James D. Walker: Lone Messenger to International Genealogist

It’s February and as a President of an Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society (AAHGS) Chapter in Central Virginia. I thought it would be appropriate to reblog the Archives article on James Dent Walker, founder of AAHGS. thank you.

Pieces of History

In celebration of Black History Month the National Archives History Office is sharing stories of African American former employees and their influence on the institution. Today’s post comes from Kirsten Dillon. 

James D. Walker, Research Consultant, 1973. (National Archives Identifier 3493293) James D. Walker, Research Consultant, 1973. (National Archives Identifier 3493293)

James “Jimmy” Dent Walker, born June 9, 1928, in Washington, DC, was a well-known genealogical consultant at the National Archives. During his career, Walker built up the National Archives’ public standing as a place for genealogical research. He was particularly noted for his knowledge of military and pension records, and his ability to uncover sources important to African American genealogy.

However, Walker had a long and sometimes challenging path to his prominent position.

Walker worked at the National Archives on three separate occasions. The first time he was a self-described “lone messenger” while in high school during World War II. During the war, the National Archives employed people as young as…

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About familytreegirl

Shelley Murphy, aka “familytreegirl”, a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, Shelley has been an avid genealogist for over 25+ years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, and Murphy family lines. She is a Coordinator and faculty for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI), presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. She holds a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and works as an adjunct professor for Averett University. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” Methods and Strategies for genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 20+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association. She is an instructor for the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI). Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Adjunct Professor, Professional Genealogist. Volunteers for American Red Cross as a Disaster Services Instructor, facilitates financial education workshops for the last 8 years, and former licensed Real Estate Broker
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