you!

  3. Are you related to the Yarbrough's of Middlesex, Virginia?