Recent News Articles

Bringing Genealogy to Low-Income Families

15 Dec 2020 12:33 PM | Anonymous

An article by Trace Christenson in the Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer describes a new effort to bring genealogy research to a group of people who traditionally have not often performed such searches. The article describes the successful results of one such person. Several people who have begun looking at their heritage are using a new program called Roots Matter, begun by Jonathan Matthews.

Using genealogy programs and DNA, Matthews, 34, said he is providing facts and history to low-income families who couldn't afford the searches. Williams started his historical search using web-based sites Ancestry, African Ancestry and Family Search. Matthews' program is designed to pay for the cost of the genealogy and DNA fees and also assist people with their research.

You might like to read the article at

Comment by Dick Eastman: I found the article to be very interesting although any experienced genealogist will consider it to be a bit too brief. In short, the article probably will successfully encourage non-genealogists to start a genealogy search but will create additional questions for experienced genealogists.

After reading the article, I immediately wondered "Did they verify the claimed information?"

Experienced genealogists all know that all claimed information needs to be verified. Online web sites and old genealogy books alike often contain errors. Is the need for verification being taught to people using Roots Matter?

I suspect the Roots Matter program is successfully achieving its goals: increasing awareness of genealogy studies. However, I hope it also also doing a bit more.


  • 16 Dec 2020 5:03 PM | Anonymous
    Please forgive me for being profoundly skeptical that in a two week period of researching his family history, Mr. Williams has been able to trace his heritage to Senegalese royalty. Is it even physically possible to research, evaluate, analyze and verify the necessary facts and/or sources proving Mr. William's connection to each of his direct ancestors back to the kingdoms of Senegal in two weeks?
    Link  •  Reply

Blog posts

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software