Good Deeds: Volunteer helps others research family histories

Jackie Lugrand helps people travel back in time.

For the past few months, she has been helping people who are members or who become members of the Kansas African American Museum research their family histories – for free. A museum membership is $20.

“We are helping people who may have never done research or people who may have started but maybe hit a road block and give them the tools to move forward,” Lugrand said.

The Family History Project is for any race, and the offer is good through Sept. 30.

Knowing family history and stories is invaluable. It is especially important, she says, for African-Americans to know their history.

“In doing this, I’ve had customers who were African-American and Anglo. I was able to do one family’s seven-generation tree in just a couple of days,” she said. “But it’s different for African-Americans, and I sometimes get angry and frustrated when I see how different it is when you do research. When you get to the Civil War and before, our people were not treated as people. But I’ve learned to celebrate what information you can get. My ancestors can’t talk with me, but knowing their history helps me understand their journey.”

For more information on the Kansas African American Museum Family History Project, call 316-262-7651.

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