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Sebastian, Nikki Williams

Generation X (born 1964 - 1981)


Nikki Williams Sebastian was born in  St. Louis, MO.  Her father was the owner of Soundtown Records and Tapes in St. Louis, Missouri.  He also produced the Black Circle Hour dance show that aired in the 1970s on KDNL-TV 30 in St. Louis. Her mother is a retired elementary school guidance counselor who worked in the Ferguson-Florissant School District in St. Louis.  Nikki attended schools in the Normandy School District until high school when she attended Rosati-Kain Highschool for girls.


Nikki attended Tulane University and majored in History and minored in Political Science, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree.  She then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Health Informatics from Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health.


Nikki makes time to research, write, and lecture to help people to discover their family histories.  Nikki’s research interests include uncovering and sharing stories about relevant, yet hidden figures, who have been excluded from popular American history.  She enjoys working on genealogical research projects that provide historical value and shares them on her website Nikki also supports her family's website.


Nikki is a member of several genealogical societies including the Dred Scott Heritage Foundation in St.Louis, Missouri, the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the St. Louis Genealogical Society (StLGS), and the Old Darlington District Chapter (ODDC), South Carolina Genealogical Society (SCGS). She is also a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.


Nikki enjoys scuba diving, gardening and cooking.

Sebastian, Nikki Williams

  • Oral History Summary

    Listen to


    Uncovering and telling unknown stories.  It's complicated.


    Nikki shares the story of her ancestor, thoroughbred racehorse trainer of Lecomte, Hark West, who in 1854 defeated Lexington in New Orleans; breaking the 1870 brick wall by finding ancestor Zachariah Harris who joined the Union Army as a United States Colored Troop (USCT) soldier at Camp Nelson, Kentucky and was awarded Jefferson Davis' property for his service but the land was taken back by the United States government; enriching the American narrative by sharing unknown stories; using DNA testing to prove descent from American Revolutionary War patriot Edward Barrett through ancestor Ellen who was enslaved on the O'Kelley plantation in Mississippi and Louisiana and bore children for her slave owner; discovering the origin of the O'Kelley name is not Irish, as was celebrated by white descendants; what happened after the O'Kelleys discovered that their family origin is not Irish but instead British; meeting white Mormon O'Kelley relatives who descended from the man who enslaved her ancestor; a member of her black family converting to Mormonism; witnessing a testimony given by a white cousin in front of Mormon church congregation sharing his family’s slave owning history; the O'Kelley lineage connection to Revolutionary War ancestor Edward Barrett; joining the Daughters of the American Revolution; reactions from others about being a black member of the DAR; taking leadership roles within the DAR; how joining the DAR has changed her life; the significance of membership in the DAR and being of service. 


    Nikki Williams Sebastian's oral history was recorded on July 20, 2020

  • DAR Service

    Membership State: Georgia

  • DAR Patriot Ancestor(s)

    Barrett, Edward: North Carolina

    European Descent Male

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