Angela Y. Walton-Raji on November 20th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me HERE.



David Patterson Discusses Probate Records

If you have ever wondered anything about Probate records, then last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show is an outstanding example of scholarship and knowledge. Ms. Bennet’s guest was David Patterson, and he really broke down the various components of estate inventories, wills, vouchers and so much more. This was an enlightening session and if you missed it, you should go and click on the podcast! He was excellent, and I think that this an episode that you may want to take notes. David Patterson also has a book coming out that will focus on the research that he has conducted in  Georgia, and it promises to enlighten the listeners on so much under-mentioned history and data! Bernice Bennett’s show, “Research at the National Archives and Beyond.” airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


Online CollageGenealogy Online Events This Week

This has been a really busy week online for African American genealogists! From Google hangouts, to webinars to blog radio, there was a flurry of activity in the online community! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were all offering a number of presentations, discussions and interviews, and I hope that you were able to catch some of them.

Whack Wednesday with Dear Myrtle A Visit with Bernice Bennett
Brick Wall Busters With Black Pro Gen A Bricjk Wall Session with African American Researchers
SCGS Webinars
GGS Webinars


The New Ancestry is Coming

NewAncestryNew Ancestry

We have all heard the word that by mid December, December 15 to be exact, that the old Ancestry will be gone. Enter the new (and improved) Ancestry with new features and hopefully a more efficient way of finding the data that we seek. We are all creatures of  habit, but as the new change is inevitable, then we should be ready for it to come.

A suggestions–make a note over the next few weeks of the “favorite” collections that you use. Then locate them now on the “new” Ancestry. By doing so you will save yourself a lot of grief by going to your regular collections with ease once the new Ancestry is locked down and the other will be discarded. This is a good time to see what the actual holdings are on Ancestry for African American research as well. Many people have no idea that there are dozens of amazing African American collections that one can use. What a great time to become acquainted with them. So find them now on the old site and find them on the new site so that you will not be lost once the old page literally goes away.

Ancestry Afr Am Collections


Join the online community–Genealogical Social Media Thrives

FB Afr Am Genea GroupsSample of Facebook African American Groups

Take some time to find your genealogy friends in Social Media. Whether you belong to a society large or small chances are they are on Facebook. If you are interested in a small community online, chances are there is a group or following on Twitter as well. There are a number of online groups that you are urged to follow. Also take note of the many people in the international community who are also African ancestored people. Twitter is quite full of them, and they too, are pursuing their history, heritage and family heritage. Let’s meet them, greet them, re-tweet their tweets and offer support as we can.

Next week is Thanksgiving week and I wish you all the best as you gather with family and loved ones. Make some memories and celebrate old traditions as well. We have many things to be thankful for, and let us all pray that the world will become a safer place. Prayers for friends in France, Mali, Kenya and other strife riddled places in the world. We are so fortunate. Share your love, your friendship and your spirit of kindness.

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on November 13th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me HERE.


I hope you have all had a great week and were able to get some good research in as well. We also had a holiday week, with Veteran’s Day. I hope you were able to honor the men and women in your family and among your ancestors who served the country. I was excited to see the many wonderful posts that friends on Facebook, Twitter and other parts of Social Media have been sharing as a way to honor their loved ones. Of course there are many ways that we have to honor them, by writing, blogging and telling the story. Have you shared your own stories? Perhaps in a family publication. It does not have to be extensive, even a newsletter is a good platform to write and tell that family story. The key is not just to tell it, but to tell it frequently. That is how it is remembered.


LatinoTuskegeeFull Article HERE

I mentioned that this has been a good week where people have been sharing information. Of course we have all heard about the distinguished black aviators, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the famous black pilot of World War II. Well I learned that among those distinguished African Americans was a Latino, a Dominicano, who also was trained to fly. His name was Esteben Hotesse and this was discovered by Edward de Jesus who has been compiling data for a special exhibit on Dominicans in the second World War. He discovered the name Esteban Hotesse and followed his life as a child immigrating with his parents, and who was later trained by Chief Anderston down in Alabama. Of course we know that African descendants are all throughout the Americas, and the Dominican Republic is no exception. But this was a nice piece of information to see this week.


USCT Brothers

Also one fellow researcher identified a set of brothers who served in the USCTs and who enlisted together. this was great to see. My Bass family produced two sets of brothers, Sephus and Braxton Bass enlisted at the same time that Sephus’s two sons Henry and Emanuel Bass enlisted as well.


If you missed this week’s bi-weekly episode of the Black Pro Gen hangout, then you should go and catch up on YouTube. This week was the first of two weeks of Brick Wall Busters, on Black Pro Gen, and we had two challenging cases to address. All of us were able to give a few suggestions to the submitter with the questions, and to hopefully steer her in the next direction. Two significant suggestions 1) Time to visit the old community. Living only 4 hours away it was time to go to the town, walk the cemeteries, and visit the courthouse. Probate records, chancery court records, land and vital records would be essential. And of course to also walk the old cemeteries, the old burial grounds where the ancestors lived and died.  2) Because one of the challenges was that nothing was found on this ancestor prior to the 1910 census. The suggestion was made to go the the Clayton Library (where the submitter lives) and pull out the Soundex. In many cases, people are not easily found, because they are indexed erroneously. Soundex will pull them up, more efficiently in those cases.


Fold 3 Provides Access to Native American Records
There is still time to access the records of Fold3, Native American Collection. This is mentioned because of the 14,000 African American records embedded in that collection. In addition, among the Mississippi Choctaws are several hundred African American records (out of 7000.) So do take a look.


Bernice's Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was Forging Freedom, with Dr. Amrita Chakarabati Myers, who has studied the history of Free women of color in antebellum Charleston. This is a little known area of research, the study of free women. She spoke of the varying degrees of freedom, and pointed out how fragile freedom really was for Black women fortunate to have held that status. Their status as free could always change at the whim of the family of person who manumitted them. She share info on how also free people were required to pay taxes on their own selves, something not required by non-blacks in South Carolina. The discussion was excellent. If you missed it, listen to online as a podcast. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.



Well, as you know, I am still working my way through NANOWRIMO. I have written 20,000 words so far, and hope to cross 25,000 by early next week to stay on target! My project has been a genealogy story that I have told many times. Well this time, I decided to get a bit into the head and mindset of my ancestors 150 years ago. So many small stories to tell as well, within the larger story. I am enjoying it and am admittedly surprised that I have lasted this long. So—the lesson for me, is to look at the stories that I have told, and then write the narratives. My process has been to walk the ground with them. When  a sister left behind the recruits for the colored troops, where did she go, how was the journey, what could/would she have seen?

So–we shall see how it goes! My goal is 50000 words by month’s end, and hopefully it will go well.


In the meantime, as I wind down, thank you for being part of the loyal listening audience. I appreciate you all for tuning in each week.  In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.