The James Dent Walker Memorial Lecture is presented annually at the FGS conference and honors the late Jimmie Walker, one of the most popular and respected lecturers and archivists in the field of family history.
In accepting this honor, Ms. Fortė said, “James Dent Walker is an icon in the study of genealogy in general and African American Genealogy in particular. I will be forever grateful for the value he placed on documentation and citing sources. I proudly present this lecture in his memory and all the important research techniques learned from his teachings.”
Her lecture will be presented on Thursday, August 27, and is entitled Researching the Digital Library on American Slavery. She will discuss accessing Southern court petitions that identify slaves, their owners and free people of color between 1767-1890 using methodologies and strategies for on-line and on-site research.
Janis Minor Forté is a genealogist, writer and lecturer who has received awards and citations for her research achievements. She is a member of several societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE), the Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS), the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, (AAHGS), the Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago (AAGHSC) and others. She is also a member of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) Planning Committee and one of its Track Coordinators.
She has written articles for Family Chronicle magazine, the Illinois State Genealogical Society Journal, The Tennessee State Genealogical Magazine, and Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal, the Chicago State Society Quartely, and many more. The granddaughter of a slave, Janis Minor Forté, has been researching the history of her family since the late 1970s. Using a compilation of traditional and non-traditional sources, she has successfully traced her maternal ancestors to 1754; and her paternal ancestors to 1810 and has documented one line of her family to the African Island of Madagascar.
She is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a Masters Degree in Social Service Administration