HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A new genealogy research project in South Carolina could help preserve land belonging to the descendants of slaves who’ve retained much of their African culture and heritage.

The Heirs’ Property Family Research Project in Hilton Head Island will assist families with research that could help them obtain valid deeds for land that has been passed down to multiple family members without a will.

Volunteers with the free program will tap into census records and other documents to create family trees.

Sheryse DuBose with the town of Hilton Head Island says the project could help several Gullah Geechee families who don’t have titles on their land.