A recent interest meeting for the Stokes-Forsyth Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society held at the Walkertown Public Library drew 26 people with the hopes of forming a new chapter. The Winston-Salem chapter has been inactive in recent years and is considered dormant by the national society. Effort is underway to reactivate the group and expand its base to include Forsyth and Stokes County. The combined chapter recognizes the shared history, since Forsyth County was created out of Stokes County in 1849.
Lamar DeLoatch, founding president of the Piedmont Triad chapter in Greensboro, presented information about the society at a public meeting where interested residents of Stokes and Forsyth attended. Active genealogist and Walnut Cove native Chad Bailey is helping lead the effort to formally organize the Stokes / Forsyth chapter.
Bailey hosted the event alongside Cheryl Harry, and said there needs to be a minimum of 10 people willing to attend meetings and pay a yearly membership fee to form an official chapter in North Carolina.
The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society is headquartered in Washington, DC and has 36 chapters in states across the nation. Currently, active chapters in North Carolina include Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.
Bailey said he’s always loved history and believes it’s important to know where you’ve come from as you move forward in life.
“The later you wait to research it, the harder it gets,” he said. “It’s important to know your roots and who you’re related to. Your family could have strong ties in places you never knew of. I’m very amazed at my research and history throughout the years.”
For more information about the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, who strives to preserve African-ancestored family history, genealogy, and cultural diversity by teaching research techniques and disseminating information throughout the community, visit www.aahgs.org
To contact Chad Bailey, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Cheryl Harry at CdHarry@oldsalem.org
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.