About

Nicka Sewell-Smith

Who am I exactly? Why am I so obsessed with tracking down dead people?
Grab a chair. Here’s a glass of sweet tea. Read more about me below.

The Timeline

Yep. There's little ole me in the white dress at 6 years old...probably towering over all the other kids my age LOL

1985

When the bug bit me

I was at a family reunion in Memphis. A cousin put together the first family tree I ever saw and it absolutely mesmerized me. It was one of the first things I remember reading by myself.

1999

When my curiosity piqued

While in college, I learned my cousin hadn't updated our tree in years. I decided to update it and build a website to match and the rest is history.

2003

The point of no return

My co-worker introduced me to the world of online genealogy research. The first record I saw? The 1930 U.S. Census with my grandmother as a 13 year old. Blew. My. Mind. Source: FamilySearch

2010

Hey, I've got something to say

I took the big leap and began to teach others how to research their families and started my blog. Five years later, I began my YouTube channel with the show BlackProGen LIVE.

just in case you want/need

The official bio

Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African ancestored genealogy, reverse genealogy, and family reunion planning and execution. She is also an expert in genealogical research in the Northeastern Louisiana area, sharing genealogy with youth, documenting the ancestral journey, and employing the use of new technology in genealogy and family history research.

Nicka has diverse and varied experience in communications, with a background in publications, editing, graphic design, radio, and video production. She has edited and designed several volumes of family history that include narratives, photos, and genealogical information and has also transferred these things to an online environment. She is the host of BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show focused on people of color genealogy and family history.

She is a past board member of the California Genealogical Society (CGS) and the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC), member of AAHGS Memphis/Mid South and the Southern California Genealogical Society, and former chair of the Outreach and Education Committee for AAGSNC, and former project manager for the Alameda County, CA Youth Ancestral Project where more than 325 youth were taught the value of family history.  Nicka is also the family historian and lead researcher for the Atlas family of Lake Providence, East Carroll, Louisiana.

In 2009, Nicka launched ns2 photographyfollowing years spent as a happenstance photographer for the publications she worked on in high school and college.  She utilizes a journalistic style while capturing high school seniors and weddings.  Nicka’s work has been featured on The Africa Channel, Scrubs Magazine, The Bride’s Cafe, and The Oakland Post.  To view her portfolio, please visit her website.