– 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.