My Best Genealogy Tips: It's Time to Start!

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About the author

Robin R. Foster

I have been a journalist since 1980. In 1985, I was granted the privilege of learning how to trace my own relatives with the aid of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. From 2007-2014, I served as a FamilySearch Missionary. I am an African American, and I teach all colors of people. I am jointly responsible for founding Genealogy Just Ask, LLC, which can be found at I provided volunteer services at the Lawrence Local History and Genealogy Room of the Greenwood County Library, as well as being appointed as the director for the Greenwood, SC FamilySearch Center.

Additionally, I took part in the "Charlotte Observer" event called “Tracing Black Roots: The process, challenges and emotional journey of exploring ancestry," which can be seen on I was invited to give a talk for the Questing Heirs Genealogical Society of Long Beach, California titled "Up Your Game: Intermediate course on researching and analyzing.” After that, I was on the Dis A Fi Mi History Podcast located in Canada.

On December 27, 2022, I had the honor of being a featured guest on "Genealogy Quick Start," discussing my topic "Catching Clues from an Obituary to the Underground Railroad." The link can be found here: Then on February 4, 2023, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Union County Carnegie Library, with Rose Hill Plantation in Union, South Carolina as sponsor. Later that year, on May 6, 2023, I was asked to speak at North Charleston Art Fest's Dorchester Road Regional Library. Then on June 17, 2023, I presented for the UCCRP Juneteenth Celebration in Union, South Carolina as a South Carolina Humanities grant funded guest speaker.

In August 2023, Allison Garner Kotter reviewed my book, "My Best Genealogy Tips: Finding Formerly Enslaved Ancestors," in the Crossroads Journal a publication by the Utah Genealogical Association ( She said that it "gives amazing examples and tips for multiple research strategies specific to researching formerly enslaved ancestors."

I presented at the Agape Community Center's Revival in Archdale, NC on August 12, 2023. They learned how to search ancestors for free. I presented at the Charleston, SC FamilySearch - "Genealogy University: Come and Learn, Go and Search" where I presented Freedom Records, WPA Slave Narratives, and the FamilySearch's Research Wiki.

I was at NCGS 2023 Fall Conference Vendor Hall on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Then in Coats Museum at Coats, NC on Feb. 24th, 2024, I did a Genealogy Workshop on finding historical records. On March 9th, I gave two presentations at Greensboro, NC: "For Latter-day Saints: The Spirit of Elijah" and "Unvieling the Nelms Ancestors."