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Held in the Balance: The Trask 250, with Nicka Sewell-Smith

September 30, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

– Zoom Meeting

This event is co-sponsored by Mass Genealogical Council (MGC) and the JGSGB

Nicka SmithIn late 2014, Nicka Sewel-Smith uncovered one of the biggest finds of her genealogical career. She discovered ancestors that were enslaved by brothers Israel Elliot Trask, James Lawrence Trask, Augustus Trask, and/or William Porter Trask along with their niece Charlotte Pynchon Davis Ventress, nephew Augustus Trask Welch, and James Alexander Ventress. In the 1850s, this Trask family ran a cotton empire in Mississippi and Louisiana, which was valued at more than $4 million at the time. Yet, they remained residents of Massachusetts where slavery had been abolished in 1783!

Join us to learn how Nicka Sewell-Smith used DNA shared by more than 300 people descended from formerly enslaved ancestors and traditional family history research to unearth this discovery and how a multitude of documents detailing their lives have created a family history project documenting more than 5,400 people.

Nicka Sewell-Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, consultant, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African-ancestored and reverse genealogy. She is an expert in genealogical research in the Northeastern Louisiana area and researching enslaved communities.

This presentation is free, but registration is required!

Click to Register


September 30, 2021
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT
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– Zoom Meeting