Monthly Archives: September 2009

African Roots Podcast #26, September 25, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!

Tomorrow September 26th the first of a series of lectures at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian will take place from 1:00 – 2:30. The topic will be Blended families: African & Native American Genealogy
These workshops will take place in Washington DC and New York. Visit the Museum site for more information

October 14th
The Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana will meet on Wednesday, October 14 at 7 pm in Meeting Room A of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne. Roberta F. Ridley will give a program about how to do African-American research. Members and visitors alike are welcome.

October 21
21 October – African-American Resources. This session will explore the resources held by NARA’s Mid Atlantic Region relating to African-Americans. The primary focus of the class will look at using census records for African-American genealogical research. There will be an additional section on African-American military records during the Civil War, records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and records concerning slavery and freedom from our court holdings.

Please contact the NARA Mid Atlantic office to register:
Phone (215) 606-0112
Mail: 900 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-4292

Wednesday, October 28, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Meeting Room A at the Main Library, Peggy Seigel will present “Sources for Researching Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad in Northeast Indiana.” This lecture will examine the research used for several published papers, focusing on the amazing resources in the ACPL for researching abolitionists and the underground railroad in Fort Wayne, religious and political leaders and others who worked quietly behind the scenes.

Hard to believe that the SUMMIT is only a month away—that’s right—the International Black Genealogy Summit, will take place October 30-31. An extra day of workshops has been added, so there is a “free” day on Thursday before the conference officially beings the following day.

New Haven resident William H. Townsend made pen-and-ink sketches of the Amistad captives while they were awaiting trial. Twenty-two of these drawings were given to Yale in 1934 by Asa G. Dickerman, whose grandmother was the artist’s cousin. Townsend, who was about 18 years old when he made the drawings, is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut, beside the Yale University campus.

The images are amazing in themselves and very life-like. What surprised me most was that several of the prisoners were mere boys, youngsters who deserved to have had a childhood, and they had only months before been enjoying their boyhood in Africa before being seized. The images are part of the Beinecke collection at Yale University

It is wise to consider using college and university special collections because of their holdings, that sometimes provide new avenues for African American genealogists. These records often unlock the doors of the brick wall of 1870. Some good libraries to use are University of Virginia, University of No. Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Texas, Austin. When you reach the Wall of 1870, consider expanding your research.

Thanks for listening again this week.
Keep Researching, Keep Documenting and Keep Sharing What you Find.

For previous podcasts, click on the date of previous episodes

African Roots Podcast #25 September 18, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast.
Today is Friday the 18th day of September, 2009
My names is Angela Walton-Raji
You can always reach me at

Upcoming Events

Saturday Sep 26
Detroit Public Library, The Burton Historical collection presents the 4th Annual Family History Festival. This is an all day event from 9- 6:00 pm. Dr Deborah Abbot well known genealogists and specialist in African American research is one of the many inspiring presenters.

Washington DC -September 26
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian—Blended Families-Tracing African & Native American genealogy workshop. Free to the public and at the Museum site in Washington DC 1:00-2:30 pm. Presenter: Angela Walton-Raji

Chicago African. American Genealogical & Historical society ANNUAL RESEARCH TRIP TO FT. WAYNE-Allen County Library. September 26-27. In October this same group is holding their Annual Conference. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Spencer Crew—Professor of History of George Mason University, and former Director of the National UGRR Freedom Center Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints— S. University Avenue in Chicago.

Some Interesting Links:

A discussion on AfriGeneas .com lunch group revealed the presence of an African American population in Montana. For reference here are some interesting links for you on Montana’s rich black history including a wonderful Montana Black History Timeline.

I stumbled on a fascinating site called . Listen to some early recordings of the Fisk Jubilee Quartet, Louis Armstrong, Clara Smith and many more. Also take note of Voices from the days of Slavery as well.

Many of the voices were from the Low County of So. Carolina, but there were voices from other parts of the south as well.

Something caught my attention—a reference to a sale of materials in Maine—that occurred in 2005.
There was a purchase of some rare black memorabilia—including some silent film footage of African American middle class life in the 1920s in Oklahoma. This filming was the brainchild of Rev. Solomon Sir Jones, who also travelled to Arkansas, Kansas City, Denver, and beyond. Currie Ballard a historian and collector in residence at Langston University in Oklahoma was able to acquire the collection and hoped to get an institution to purchase and to preserve this rare collection. Though nothing has emerged in the press yet, that the cans of film have been preserved or digitized—-however—there is a glimpse of some of these images—film clips that one can get on the website of the American Heritage Magazine.

There are 11 small clips—-some only 10 seconds long and others over a minute in length, that are there as a preview. These are silent films—-so only video with no narration—but these are rare images of a community once attacked for its prosperity and then 6 years later was still thriving. It is a rare glimpse of a life often spoken of, and rarely seen.

You are all encouraged to share your research and share your projects with each other. For some interesting success stories, visit the African Ancestored Group on

Thanks for listening, Remember, keep researching, keep documenting and please, keep sharing what you find.

(For previous podcasts, click on the date and title to listen)