By Peter Granitz
Every month descendants of African-Americans who fought in the Civil War share their family histories, coming to D.C. from all over the country.
Chicago resident Sherry Williams says she’s researched her ancestor’s role in the Civil War for decades, but only seriously for twenty years.
Williams stumbled across the website for the African-American Civil War Museum when she was researching a member of her family.
"My direct ancestor, who would have been my great-great-great-grandfather, is Nero Cooper," she says. "Born in 1838, died in 1900."
Williams says tools the museum offers - like access to registries of former soldiers - help her and other historians locate hard-to-find records of their ancestors. Her research discovered she has five other ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
All of them are listed on the African-American Civil War Memorial.
Williams says she plans on spreading the word to others about the museum when she heads back to Chicago.