The Newsroom Blog

"Each Individual Has a Story to Tell"

Darius Gray, a leading black Mormon genealogist, recently spoke at multiple locations in Tennessee, including the National Civil Rights Museum, about African-American genealogy and the importance of preserving and researching family histories. A recent article in the Jackson Sun covered one of the events.

Gray played an important role in assisting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in creating a database of records from Freedman's Bank, a bank created for emancipated slaves after the Civil War. The project made available a half a million names of former slaves for family history research. It was a major breakthrough in black family history research and was covered extensively in the media at the time (see a 2001 article from Business Week).

From early in its history, the Church has encouraged its members to research their family history. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the largest genealogical library in the world and provides access to many collections of records, with more than two billion names of deceased people.

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