Monthly Archives: August 2010

African Roots Podcast #74 August 27, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back!

Today is Friday August 27th, 2010. My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

It’s good to be back on the east coast, but I want to thank everyone for the warmth and hospitality that was shown to me last week in Reno Nevada! I had a wonderful time and was made to feel at home by everyone. Also glad to know that everyone made it home safely from last week’s FGS conference in Nashville Tennessee!

A number of deadlines are here—including the Call for Papers deadline for those who would like to present at the California Genealogy Jamboree, next June. The deadline is September 1, so there is time to make your submission if you have thought about it. Also note there is still room for those who want to speak at the annual AAHGS conference coming up in October at the University of Maryland Conference Center in Adelphi Maryland.

A unique Call for papers has been released for a new publication coming out. The Journal of the Civil War Era, will be launched in March 2011. This is coming out from the University of North Carolina Press and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at the Pennsylvania State University William Blair, of the Pennsylvania State University, has agreed to serve as founding editor. As many of us are independent historians they are welcoming submissions from researchers of a wide variety of backgrounds. Note that this is also connected to the Society of Civil War Historians, an organization that many should become aware of.

A Cemetery Discovered
This story was shared with me recently. A slave cemetery in Surry County North Carolina was recently discovered and dedicated. More than 100 burials are said to be there, and how this has been overlooked kind of amazed me. The historical society said that they knew it was there. Yet—nothing has been done until a local boy scout “discovered” this burial site. Nothing is known about the slaves themselves, though it is said that the slave owners—from the Edwards and Franklin families of Surry county—kept good records. Well—-that is an opportunity that is awaiting the assertive researcher. There are records and perhaps the hundreds who lie buried at this burial site, can have their names exposed once again–when an ambitious researcher seizes this opportunity to look at the records.

Hopefully there is a lesson here, and many of us will learn the lesson of researching the entire community and not just zero in on a list of names. The records are apparently not just known to exist—but are said to be excellent records! It can’t get much better than that! Even if Surry County is not “your county” if it is a neighboring county—it is still in the vicinity where your ancestors lived—and therefore part of the greater story! I hope that someone will see this for the important opportunity that it is! Seize this opportunity!

Well, thanks again for listening, I appreciate your being there, and my hearing from you. I always encourage you to stay focused on your research and continue to tell the story. (And I do hope that someone takes up the project in Surry County NC!) In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and please, keep sharing, what you find!

African Roots Podcast #73 August 20, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello, and welcome back! My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

Hello to everyone, I am coming to you from Reno Nevada! I am being hosted by members of Bethel AME Church for two historical and genealogical presentations. I will be discussing community area studies and how studying the community can lead you to clues about your own past. Every person has a story, and every family has a story as well. Sometimes finding those stories comes down to studying the very community from which the family came.

While I am enjoying beautiful weather and sunshine here in the west, I know that many good friends are enjoying themselves in Knoxville Tennessee who are attending the FGS Conference through Saturday.

Are you interested in learning more about how technology can be applied to your genealogical projects? Then next year in 2011 there is a workshop for you. I am refering to the Roots Tech conference. It will take place in Utah in February. I think this is a neat event to attend, particularly because I had the chance to sit in on a few workshops back in June and was impressed with how some presenters were using things like Google Earth and their GPS to document old cemeteries and the possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Take a look—this is in Salt Lake City in February, and the Call for Papers has just been released. So click on the link and see what it will have to offer.

Some news to genealogists, especially those who may be near Memphis, Tennessee. The home of Alex Haley, author of ROOTS and the one who inspired many to research their own histories, his home has been converted to a museum and it was dedicated this week. In addition, his home will offer a place to conduct research as well, so those who visit the site will have a chance to research their own family history.

I also learned that an old historical site has been honored in the state of Georgia. Being one who appreciates old structures, but who also reads historical markers on the road. Well an historical high school in Athens Georgia, has been honored by being put on their historical register in the state and a marker has been placed because of its rich history. The Georgia Historical Society along with the AHIS/BHHA Alumni Association, will unveil a new historical marker to recognize the Athens High and Industrial School . Athens High and Industrial School (AHHS) began as the Reese Street School in 1914 as a facility to teach elementary aged African American children. Two years later, authorities renamed the school Athens High and Industrial when they removed the lower grades to focus primarily on high school education.

The network of African Ancestored people—the diaspora is widespread. In the America’s we mention Canada, but often forget or overlook western Canada. Well Alberta has a rich black pioneer history and there is an interesting website looking at its history. ALBERTA’S Black Pioneer Heritage is an interesting website to explore and you are urged to visit the site and learn how this black pioneer Canadian community thrived.

Well as I go and prepare for a presentation to the community here in Nevada, I want to encourage all of you to also take a community and embrace all of it’s history. Going a step beyond your own immediate family circle will actually enhance your own genealogy and enrich your appreciation of the strength of your family, by learning about the issues that confronted them beyond the home. This is where the stories will emerge.

Well thanks for listening once again. I appreciate you and encourage you to stay focused on your research and continue to tell the story. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and please, keep sharing, what you find!