Saturday, December 15, 2018

Conversations with Kenyatta D. Berry

Kenyatta D. Berry is one of the stars in the genealogy community. If you've watched "Genealogy Roadshow," you'll immediately recognize her as one of the hosts of that show. She meets with people who applied to have their genealogical stories evaluated, and then she takes them through what the professional researchers have found. The facts are not always easy to take, and Kenyatta started crying on one of the episodes as she was sharing documents and details.

Kenyatta D. Berry
at the John F. Germany Public Library
 in Tampa on 13 December 2018
(Photo credit: George G Morgan) 
Kenyatta is a multi-faceted woman who is a lawyer, a well-respected genealogical speaker and writer, a researcher, a television personality, and more. You may have gathered that when Drew Smith interviewed her on Episode #10 of the Genealogy Connection podcast.

She has a new book on the market, The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018). It is an excellent book for beginners and intermediate family researchers, covering many record types for all types of families. That includes persons of European ancestry, slaves from Africa, Native Americans, Caribbean persons of color, and more. She provides guidance and research strategies for locating slaves and slaveholding families. She focuses on laws in place at the time and what documentation you are likely - and unlikely - to location. Kenyatta's book includes strategies for researching adoptions and provides an overview of how to incorporate DNA into your research.

Kenyatta is in the midst of a 20-city book and speaking tour. In each city she participates in "Conversations with Kenyatta," a Q&A session followed by a book signing. Drew and I had an opportunity on Thursday evening, 13 December 2018, to attend her session at the John F. Germany Public Library in downtown Tampa, Florida, answering questions about her own genealogical journey and questions posed by attendees. Confident, congenial, and classy are just three adjectives to describe this intelligent genealogist. And her new book is an excellent addition to the body of genealogical literature.

If you have a chance to see or hear Kenyatta D. Berry present, you will not be disappointed.

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