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Robyn Smith

Robyn SmithRobyn Smith has been researching her family and others for 20 years. An engineer by day, Robyn applies those research and problem-solving skills to the field of genealogy. She specializes in Maryland research, African-American and slave research and court records. Robyn promotes the documentation of communities and emphasizes the use of proper genealogical standards. Robyn taught an Advanced African-American Genealogy part-time at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD from 2008-2015. She also lectures and writes about family history research. She is the author of numerous genealogy articles and a popular genealogy blog called Reclaiming Kin ( In 2015, Ms. Smith published the book version of her blog, “The Best of Reclaiming Kin.”

 Court records can be intimidating with their legal language. It can be difficult to understand what the records mean. In this lecture, Ms. Smith provides a brief description of the various kinds of courts and the records they create. For those researching slaves and slaveholders, court records can be rich terrain since families often fought over their “property.” The audience will learn through examples and case studies what kinds of information can be discovered about their ancestors and their communities in county –level court records.