- Business Name
- African American Cemeteries of Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina
- Non-Research Specialties
- Oral Historian/Interviewer
- Research Specialties
- African American
- Cartography (maps)
- Civil War
- Court Records
- Federal Records
- Heir Searcher
- Historical Sites
- Land Records
- Neighborhood Reconstruction
- Research Time Periods
- 18th Century
- 19th Century
- 20th Century
Nadia K. Orton is a professional genealogist and family historian. She is a graduate of an advanced writing course at U. C. Berkeley (California) and Duke University, with a double major in Political Science and African/African American Studies, and a Certificate in Markets and Management Science. While at Duke University, she helped establish the Student Disability Access Office. Her study in the field of genealogy began in 2001, and she has researched her paternal family roots to 1610 in Tidewater, Virginia, and North Carolina, and maternal roots to 1770 in North Carolina. In 2010, she served as a volunteer archivist for Grove Baptist Church (est. 1840) and Emanuel A.M.E. Church (est. 1772), Portsmouth, Virginia. She has been a member of the online community Find-a-Grave for over nine years, and has contributed over 10, 000 memorials, interments, and photographs for cemeteries in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, and South Carolina. She maintains two Facebook pages devoted to African American cemeteries in Portsmouth (VA), and greater Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina. She also maintains a blog, Sacred Ground, Sacred History. She is a member of the Phoenix Historical Society of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, the Tidewater (Virginia) Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (Richmond, VA), the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Association for Gravestone Studies, the Duke Alumni Association, and the Virginia Genealogical Society. Currently, she is working with various community initiatives to restore historic African-American cemeteries throughout Tidewater, Virginia and North Carolina. In Richmond, Virginia, she is a member of the Executive Planning and Review Team guiding the restoration of Evergreen Cemetery (1891), and in Portsmouth, Virginia, assists the community initiative to preserve the Mount Calvary Cemetery Complex (est. 1879). In 2016, she completed the research and text for the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex historical highway marker. In Suffolk, Virginia, she provided the research and text for the historical highway marker for Oak Lawn Cemetery (1885), and successfully compiled the list of eligible burials in the cemetery approved for perpetual state funding. She continues her research of historic African American cemeteries and burial grounds of Tidewater, Virginia and North Carolina.
Cemetery preservation; Descendant outreach; Family tree research and study; Historical highway markers; National Register nominations. United States Colored Troops headstone project.
GA, MD, NJ, NC, SC, VA, Mid-Atlantic, South, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Richmond
- Certificate (Markets and Management Sciences), Bachelors of Arts (African and African American Studies), Bachelors of Arts (Political Science)
- English, Spanish
- DAR Library, Library of Congress, National Archives, MD & VA State Archives,Library of Congress,Library of Virginia, Richmond
- "Nadia gave me and my family a precious gift. The energy, passion and expertise of her research, all combined, total more than a profession, it is her calling." - J. Holmes
- Stories in Stone: Hidden African American History of Franklin and Warren Counties, North Carolina, African American Cultural Celebration, North Carolina Museum of History (January 2020); Findings from the Cemetery, St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church, Warren County, North Carolina (November 2016); Findings from the Cemetery, Part II, St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church, Warren County, North Carolina (November 2017); Researching Shiloh Landing: Transportation of the Enslaved from Richmond to Edgecombe, Tarboro, North Carolina (February 2018); Connecting to Your Past Conference, Newport News Public Library, Virginia (February 2019); Oak Lawn Cemetery, a History, First Baptist Church Mahan, Suffolk, Virginia (February 2019); Investigating African American Family History, Rocky Mount Mills, North Carolina (June 2019)
- The Orton Family of Tidewater Virginia: Nansemond County to Portsmouth, 1763-2010, solely dedicated to P.R.Orton-Duke; Orton, Nadia K. "Recovering and Preserving African American Cemeteries." National Trust for Historic Preservation. Preservation Leadership Forum, 2 June 2016. http://forum.savingplaces.org/blogs/special-contributor/2016/06/02/recovering-and-preserving-african-american-cemeteries ; Orton, Nadia K. "A Personal Journey Through African- American Cemeteries." National Trust for Historic Preservation. SavingPlaces.org, 21 June 2016. https://savingplaces.org/stories/a-personal-journey-through-african-american-cemeteries; Orton, Nadia K. "On Memorial Day, Reflecting on African-American History." National Trust for Historic Preservation, SavingPlaces.org, 26 May 2017. https://savingplaces.org/stories/on-memorial-day-reflecting-on-african-american-history#.WaNNcCblvIU.
- Sacred Grounds Project, Inc.; Phoenix Historical Society of Edgecombe County, North Carolina; African American Historic Cemeteries of Portsmouth, Virginia; African American Historic Cemeteries of Tidewater Virginia and North Carolina; Duke Alumni Association; National Genealogical Society; Virginia Genealogical Society; Association for Gravestone Studies; the Association for the Study of African American Life and History; the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.
- Website: sacredgroundsacredhistory.com