IDG Introduces Taneya Koonce 1

Taneya loves sharing with others her experience about the first time she remembers being cognizant of the ancestors that came before her. She was 9 years old at the cemetery after her family laid her aunt Ella to rest. There she was, standing in the cemetery, looking at many tombstones with her last name on them – Koonce. And, she wanted to know about them. She remembers her father showing her the headstone of his grandfather, Barfield Koonce, a name she'd never heard before and she wondered – who was Barfield Koonce? She is no longer 9 years old, but her fascination with her ancestors still runs strong!

Fast-forward 10 years later and in college, she interviewed both of her grandmothers, asking many questions about their upbringing, their families, and their ancestors. She still has those notes and her rediscovery of them after she had her own daughter led to her "official" foray into becoming a genealogist. She searched constantly for information about her family – too often facing difficulties once reaching the pre-emancipation era due to her ancestors' enslaved status.

Her personal experience, combined with her professional expertise in information seeking and organization, led Taneya to share with others as widely as she can. Taneya volunteers extensively with the national USGenWeb Project and is dedicated to helping others locate information to enrich their own family history knowledge. Taneya is an active blogger and participant in the online genealogy community, and has specific interests in technology, historical newspaper research, and genetic genealogy. She currently volunteers with the Nashville Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, is a member of the online genealogy group BlackProGen and is on the Board of Directors for the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society.

When presented with the opportunity to become a writer for In-Depth Genealogist, Taneya seized the opportunity! We welcome Taneya to the IDG family with her column "African American Research Adventures." The column will cover a variety of topics pertinent to research and information for African American genealogy and family history searching.

You can learn more about Taneya at her genealogy blog at and interact with her on Twitter @taneya.

About Terri O'Connell

Terri O’Connell is a professional genealogist in the Chicago area, focusing on Midwestern United States Genealogy, with a main focus in Illinois and a special interest in Irish research. She is also the owner of Cruise Planners – O’Connell Cruise and Travel (, a full service travel company. Their mission is to encompass the full family: vacations, reunions, and history travel. Terri is a travel enthusiast with a passion for genealogy and enjoys bringing the two together to assist her clients in their travel needs. You can find Terri online at, or you can find her at for all things genealogy. Terri is the Executive Director of The In-Depth Genealogist.

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