Author Walter B. Curry Jr., a native of Orangeburg, will be the guest speaker at the next meeting of members of the Sumter County Genealogical Society at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 19, in the Fellowship Hall of the Presbyterian Church of Swan Lake, 912 Haynsworth. St.
Curry earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from South Carolina State University and earned several graduate degrees in education, including a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Argosy University, Sarasota.
In 2018 Curry launched Renaissance Publications LLC and in September of that year he published his first genealogy book, “The Thompson Family: Untold Stories from the Past (1830-1960), which was approved for use as teaching resource in several Aiken County schools.His second book, “The Awakening: The Seawright-Ellison Family Saga Vol.1, A Narrative History,” was released in June 2021. Both books chronicle the thoughts and experiences loved ones highlighting African-American history in Aiken County and South Carolina.
In October 2019, Curry received the 2019 African American Historical and Genealogy Society Book Award in the non-fiction-genealogy category for his book. In 2020, the South Carolina Legislature recognized Curry for his significant work serving African American history and heritage in South Carolina. Additionally, Curry was selected for South Carolina State University’s inaugural Class of 40 Under 40 for his career achievements and dedication to the university.
Curry is a member of several civic, historical, and professional organizations, including the South Carolina Genealogical Society, Orangeburg County Historical Society, Aiken-Barnwell Genealogical Society, and African American Historical and Genealogical Society. He is also a founding/volunteer member of the International African American Museum and was recently appointed to the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum Commission.
Additionally, Curry has done several book signings and presentations at local conferences, workshops, bookstores, museums, and schools across the state and nation. His most recent project is “Salley and the Thompson Family,” an exhibit at the Aiken County Historical Museum that showcased the founding of Salley, South Carolina.
The Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May. Visitors are welcome and admission is free. Interested persons are encouraged to join the company; membership includes four newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. The annual membership fee is $30 for an individual membership and $35 for a family membership. For more information, call the Society’s Research Center at (803) 774-3901.
Refreshments will be served following the speaker’s presentation on September 19.