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'It's the stories' that make for good history

SALT LAKE CITY — To Darius Gray, "family" is the important thing about family history and genealogy.

"It's the stories; it's the individuals; it's not about a name on a piece of paper, and a date," said Gray, the keynote speaker at a Feb. 6 gathering at the Church Family History Library in Salt Lake City commemorating Black History Month. "For me, that's where you start, but it's what you find after that that brings genealogy and family history alive for me."

The event was co-sponsored by the Utah Chapter of the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society and by the Family History Library.

Gray describes himself as a "shade-tree" (non-expert) genealogist, but he has hosted a radio and television series produced by BYU Television called "Questions and Ancestors." He also co-directed the LDS church's project to organize and make available on CD the Freedman's Bank Records, a database of post-Civil War-era documents covering several generations of African Americans.

He said that on the subject of African-American genealogy, one question that often comes up is "Can you really do it?"

See the full story on story is provided by the LDS Church News, an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is produced weekly by the Deseret News.