Melvin J. Collier

Johanna Lawshea

Author Melvin J. Collier, an archivist, historian, genealogist, and former civil engineer, has been conducting historical and genealogical research for two decades. He was only 19 years old when he began a quest to trace the histories of his family. His first book, Mississippi to Africa, A Journey of Discovery (first edition), was published in 2008. Mississippi to Africa (second edition) captures Collier’s fourteen-year journey in unearthing the buried history of his maternal grandmother’s family – a journey that took him back seven generations, from northern Mississippi to the Piedmont hills of South Carolina, and even back to a specific people and region in West Africa where his ancestry undoubtedly began. Trekking the paths of his ancestors and their displaced relatives before Emancipation (1863), this emotion-filled journey traversed down an intricate paper trail of federal, state, and local records, other public records, and oral histories, presented in a narrative style to inspire, entice, and propel readers into the fascinating world of genealogy and historical discoveries.