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.

Today

And the rest is history...

Now, I'm sharing my love of genealogy and family history research all over the world, with folks from all walks of life.

just in case you want/need

The official bio

Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, consultant, and documentarian with more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African ancestored genealogy, reverse genealogy, and is expert in genealogical research in the Northeastern Louisiana area, and researching enslaved communities.

Nicka has diverse and varied experience  in media with a background in audio, video, and written communications. She’s appeared on TODAY Show, CNN, MSNBC, on the series Who Do You Think You Are and has been interviewed by Oakland Tribune, The Undefeated, National Geographic, and TIME. She is the host of BlackProGen LIVE, an innovative web show with more than 125 episodes focused on people of color genealogy and family history.

She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a member of two lineage societies (Sons and Daughters of the Middle Passage (SDUSMP), National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)), and a past board member of the California Genealogical Society (CGS) and the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC). Nicka served as the chair of the Outreach and Education Committee for AAGSNC, and is the former project manager for the Alameda County, CA Youth Ancestral Project where more than 325 youth were taught the value of family history. 

Additionally, Nicka is the family historian and lead researcher for the Atlas family of Lake Providence, East Carroll, Louisiana and guides and coaches an active group of family historians at the Who is Nicka Smith Patreon community.

In 2009, Nicka launched ns2 photography following 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.

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