The West Baton Rouge Museum will host a lunchtime lecture on August 10, 2016
from noon to 1pm presented by Judy Riffel. Mrs. Riffel’s presentation, “The Georgetown Memory Project: Tracing the Jesuit Slaves and their Descendants
” made national news this summer when her research concluded that many Louisiana residents today have ties to enslaved laborers once owned by the prestigious private college, Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.
In 1838, Georgetown University sold 272 slaves to plantations in Louisiana. Slightly over 200 were transported to Louisiana and placed on three plantations in Iberville, Ascension, and Terrebonne Parishes. In 2015, friends, allies, and alumni of Georgetown University founded the Georgetown Memory Project to investigate the fate of these slaves and to try and locate living descendants. The lead genealogist for the group, Judy Riffel, will give an overview of the project, discuss the history of the three plantations where most of the Jesuit slaves were placed, and describe her work in tracing their descendants.
Judy Riffel is a professional genealogist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In the fall of 2015, she was hired by the Georgetown Memory Project to trace the descendants of a group of slaves sold by Georetown Universty to plantations in Louisiana. She has also contributed to numerous national genealogical television shows and currently appears on Roots of Faith: Ancestry, produced by the Diocese of Baton Rouge. She is an officer in the Le Comité des Archives de la Louisiane and is editor of their genealogical journal, Le Raconteur