Monthly Archives: December 2009

African Roots Podcast #39 December 24th 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back.
Today is Thursday December 24, 2009, Christmas Eve!

My name is Angela Walton-Raji
And this is the African Roots Podcast
You can always reach me at

Today I want to take the time to wish you the very best for the holiday season! Instead of my usual list of events, I want to make some suggestions instead.

The Holidays are a perfect time to document the family in another way. This is the time that the family gathers to spend time with each other and a time that you get to see those whom you don’t see all the time, well, take advantage of it and get busy! Here are some ideas:

Take a multi-generational photo! If there are going to be any family elders—-get the descendants together and snap some 3 or 4 generational photos. Be creative, and take some single gender photos—take photos of the sisters, take some of the aunts, of the brother, of the uncles, and take some of the brothers.

Anyone in the family a good cook? Are they making one of their famous recipes? Get them to share that recipe and photograph that dish that they have made!

Are there children in the house who will be opening presents? Please put some of that precious excitement and joy on film—this will be a gift treasured over the years.

When the family has settled down later and watching movies, after dinner, or playing with new video games, this might be the great time to sit down with your favorite aunt or uncle and get in one more interview about her/his memories. Perhaps it might be neat to get them to talk about what they remember most about their own Christmas as a child.

The best part about the holidays is coming together and your sharing this time, will also be a gift that will continue to be treasured in future years.

As you notice I have not mentioned upcoming genealogical events—I will do that in a few days, but today, Christmas Eve, I simply want to take some time out of the usual pace and extend my best wishes to you. Enjoy your family, your friends, and may you and your loved ones stay safe and treasure the time with each other.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukah, and may all of your holidays be bright!

In the meatime, keep doing what you do—keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find!!

Merry Christmas!

(For previous episodes, click on the date of each episode to activate the podcast.)

African Roots Podcast #38 December 18th 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back.

Today is Friday December 18, 2009
My name is Angela Walton-Raji
And this is the African Roots Podcast

You can always reach me at

Well Christmas is quickly approaching and there is not a lot going on in the genealogy community as the year winds down. But this is a great time to look ahead and to think about going planning next year’s events, and workshops to attend.

There are the big three—–NGS, FGS, and the California Jamboree.

Dates for next year’s events:
April 28 – May 5, 2010 – Salt Lake City, Utah The National Genealogical Society is sponsoring their annual conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, see the following website (when it launches):

June 11-13th 2010 Southern California Jamboree:

September 2010 Knoxville TN August 18-21 FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) Annual Conference.

There are of course a number of state conferences coming up and their events will be on the web in the next few weeks as well.

In January I will be presenting at the Black History Conference sponsored by the University of Arkansas Ft. Smith. The 4 presentations that I will give will be based on the history and research that I have done over the years, on the local community in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

Also there is a monthly series of workshops taking place from January to May sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. These workshops will take place at both the NMAI facility in Washington DC and the Gustave Heye center in New York City.

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the next year’s events but also to expand and to learn more about the history of the region where your ancestors lived.

Our job as genealogists is to tell the story. I recently made a video on the need to tell the story and how to take your raw data and to think about the time in which the document was created and to take that and see how the local area responded to the news of the day and how it impacted your community.

How did families make it when husbands, fathers and brothers left to fight in World War II? How did the depression years affect the family. Did you notice families in the 1920 census that had young women as widows? What happened? Did they lose husbands in the first World War?

Perhaps this next year should be the year to tell the many stories that are awaiting discovery.

Put your family on the landscape where they lived? Ask new questions—
How did the word reach the community where you family lived—that slaves were freed from bondage? These are among many things to ask and to find answers to tell that story .

In the meantime, take these thoughts into the holidays!
I wish you the very best over the next two weeks and hope you enjoy the time with loved ones.
Merry Christmas!
Keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

(For previous episodes, click on the date of each episode to activate the podcast.)