LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD LLM CG CGL

The Board for Certification of Genealogists extends its congratulations to Board-certified genealogist LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson of Washington, D.C. on her election as a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (ASG) at the society’s annual meeting on 9 October 2021. She is the society’s 170th fellow. The ASG, founded in 1940 and limited to fifty life-time members, promotes the highest standards of genealogical publishing and scholarship.

Election to the ASG is based on “the quality of a genealogist’s published work. Emphasis is upon compiled genealogies and published works that demonstrate an ability to use primary source material; to evaluate and analyze data; to properly document evidence; and to reach sound, logical conclusions presented in a clear and proper manner.”[1]

As explained on the ASG web site, LaBrenda “has a twenty-year record of writing family history, first as a dedicated amateur while practicing law, and then, since her retirement from that profession, as an authoritative writer and genealogical educator. Her compiled genealogical scholarship in journals such as National Genealogical Society Quarterly focuses on African-American families during and after enslavement, including combining DNA match evidence with traditional documentary evidence in a notoriously difficult field. Her educational publications include a guide to researching African-American family history in Laurens County, South Carolina, where she has roots—a primer with important methodological lessons applicable nationally—and an authoritative guide to genealogical research in the state of Alabama.”[2]

LaBrenda joins the prestigious ranks of ASG Fellows who include Board-certified genealogists Melinde Lutz Byrne of New Hampshire, Frederick C. Hart Jr. of Connecticut, Helen Hinchliff of British Columbia in Canada, Henry B. Hoff of Virginia, Thomas W. Jones of New York, Roger D. Joslyn of New York, Rachal Mills Lennon of Tennessee, Barbara Mathews of Massachusetts, Elizabeth Shown Mills of Tennessee, William Bart Saxbe Jr. of Massachusetts, Clifford L. Stott of Utah, and the late Helen S. Ullmann of Massachusetts, as well as BCG emeritus associates John Frederick Dorman of Virginia, Ronald Ames Hill of Idaho, Helen F. M. Leary of North Carolina, Christine Rose of California, and Neil D. Thompson of Utah.

Our heartfelt congratulations to LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, JD, LLM, CG®, CGL℠, FASG!

The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

[1] “About the ASG,” American Society of Genealogists ( : viewed 11 October 2021).
[2] “New Fellows: Robert Battle, LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, and Randy A. West,” American Society of Genealogists (