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LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG®

LaBGarrett Geneaolgy

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Before ever taking a genealogy course, I authored and published three editions of my family history (The Source: The Garrett, Neely, and Sullivan Families), in addition to a 2010 Supplement to the Revised (Third) edition. I also served as the editor and principal writer of two Church histories that document the involvement of African American families that organized them: Historical Book of Bethel Hall Missionary Baptist Church, Laurens, South Carolina, 1910-2010; and Macedonia Baptist Church, Bethesda, Maryland, 1920-2011: A History of the Little Church on the Hill. Copies of all six books are in the Library of Congress, among other repositories. In 2013 I was the first place winner in the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) Excellence in Writing Competition, in category 5 for Unpublished Material by Published Authors. My winning article was entitled Searching for the Slave Owners of Isaac Garrett: Expanding Research Beyond Online Sources, and was published in the June 2014 issue of Columns, the quarterly publication of the ISFHWE. Since then I have published an article in the NGSQ, and a 2016 book titled A Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens County, SC, and Selected Finding Aids, available on,, and An e-book is also available. A 20 November 2016 review in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides a great overview of how the book can be useful to researchers in other SC counties and others states: "African-American research guide is a model for others." The review in the Summer 2017 issue of the South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research noted that "this work is highly recommended as a guide for research." This book was also named as a Finalist in the African American category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Life Membership, Greenville SC Upstate Chapter Association for Professional Genealogists, National Capital Area Chapter Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Life Member Fairfax Genealogical Society International Society of Family History Writers and Editors National Genealogical Society, Life Membership National Institute on Genealogical Research Alumni Association New England Historic Genealogical Society South Carolina Genealogical Society, Laurens District Chapter. I currently serve as the Registrar General of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, a lineage society that honors African American ancestors who were enslaved in North America before 1865.

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