Genealogical and Historical Society welcomes author

Published 7:15 pm Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The September meeting of the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society will be held Sept. 24, at 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Citizens’ Center in Columbia. The featured speaker will be Renate Yarborough Sanders, who will speak on “Free People of Color in 19th-Century Tyrrell County.”
Throughout the 19th century, Tyrrell County had a substantial number of people who were labeled as “free people of color.” This population category was made up of Native Americans, blacks and Mulattos (people who could have been mixed with any combination of black, white and/or native). Sanders descends from two of Tyrrell County’s free families of color – the Hills and the Bryants. She will share some of the discoveries she’s made about her own Tyrrell County ancestors and the records in which she’s found them, and will discuss some of the characteristics and patterns seen in this group of free citizens, most of whom still have descendants living in the county today.
Attendees will take an in-depth look at the workings of the extensive apprentice system in the county, in which many of these “free” families were involved, and look at research which suggests that, often, the youngest of these free apprentices were biologically connected to the “masters” to whom they were apprenticed.
Sanders has been documenting her family history for 20 years. She was born in Ohio, and grew up in Virginia, but all of her ancestral roots are in North Carolina.
She is the descendant of formerly enslaved ancestors, as well as slave owners and free people of color. She is the author of two blogs: “Into the LIGHT,” which focuses on her own family history; and “Genea-Related,” which is a platform for presenting a variety of information of genealogical interest. Sanders also has a “(Mostly) African American Funeral Programs” online database, in which she publishes vital data extracted from funeral programs.
Sanders is a member of the North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society, and the Heritage Society of Franklin County, N.C., and is a panelist on the bi-weekly BlackProGen LIVE online discussion forum for people researching ancestors of color. She has published articles in genealogical newsletters, as well as in the Franklin County Heritage Book (Vol. 1), and she volunteers in the historical and genealogical community by indexing and arbitrating documents for Family Search, and Fold3. Additionally, Sanders is the newsletter editor for the Hampton Roads Chapter of AAHGS, and she is a volunteer photographer for Find-A-Grave. More recently, she became a member of the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society. In addition to her work in the genealogy field, Sanders is a recently retired educator, having served 32 years.
The Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society meets on the fourth Sunday of each month, January through October, at 2:30 p.m., at the Senior Citizens’ Center in Columbia. The meetings are free to the public, and if you’re planning to attend, please bring a friend.