Sunday, October 13, 2019

Valencia Benham King Nelson Has Passed Away

It is with a very heavy and broken heart that I must share the news of the death of Valencia Benham King Nelson. I first met her in 1996 when I began volunteering in The Genealogy Forum of America Online. She was a brilliant woman, always the epitome of class and professionalism, and an ever-friendly mentor.

Valencia has many genealogical credits that have changed African-American research in the United States. A descendant of slaves, she immersed herself in learning more. In the process, she was an early genealogical participant in online bulletin board services, Prodigy, America Online, and others. She founded the AfriGeneas-African Ancestored Genealogy website at She worked to coordinate African-American collection acquisition and development with libraries. She served on multiple genealogical society boards, and she was a friend and mentor to everyone.

We have lost a great gift. I will remember Valencia with love and respect for all of my days.

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