About Margo Lee Williams

Margo Lee Williams is an award winning, genealogy and history author. A former editor of the Journal of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, she is particularly interested in community and family histories of free people of color in the southeast, especially those in North Carolina and Virginia, who often had mixed race origins.

Williams has researched and written extensively on her Lassiter family of Randolph County, North Carolina. Her first book, published in 2011, Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) An Early African American Quaker from Lassiter Mill, Randolph County, North Carolina: My Research Journey to Home (Backintyme Publishing)  told the story of both her personal and research journeys that led to the discovery of her fourth great grandfather, Miles Lassiter.

Williams’ second  book, published in 2016, From Hill Town to Strieby: Education and the American Missionary Association in the Uwharrie “Back Country” of Randolph County, North Carolina (Backintyme Publishing), picks up where her first book left off. From Hill Town to Strieby is a social history that follows the development of the school and church, founded in 1880 by a mixed race, former slave, and 19th century poet, the Rev. Islay Walden. The church and school served the Lassiter Mill and Hill Town/Strieby communities of color in southwestern Randolph County.  Her research led to the Strieby Church, School and Cemetery property being named a Randolph County Cultural Heritage Site in 2014.

Both of Williams’ books have won genealogy and history book awards. Miles Lassiter (circa 1777-1850) was the 2012 winner for Excellence in Publishing for a Family History from the North Carolina Genealogical Society.

From Hill Town to Strieby has won seven awards: the 2018 Genealogy Book Award from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society’s (AAHGS) International Book Awards; the 2018 Phyllis Wheatley Literary Award From the National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage (SDUSMP); 2018 Honorable Mention in The Genealogy category of the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards; a 2017 Gold Non-Fiction Book Award in both history and genealogy; a 2017 Finalist in the African American category of the Next Generation INDIE Book Awards; the 2016 Marsha M. Greenlee History Award from AAHGS; and a 2016 Historical Book Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.

Williams is a graduate of Marquette University. She has her M. A. in Sociology from Hunter College and her M. A. in Religious Education from The Catholic University of America.  She worked for over twenty years at various churches in the suburban Washington DC area, and another eight years as a National Service Officer with Vietnam Veterans of America. She has one daughter.

Williams is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists; the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society; the North Carolina Genealogical Society; the Randolph County (NC) Genealogical Society; the Virtual Genealogical Society; the National Society of the Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage; the Non-Fiction Authors Association; and Geneabloggerstribe.

Associated Media

NFAA Member of the Week Interview: Margo Lee Williams

The VVA Veteran – Sep/Oct 2011 : So You Think You Have PTSD

Margo Lee Williams Speaks Up About Her Books and Genealogy