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Morven Park’s 246 Years Project Expands Access to Enslaved Family History

30 Dec 2022 8:58 AM | Anonymous

Amateur genealogy has become a national passion. But Black Americans researching their family histories often find dead ends at 1865, with the trauma of slavery, family separations, and missing documentation. Now, a local historic site is launching a project to help fill in the blanks.

The 246 Years Project is an initiative of Morven Park (in Leesburg, Virginia) and Loudoun County Circuit Court Clerk Gary Clemens and his Historic Records Division team. Morven Park is building an online database organizing fragmentary information about Loudoun’s enslaved communities, allowing descendants to delve deeper into their family histories.

“At 1865, you hit this brick wall. … You had to be your own researcher to find your family,” Morven Park Executive Director and CEO Stacey Metcalfe said. “We’re pulling it all together.”

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