CM AAHGS History

Over twenty years ago, a small group of friends in Columbia, MD, all of whom were passionate about the study of African American history and genealogy, decided to follow in the footsteps of the founding fathers of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS). They had a vision to work with citizens in the local community to promote the mission of AAHGS  “to preserve African-ancestored family history, genealogy, and cultural diversity”. The chapter was incorporated by the State of Maryland on December 30, 1988 as The Central Maryland Chapter (CMC). The CMC was the very first chapter to be chartered by AAHGS. This was a historical milestone for the organization. After the charter of CMC, dozens of new chapters and hundreds of new members across the nation were inspired to embrace the vision and foster African American historical and genealogical studies within their own communities.

Since 1988, these CMC pioneers and others have continued to galvanize and ignite the passions of those in the local community about the genealogical research of African American heritage. The chapter played a significant role in documenting the school history and in restoration of the Ellicott City Colored School in Ellicott City, MD in 2001.

January 2010 represented a new beginning for CMC. Under new leadership, the chapter developed new goals and objectives. The chapter has sponsored bimonthly presentations by esteemed guest speakers on research techniques and methodology. In April 2010, CMC sponsored an orientation tour of the National Archives and Records Administration. Members are working to develop a surname database to include the surnames from all chapters in Metropolitan Washington and Maryland. Mentors will be provided to assist members who are just getting started with their family history research and to help them if they hit brick walls. Soon, a website will be launched with information about chapter activities and tips for researching family history. Although CMC was the first chapter of AAHGS to be chartered, you will not find the chapter resting on its laurels.

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