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Register for Friday's African Diaspora Series webinar: Researching during the slave era (1817-1865) by Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy

Dr. Shelley Murphy will present a case study reviewing the challenges & successes of researching the descendants of enslaved laborers who built the University of Virginia for Thomas Jefferson. Methods and strategies will be shared.

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About the presenter

ShelleyMurphy-144x144For some, the words “So What?” seem like a curt reply to a simple question. For Shelley Murphy, however, they are the driving force behind her genealogy research and her high-energy presentations. Known affectionately as “familytreegirl”.

More than thirty years later, Shelley has become a genealogy force to be reckoned with. She is a co-founder and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), past president of the AAHGS Chapter of Central Virginia, former vice president of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association (CVGA), and a proud daughter of the Jack Jouett and Walter Hines Page Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is active in her home state of Virginia serving on the Boards of the Library of Virginia, Albemarle-Charlottesville and Fluvanna Historical Societies. Dr. Murphy recently hired by the President’s Commission on Slavery at the University of Virginia to conduct research to locate descendants of enslaved and free laborers who helped build Thomas Jefferson’s University.

Conducts professional genealogical services and worked for local government and nonprofits. In her presentations she imparts to audiences the importance of “asking questions” at each discovery. She is known for her fresh approach to getting started in genealogy research, for her keen methods and strategies for analyzing documents, and for her common-sense approach to building timelines and research plans.

Shelley holds memberships in the National Genealogical Society (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists (APG-NCAC), and various historical societies and genealogy groups throughout the United States. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor. She prides herself on being a problem solver and a teamplayer.

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Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, January 7, 2022 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


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