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Put a genealogy hero in the AfriGeneas SPOTLIGHT. 
Honor an African Ancestored elder with an AfriGeneas SPOTLIGHT.  Send your profiles to Spotlight Editor Photos required.

August 2006

 David E. Paterson

David E. Paterson, AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum manager, was born in Scotland, UK, grew up in Seattle, WA, and earned a BA in History from University of Oregon before joining the U.S. Navy in 1975. Although an avid reader as a child, David became so busy with his seagoing career that he did not read a complete book for fifteen years. His passion for history reawakened in 1988 while he explored the antebellum records in the basement of the Upson County courthouse. Now Davidís idea of fun and relaxation is reading a book or spending 12-hour days researching at the National Archives.   Read his profile . . .

September 2005

 Eric Thomas

Eric ThomasEric Thomas manages 50 AfriGeneas mailing lists on Yahoo. He manages 65 mailing lists on the AfriGeneas server. He manages the main mailing list at He keeps the meeting rooms and chat center functioning and user friendly. He is a broad shoulder to lean on. He is the mechanic under the hood keeping the AfriGeneas engine running smoothly. Call him Eric . . . ET . . . Admin Assistant . . . The Help Desk.  Eric Thomas answers to all of those names, often concurrently. His arm is easy to twist and consistently remains twisted.   Read his profile . . .

August 2005

 Bennie L. Phifer III

Bennie L. Phifer IIIBennie Phifer's genealogical journey began long before he started his research in 1993. It began as the result of his familyís yearly two-week trip to Arkadelphia, Clark County, Arkansas to visit his fatherís side of the family. Bennie remembers that he had nothing but fond memories of meeting family members and his experiences while visiting. However, he recalls, the same relatives never visited his family in Troy, Ohio. He wanted to know more about his Arkansas relatives so he began his genealogical quest to find out more about them and their lives.   Read his profile . . .

July 2005

 Wanda Bennett

Wanda BennettOne day, Wanda Bennett went to a presentation at work and heard two speakers talking about their genealogical research. One said she started because she wanted to do a simple book for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary but 25 years later she was still researching. She made it sound so interesting that Wanda thought she would try it. She did and she got hooked! Later, at a meeting of the Indiana African American Genealogy Group, someone mentioned how useful obituaries were for African American research and Wanda knew she'd discovered her mission. She began transcribing obituaries from newspapers in Indiana and Kentucky and placing them online in 1999. And she hasn't stopped since.   Read her profile . . .

October 2004

 Ruth Eleanor Stubblefield

Ruth StubblefieldNational Family History Month is an appropriate month to highlight the four year travel adventure that resulted in: a "Century Certificate" from the Walker County Genealogical Society, recognizing her familyís century- plus existence in Walker County, Texas; a compiled index, Walker County Texas, Black Cemeteries; and a six generation documented history of the Walker County, Texas Stubblefields, Thru My EyesRead her profile . . .

June 2004

 Denise Oliver-Velez

Denise Oliver-VelezFor years, Denise Oliver-Velez had been collecting stories from relatives and gathering up old photos and news clippings. Her interest in family history started early. She describes herself as "the nosey child of the family who asked a million questions of elders and who pored over old photograph albums and memorabilia."  But even though the interest was always there, she never actually attempted to do formal research on her own family. That is, until a few years ago when she first visited AfriGeneas, found a community of interest, and decided to stay a while. . . . Since then she has helped hundreds of researchers to get started with or to advance their research and has personally posted more than 2000 messages on the Getting Started (formerly Beginners) Forum as well as other boards.  Read her profile . . .



22 Jul 2003 | 03 Oct 2006
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