Finding Black Families: Stories from The Chew Family Papers

February 22, 2022

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

This program will be held via Zoom; more information on registration will be shared shortly.

Spread throughout the 288.5 linear feet of The Chew Family Papers at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is the evidence of the lives of early American Black families, free and enslaved. This conversation with Cliveden of the National Trust, the African American Genealogy Group, and HSP will share discoveries arising from a recent collaboration to illuminate these hidden lives. 

When seven generations of a wealthy Philadelphia-based family save all of their household records and correspondence, you know there are some compelling stories buried in there. But where to start? For years, staff at Cliveden in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia have utilized these records to interpret the house, and recently they have spear-headed an effort to digitize a select group of documents that illuminate the lives of African American residents. Members of the African American Genealogy Group have begun to sift through and process these stories to start to weave together family lines and relations. This project was funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Interpretation and Education Fund that was made possible by a challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.