LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson is a retired lawyer who recently joined the ranks of genealogists who have passed the rigorous examination of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, the independent nonprofit body that has set standards for competence and ethics in genealogy since 1964. She was born in Laurens County, South Carolina, but moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York, when she was a child. She graduated with a BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and both a JD and LLM from the New York University School of Law. Her career as a tax lawyer included service on the staff of the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation of the US Congress during the period that saw enactment of the historic Tax Reform Act of 1986. She retired from the practice of law after thirty-five years and now works full-time as a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer whose focus is on African American families with roots in the American South, particularly the Carolinas. She is a longtime resident of Washington, DC, but also maintains a home in Laurens County on land that has been handed down from her Garrett great-grandfather.