All slaves had family members who were sold away or transferred to the slave-owners' heirs, never to be seen again. Many even took different surnames. It was not uncommon for two displaced brothers to retain different surnames after Emancipation. Collier will present cases of how displaced family members were found.
A native of Canton, Mississippi, Melvin J. Collier is the author of:
His books have been used by genealogical and historical scholars as great reference sources for genealogical methodologies.
Melvin is a former civil engineer in corporate America for nearly 10 years. His passion for African-American history and historical preservation led to a major and fulfilling career change in the Archivist profession. He is a former archivist at the Archives Research Center of the Robert W. Woodruff Library – Atlanta University Center, where he has worked on the Morehouse College Dr. Martin Luther King Papers, the Maynard Jackson Administrative Papers and Photographs, the Dr. Asa Hilliard III Papers, and other collections, 2006-2013. Currently employed by the federal government, Melvin has been conducting historical and genealogical research for over 20 years, starting at the age of 19. He has given numerous workshops and presentations on historical and genealogical subjects. He appeared on the NBC show, Who Do You Think You Are, as one of the expert genealogists on the Spike Lee episode (2010). Melvin maintains a genealogy blog, Roots Revealed, at www.rootsrevealed.com. He earned a Master of Arts degree in African-American Studies, Clark Atlanta University, in 2008, with additional graduate coursework in Archival Studies from Clayton State University, 2010-2012. He was the recipient of the 2012 Marsha M. Greenlee History Award by the National Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS).