A new study lets Black Americans trace their ancestry.

– Crystal Emory's tumultuous upbringing due to family issues and interracial marriage.

– Orphanage stay during childhood sparked her curiosity about her family history.

– She embarked on genealogy journey to uncover her roots.

– Limited knowledge about Black grandparents, prompting her to gather family stories.

– Collaboration with Smithsonian Institution and a historical society in Maryland.

– Traced her ancestry to Catoctin Furnace, an ironworking village from late 1700s to early 1900s.

– Uncovered ties to Robert Patterson, a free Black landowner in the 19th century.

– Emory gained insights into Patterson's life through diaries and historical records.

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