Tracing Black Ancestry: Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers Uncovered

Sat, 21 March 2020 14:30 – 16:30

Join Ancestry Talks’ Paul Crooks for this captivating account of how he traced his African Caribbean ancestry back 200 years ago

About this Event

Join Ancestry Talks’ Paul Crooks for this captivating account of how he traced his Black Caribbean ancestors enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, 200 years ago.
In this masterclass, Paul Crooks will

• talk about his unique journey tracing black ancestry
• speak on the origins of the slave registers
• discuss how the slave registers can support the exploration of Black ancestry and self-identity
• reveal how the registers enlighten us about the roots of British racism
• create space for questions & answers and opportunities for meeting and befriending like-minded people

About the speaker

Paul Crooks pioneered research into tracing African Caribbean ancestry. Paul was told that it would be impossible to trace records of slave-ownership let alone his African ancestors enslaved on plantations in Jamaica. “No one had tried because such records did not exist.” In the 1990’s, undeterred, he embarked on a journey of discovery that led from suburban North London to Jamaica and ultimately back to the Gold Coast of Africa; an effort that has brought him international recognition for his breakthroughs in African Caribbean genealogy research.

By 1999, Paul uncovered the potential of the Slave Registers for exploring Caribbean Ancestry and tracing African Roots. Paul’s revelations were followed by a flurry of inquiries into the slave registers and slave compensation records.

Paul gained national recognition for his work when his acclaimed historical novel Ancestors (based on the true story of the author’s African ancestors) was published by Arcadia Books in 2002. He appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? (Moira Stuart) as the expert in African Caribbean genealogy. His second book A Tree Without Roots is the authoritative guide to tracing African, British and Asian Caribbean ancestry.

Paul has been recognised for inspiring an upsurge in interest in Black and British ancestry. He is also credited with having spawned an industry in African Caribbean genealogy.

Hear what folks are saying about our events
Fascinating …Gave me a link to continuing my search for my ancestors (which I did not have before)

The audience at Hackney Central Library

Wonderful presentation – has built up my confidence to start my research!…has given me a sense of pride and inspiration!Relaxed and informative and well worth the coming!Very informative and motivational!Very inspiring!

The audience at Walthamstow Library

‘Informative – provided deep insight’‘Highly informative and educational’‘Excellent – speaker was well informed’‘Excellent, informative with charismatic delivery’
The audience at Teddington Library

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