Join us at the Headquarters Library for a two-day workshop focusing on beginning genealogy, African American Genealogy Research and using DNA to trace your family tree. The event will feature internationally known genealogist, author and consultant, Tony Burroughs, and local genealogist, Lahnice Hollister. All lectures are free and open to the public.

Friday, March 9

Black Roots: Tracing the Family Tree

By: Tony Burroughs

7:00 pm

This is a fun, inspirational talk for beginners and people with no knowledge of genealogy research. It contains humorous stories of research and how an important 100 year old riddle was solved, mending bad family feelings. It contains easy, practical methods and sources that anyone can use the next day to begin researching their family history.

Saturday, March 10

Adding DNA to Genealogy

By: Tony Burroughs

9:30 am

Using DNA with genealogy is so popular in the newspapers and television, that many think DNA is genealogy. DNA is not genealogy. DNA can sometimes be used with other resources in your genealogical research. The questions are: What is DNA? When do you use DNA? What are the Different DNA tests for genealogy? And what are DNA's limitations? The presentation will also cover DNA companies, DNA tools, learning about genetic genealogy and devising a strategy to use DNA.

Goggans and Goggins of South Carolina: DNA Helps Document the Basis of an Emancipated Family’s Surname

By: Lahnice Hollister

11:00 am

Based off her findings that were published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, the speaker will tell how she found her enslaved South Carolina family, including the basis of the family’s surname.

Tracing My South Carolina Roots

By: Tony Burroughs

1:30 pm

Tracing African American ancestors from the north, backward into Spartanburg, Union, Richland and Edgefield Counties, solving many problems, but creating more questions. Tony Burroughs will be available after the event for a book signing.

Tony Burroughs photograph

Tony Burroughs, FUGA

Tony Burroughs is the founder and CEO of The Center for Black Genealogy. He is an internationally known genealogist who taught genealogy at Chicago State University for fifteen years. He researched Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson’s family history and consulted on Oprah Winfrey's genealogy, Smokey Robinson's genealogy, and Reverend Al Sharpton's genealogy. He has consulted for several television programs including: Who Do You Think You Are? ; African American Lives; The Real Family of Jesus and The History Detectives. Burroughs also consulted with the Chicago Public Schools, New York Public Schools, Chicago City Colleges and

Burroughs has appeared as a guest genealogy expert in twenty-five national and international television programs including:

  • Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC 2017)
  • Blood and Glory: The Civil War in Color (History Channel 2015)
  • Michael Johnson: Survival of the Fastest (Channel 4 London, 2012)
  • Roots Remembered (BBC, 2007)
  • Oprah’s Roots (PBS, 2007-featured expert)
  • The Real Family of Jesus (featured expert Discovery Channel, 2005 Easter special)
  • African American Lives with Henry Louis Gates (PBS, 2006)
  • Ancestors 2 (PBS, 2000 - appeared in six episodes)
  • Ancestors (PBS, 1997 - featured expert)

Burroughs has also been interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News, ABC World News Tonight, BET Nightly News, National Public Radio (NPR) and many local broadcasts. His interview on Will Horton’s “The Greatness In You” was submitted for a 2012-2013 Emmy Award.

Burroughs’ book, Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree (Simon & Schuster, 2001) was number one on Essence Magazine's Best Seller List and is now in its fifth printing. His chapter, “African American Genealogy” is in the Encyclopedia of African American History (Oxford University Press, 2009). His chapter, "How to Create a Family Tree," is in The Experts Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do (Samantha Ettus editor, Clarkson Potter Division of Random House Inc., September 2004), along with other experts, Donald Trump, Jennifer Capriati, Debbie Fields, and Larry King. His chapter, “African American Genealogy” appears in The Source, revised edition (edited by Lou Szucs and Sandra Luebking, Ancestry, 2006) and he was one of three co-authors of the African American Genealogical Sourcebook (Paula Byers, editor, Detroit: Gale Research, 1995).

Burroughs has been quoted in newspapers in London, Paris, Toronto, Hong Kong and Sydney, as well as the New York Times, People Magazine, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Ebony, and Jet Magazine.


  • Distinguished Service Award - National Genealogical Society
  • Rabbi Malcolm H. Stearn Humanitarian Award - Federation of Genealogical Societies
  • Lowell Volkel Medal - Illinois Genealogical Society
  • Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association
  • Who’s Who in America
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
  • Distinguished Service Award - Dallas Genealogical Society

He received a fellowship from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium to research the Underground Railroad in Chicago and was selected as one of 5,000 African Americans interviewed in a video oral history archive by The History Makers.

Burroughs lectures throughout the United States and Canada, delivering over one hundred lectures at national conferences.

Lahnice Hollister photograph

Lahnice Hollister

Lahnice Hollister is a local genealogist. “Goggins and Goggans of South Carolina: DNA Helps Document the Basis of an Emancipated Family’s Surname” is based on her findings that were published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in September 2014.

Lahnice will tell how she found her enslaved South Carolina family including the basis of the family's surname.

Lahnice researches the enslaved roots of her upcountry and lowcountry South Carolina family. Her articles about them appear in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, American Ancestors, and in a forthcoming issue of The NEHG Register.