Descendants of slave owners and enslaved working together to help find families

This Black History Month two genealogists with very different backgrounds have a message for Americans. 


Galveston, genealogist, and slave descendant, Sharon Gillins has found an unexpected ally in genealogist Cheri Hudson Passey of South Carolina. Passey discovered she descended from slave owners.  

Using webinars as well as examining websites like  Family Search and the national archives in the Freedmen's Bureau, they encourage descendants of enslaved individuals to overcome fears. 

THINGS TO DO: Black History Month 2023 events around the Houston area all month long

Simultaneously, they help descendants of enslaved with the difficult task of finding family history through business records, wills, etc. since the slaves were only recorded as property.

FOX 26 photojournalist Darlene Janik Faires spoke with them about how both descendants of slaves and slave owners can work together to preserve history.

SUGGESTED: Houston ranked Top 20 for Black-owned businesses in the US, LendingTree says

To learn more about these efforts, visit Family Search's website and click here for a look at the archives in the Freedmen's Bureau. If you're interested in contacting the genealogists to look into your own family history, you can reach Sharon and Cheri via email.