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Char McCargo Bah

Char McCargo Bah is a native of Alexandria, Virginia, who has done genealogical research for more than eighteen (18) years. She earned bachelors and associates degrees in Urban Studies and African and African American History and currently works as a policy writer at a federal agency. She has published articles in several magazines, newspapers and genealogical journals; she has written two family booklets; she has written one family telephone directory; and she has authored, edited, and distributed her family newsletter, "The Roots of Halifax," since 1991. She has currently published an article in the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society's Fall 2000 Journal titled "Uncovering Post and Pre Civil War Slave Ancestral Surname Changes in Virginia Part 2 of Part 2 of Virginia and Alabama."

Mrs. Bah has identified and documented more than 2 dozen slave owners in Virginia. She is researching over 92 surnames including collateral lines. Many of her collateral family lines have proven to also be direct family lines connecting as far back as pre-civil war times. Her family began to migrate from Virginia at the time of the World Wars. Until that time they remained in Halifax County, Virginia and neighboring counties including some of the counties in North Carolina which border Halifax County, Virginia.While in Virginia, her family continued to marry the same pool of relatives that their ancestors married. Many of her enslaved ancestors married into the same families as their slave owners and many of them married the neighbors of their slave owners. Many of her families lived near or on the same property as their former slaveowners until the World Wars began.

Char has done numerous television interviews regarding her genealogical research techniques and discoveries; she has appeared as a lecturer and teacher. She is an active member of several genealgical societies, including the District of Columbia Genealogical Society, and is an Executive Board Member and genealogist for the Alexandria Friends of the Freedman Cemetery. She has been a volunteer genealogist at the Alexandria Black History Resource Center for six years . She assisted in obtaining two state grants for genealogical projects and recently completed a documentary of her family research for the Ellis Island Museum in New York City. She is currently working with another genealogist on several projects which will be announced in the very near future.

Submitted by Anntoinette S. McFadden

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Created: 7 November 2000 | Updated: 7 November 2000
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