Union County librarian helps people trace slave ancestry

A Union County librarian has made it a priority to help African-Americans in Monroe uncover their family ancestry.

Patricia Poland provides valuable lessons to anyone who walks through the doors at the Union County Public Library. She said genealogy records can help people find out more about their family tree.

“I think it gives you a sense of being a part of the world and not something that was forgotten where you don’t know where you came from,” she said.

Poland said she’s teaching them how to trace their African-American slave ancestry.

Yolanda Elliot came to the library to find answers. She’s interested in knowing as much information as possible about her family history.

“I’m interested in going all the way back to the slaves getting off the boat,” Elliot said.

Poland said that’s a little ambitious but it’s worth a try.

People interested in tracing their family history can look through marriage records, obituaries and cemetery listings all available at the library.

Some of the Monroe residents tell FOX 46 they face roadblocks. Their difficulty? Once slaves became free, they either changed locations or their last name.

Poland said the genealogy room is available to anyone during the week. She invites people to come to the library and see what they discover.

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