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Williamson County Public Library
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Richard Carlton Fulcher's African American Collection

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The compiler of this collection, Richard Carlton Fulcher, began collecting African American records from the Williamson County, Tennessee court records in 1974. The old county records were in a deteriorating condition and many had been lost in 1958-59, during a renovation of the court house. The purpose of the work was to document the individuals and families of African descent, in Williamson County, before further records were lost. Committees of the Brentwood Genealogical and Historical Society, Middle Tennessee Society of Professional Genealogists, and Fulcher Research and Publishing Company, from time to time, helped organize the record excerpts and abstracts. Special encouragement for the project came from Mrs. Sadie Overton and her sister, Mrs. Lucy Burnley, of Nashville, Tennessee, both being board members of the Brentwood Historical and Genealogical Society representing African American heritage.

Mr. Fulcher retired in 1999, after thirty-six years as a professional researcher, certified genealogy expert, genealogy instructor at Watkins Institute in Nashville, and writer of numerous family and Civil War histories. His collection of African American records was made available to the Williamson County Public Library through the efforts of Mrs. Janice E. Keck, Director of the Williamson County Public Library, and the Board of Directors of the War Memorial Public Library, Inc. and with the generosity of the late Mrs. Martin Tohrner, of Franklin, Tennessee, and Entertainment Support Personnel Coproration, Antioch, Tennessee.

The collection is unique in that it documents most persons of African descent in Williamson County, Tennessee from its founding in 1799 until emancipation. Records from the Reconstruction Period are also included. Some African American families have traced their histories in this record up to eight generations. Special tribute is made to others in the African American community who shared African American heritage in this county with the compiler. They include Mrs. Catherine Lawrence, Mrs. Anna Brown, Mr. Thomas Sawyer, Mr. Fred Williams, Mr. Hershel Braden, Mr. Rob Waldon, Mr. Shorty Fly, Mr. Morton Fly, and Mr. and Mrs. Childress.

The collection is available in the Special Collections Department, Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm.

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