Held in the Balance: The Trask 250

An Evening with Nicka Sewell-Smith

Hosted by the Massachusetts Genealogical Council

Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Click here to register

In late 2014, Nicka Sewel-Smith uncovered one of the biggest finds of her genealogical career. She discovered ancestors that were enslaved by brothers Israel Elliot Trask, James Lawrence Trask, Augustus Trask, and/or William Porter Trask along with their niece Charlotte Pynchon Davis Ventress, nephew Augustus Trask Welch, and James Alexander Ventress. In the 1850s this Trask family ran a cotton empire in Mississippi and Louisiana valued at more than $4 million, while remaining residents of Massachusetts where slavery had been abolished in 1780.

Join us to learn how Nicka Sewell-Smith used DNA shared by more than 300 people descended from formerly enslaved ancestors and traditional family history research to unearth this discovery and how a multitude of documents detailing their lives have created a family history project documenting more than 5,000 people.

Nicka Sewell-Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, consultant, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African-ancestored and reverse genealogy. She is an expert in genealogical research in the Northeastern Louisiana area and researching enslaved communities.

This presentation is free, but pre-registration is required. Click here for registration.

Co-sponsors: Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society – New England (AAHGS-NE), Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston (JGSGB), Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG), New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG), The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA), Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society (WMGS).

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