News Flash


Posted on: October 17, 2023

Genealogy Conference "Beyond the Grave: Unveiling the Past" Coming to the Library

Genealogy expert Rhonda Roederer

Genealogy Conference, Poster Sessions Coming to RPL West Dec. 2

CLEVELAND, NC – On Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., genealogy researchers and enthusiasts are invited to attend a genealogy conference at Rowan Public Library West Branch in Cleveland. The free conference, titled “Beyond the Grave: Unveiling the Past,” will offer sessions covering a variety of topics including German ancestry research, early Rowan County settlements, African-American history, and more.  

The conference will feature multiple speakers, including Rhonda Roederer, a professional genealogist with over 30 years of experience and owner of Heritage with Heart. Roederer will lead many of the conference’s sessions, including those on ancestral graves and unearthing family history using worldwide resources. Local retired professor of history and Rowan expert Dr. Gary Freeze will also speak on the topic of early settlement in Rowan County—specifically about what drew settlers to reside there. 

Along with informational seminars and sessions, the conference will also include a tour of Christ Episcopal Church of Cleveland and its cemetery. The church was added to the Historical Register in 2011, and the cemetery contains over 300 individual gravesites, with 147 of those graves predating 1939. The church’s rich, historical architecture and cemetery fits in well with the conference’s theme, which centers on using gravesite information to conduct genealogical research. 

Genealogy researchers of all skill levels are also invited to share their discoveries during a poster session. This poster session is free for all students and researchers to enter; to submit a proposal to participate in the poster session, visit

This conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required for attendees who wish to purchase a lunch at the conference. To get registered, visit To learn more about the conference or poster sessions, contact RPL History Room Supervisor Gretchen Witt at or 704-216-8232.


Press Contact:          

Sydney Smith Hamrick


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