Learn, Share, and Illuminate! The Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project is a grass roots non-profit dedicated to recovering the rich history of the Valley's African American families. Our research projects include, identifying the men who served with the United States Colored Troops and the US Navy during the Civil War, African American cemeteries and African American property owners in Harrisonburg, 1850-1860. Our middle and high school student interns are researching the early schools, 1866-1966, of the Valley. They learn from educators, archivists and historians how to conduct oral history interviews, which they then do on their own. Our organization has endorsed the new bill in the US Congress that will acknowledge and create a database of African American cemeteries. We sponsored the historic highway marker at the the East Elkton Rosenwald School. Our organization has helped over 50 families with their family trees and have distributed over 20 free DNA tests. In 2018 we opened our Heritage Center in Harrisonburg at 425 Hill St., Harrisonburg, Virignia 22802. There we have computers with ancestry.com and other genealogy websites available to use. We have a library and love to help families with their genealogy. All of our genealogy work is private but we have learned a great deal about the Valley through this work. Including learning about the freeborn families of the Valley and how some of them were living in the Valley free as early as 1785.
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