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Thank you for taking the time to visit my page and I hope my story will inspire you to start researching your family history.

Over the past 25 years, genealogy has become my passion.  I never anticipated or imagined that I would become an avid researcher. 


My personal quest to discover the history of my ancestors has totally changed my view of life and the importance of not only researching my family history, but sharing with my family and with others their stories.

I've met some amazing people along the way and I have the utmost respect for their expertise and how many of them have willingly shared with me to assist me in becoming a better researcher.

If you haven't started your genealogy journey, I hope you will and soon.

Thank you,

Janice Cross-Gilyard

RootsTech 2022

Janice Cross-Gilyard

Click below to view session:

African American Genealogy - Locating Your Ancestors in Historical Record Sets • RootsTech 2022 • FamilySearch

About me...


Janice Cross-Gilyard joined the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society – New Jersey Chapter (AAHGS-NJ) in 2016 and currently serves as President.


She is the Editor of the Family Times Newsletter and she is responsible for managing the Facebook page for AAHGS-NJ.


Janice has conducted her family research for the past 25 years and documented her family history back to 1720.  She is proud of her ancestors, which include farmers, educators (two founded colleges), midwives, and pastors. 


She is passionate about history and genealogy and believes that her ancestors chose her to tell their story.  She is always willing to assist anyone who may be interested in researching their family history.

Janice is currently employed as a Customer Care Manager and she is responsible for small business clients and consumer business.


Prior to her employment with her current employer, she worked in Public Relations for 20 years as a Media Relations Professional, providing consulting services for Johnson & Johnson, Vistakon, Ciba-Geigy, and Matrix Initiatives.

She is married to Damon (recently celebrating 35 years of marriage) and has three amazing children. Janice loves history, genealogy, crocheting, teaching others to crochet, and traveling.




Gothamist  brought to you by New York Public Radio.

NJ cemetery may have remains of enslaved people. A slaveholder's descendant hopes to prove it.  (J. Gilyard quoted in article)

Good Day New York - FOX 5
(Click below to view segment)
Underground railroad went through NJ restaurant
"The 'underground railroad' and that movement, people that focused on other people (to)be free, helping enslaved people be free. It's important and that story isn't told and it needs to be told," said Janice Cross-Gilyard. She's the president of the African American Historical and Genealogical Society of New Jersey.

Janice and historian and architect Frank Gerard Godlewski are on a mission to publicize these stories and make sure the locations associated with them remain protected.

"If you look at the local history, you'll be amazed at what you might find," Janice said.

"A lot of information about the Underground Railroad remains undocumented," Godlewski said.

The Collective


I chose Janice Cross-Gilyard's Genealogy Collective because there are so many aspects to the research that I've done, currently working on, and preparing to do.

I'm so excited that I feel like a kid in a candy store because finally, I'm moving forward in my genealogy journey!

Podcast:  Speak On It! History & Genealogy Conversations with Janice & Cherekana








Join us on Thursdays at 8:00 pm for our podcast:  Click here to listen:

Speak On It! Online Radio by Speak On It Janice Cherekana | BlogTalkRadio

Stay tuned!

My Ancestors Speak


While researching my family history, it was impressed upon my spirit that many of them did not have a voice.  It is now my personal responsibility to be a voice for them.

Some of my ancestors were free people of color and their life stories will be shared.  Most of my ancestors were not free but enslaved.  Because they survived, I exist.  I feel a tug in my soul to share their stories with you.You may have seen the meme that states:  I tried to keep quiet but my ancestors won't let me!  Well that's me!

I welcome your feedback regarding the stories that will be shared.

Janice Cross-Gilyard


News, Presentations, Interviews
May 13th
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May 8th
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Spring Conference 2021.jpg
February 16th
February 25-27th

ROOTSTECH 2021- What an amazing experience!  Special thanks to the entire RootsTech 2021 Team.

Click on the the following link to view all of the sessions from event: information:

Following is a link for my session at RootsTech:

I'm currently preparing an article regarding my experience.

September 2020

Blog Talk Radio With Bernice Bennett/Research at the National Archives and Beyond

An 1829 Slave Bill of Sale & A Question with Janice Cross-Gilyard

How an 1829 Slave Bill of Sale & A Question Connects Janice Cross-Gilyard to her 5th Great-Grandmother, Willoughby McWhite. Janice Cross-Gilyard will shared how a segment from the PBS Show – The History Detectives, impacted her genealogy research.

Click here to listen to the segment: 


Genealogy Just Ask With Robin Foster - Blog Spotlight: Janice Cross-Gilyard

Robin Foster highlighted my experience regarding learning about my 5th Great-Grandmother, Willoughby McWhite.

A Journal of The Plague Year (Share Your Story) - With Julie Decker

Interview with Janice Gilyard about Finding Willoughby McWhite

(Link for the interview:

(My Experience:



Dustin's Kaleidoscope, Dustin Dumas Segment with Janice Gilyard, Family Historian & Genealogist

Click here to view segments:

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