LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson: Author | Teacher | Certified Genealogical Lecturer ℠ | Certified Genealogist® | Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists

LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson

Author, Teacher, Certified Genealogical Lecturer ℠, Certified Genealogist®, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists

Specializing in African Ancestored Families in the South

Genealogy has long been my avocation. My mission is to to research, write, and lecture to inspire descendants of enslaved African Americans to document their family histories, and to raise the consciousness of all Americans about the contributions of these ancestors.



of the award-winning Guide to Researching African American Ancestors in Laurens County, South Carolina & Selected Finding Aids


Conceived, designed and taught the inaugural African American genealogy course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy


Certified Genealogical Lecturer; Frequent speaker at national, regional, and local genealogical society meetings and conferences

Certified Genealogist®

Past president of Board for Certification of Genealogists; Former Registrar General of the Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage

Although I am primarily focused on writing and lecturing, I am always interested in sharing information that will fill in the blanks and document as much as possible about my Garrett line and affiliated families.

My great-grandfather, Wister (Wick) Garrett (2nd from right), and his seven sons, clockwise: Thomas, Cloda, Albert (my paternal grandfather), Shellie, Otto, John, and Fletcher. The photo is undated but it must have been sometime before Otto’s death in 1919.
Samuel and Nancy Garrett

“Parents for Isaac Garrett of Laurens County, South Carolina: DNA Corroborates Oral Tradition.”National Genealogical Society Quarterly, 108 (June 2020): 85-112.

Dublin Hunter
Dublin was a free man of color who lived 1785 – abt 1850. For more information, see my blog post Dublin Hunter was a Landowner.
Richard and Harriet Neely
Richard Neely was born about 1851 in Laurens, SC; he died there on 19 March 1915. He married Harriett Dial (died 1 August 1910 at age 60),the daughter of Berry Dial (born about 1816) and Mariah (née Hood, born about 1823). See my article “The Freedman Richard Neely: One Family’s American Beginning.” Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society 34 (2017): 62.
Haily Sullivan

The Sullivans from LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, The Source: The Garrett, Neely, and Sullivan Families (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family Heritage Publishers, 2008), 259-261.

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