Monthly Archives: October 2011

African Roots Podcast Episode #134 October 28, 2011

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

It is great to be back in Maryland now, but this time last week I was attending the National Black Genealogy Summit in Ft. Wayne Indiana. I had a wonderful time, made new friends and enjoyed myself with old friends as well. For those who have not seen my blog posts about the experience, feel free to visit My Ancestor’s Name.

International Black Genealogy Summit has released their CALL FOR PAPERS:
October 18 – 20th Salt Lake City Utah.

A wide variety of presentations will be considered including children’s genealogy, web sites, Black research in the U.S. and internationally, use of records and repositories either digital or brick-and-mortar, methodology, skill building, cultural and ethnic research in other countries, medical history, writing, publishing your family history, computers and technology, genetics and DNA research, migration, immigration and naturalization records.

Original topic submissions are encouraged. The IBGS Program Committee will consider proposals, workshops and other ground-breaking presentations. Digital projector presentations are strongly encouraged. Presentation time slots are a total of 60 minutes in length, including a 10-minute question-and-answer period. Speakers may submit multiple proposals. The IBGS Program Committee may select none, some, or all of a speaker’s proposals. More information can be found HERE.
DEADLINE: February 1, 2012

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The Afro American Historical & Genealogical Society (AAHGS) is pleased to announce the 2012 Conference Call for Papers, to be presented at our annual Conference, October 4-7, 2012.

The AAHGS Conference endeavors each year to provide the premier opportunity to explore standard and innovative methods, resources, and strategies centered around African American, Caribbean, Native American genealogy and the expansive history of the African in the Diaspora. Speakers, Authors, and possible candidates for keynote and general assembly gatherings may also submit their proposals.

The following focus areas are offered as suggestions for session topics
• African American History
• Caribbean-American Research
• African American Migration (varied)
• Periods of War: Revolutionary War; Civil War; WWI; WWII;
• African Americans in New England, Pre-Civil War
• Use of Technology in research (Not product sales presentations)
• Church/Religious History in the African American Experience
• The Civil Rights Movement
• Research methodologies (various levels)
• State Specific Research Resources; Adoption Records
• Local history, i.e. town histories; institutions; industrial history as it relates to the African American experience
• Native American/African American experience
• Blacks in the West
• Ancestors that survived the struggle
• Black in Antiquity
• The Parallel of the African American Athlete and Civil Rights
• Studies of the Black Community
• The Journey from Africa to America
• Honoring Our Historic Past
• Unsung Ancestors

• The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2011.

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The Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society is accepting proposals for presentations at our 6th annual conference and family history fair, February 17 & 18, 2012 in Historic Selma Alabama. The conference location is the Hank Sanders Technology Center at Wallace Community College Selma. The conference format includes a Friday evening pre-conference meet and greet event and Saturday morning and afternoon concurrent sessions with a keynote speaker and awards luncheon and an afternoon plenary session featuring a panel discussion exploring the dynamics of the great migration from the Black Belt and the motivations and consequences for those who left and for those who chose to stay.

The Black Belt as a Collage of Cultures – the intersection of African American, European and Native American peoples and their contributions, accomplishments and cultural influence on the region.
The Black Belt as a Repository of Resources – the wealth of natural, physical, genealogical and historical resources, well –known and little-known;
The Black Belt as a Hallmark of History – the historically significant events of the region that shape past, present and future generation

Presenters receive an honorarium and conference registration. In-state presenter honorarium is $50. Out-of-state presenter honorarium is $100. Travel and lodging expenses are the responsibility of the presenter. Submit proposals electronically by November 30, 2011 to or mail to the Black Belt African American Genealogical and Historical Society, Inc. at:

Last week’s conference gave me time to reflect about the need to spend time with colleagues and fellow researchers. The event allowed many of us to meet for the first time, and for others—it was just being around other researchers that motivated some who had stalled in their research to get going again. Perhaps we all need to reach out and mentor others, include a friend on the next jaunt to the Archives or Family History Center. We all inspire each other and we need to share our projects with each other–we may find that we get inspiration in unexpected places.

Well, thanks for listening, and please keep doing what you do—-keep researching, keep documenting and always, keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast #133 October 21, 2011

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back, to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

Hello from Ft. Wayne Indiana. I am coming to you from the Black Genealogy Summit and am thrilled to be here, seeing old friends and I have made some new ones as well. The event is sponsored by the Allen County Public Library. Many of you know that Allen County Public Library is the largest genealogy library east of the Mississippi, and several hundred of us are here to learn from each other, to network and to take advantage of where we are—to use this great facility.

As promised, the Virginia Historical Society has launched a free searchable online database of Virginia slave names thanks to Dominion Resources and The Dominion Foundation.
Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names contains personal information about enslaved Virginians gleaned from some of the more than eight million processed manuscripts in VHS collections.

VHS archivists and historians spent the spring and summer combing through material, such as diaries, letters, insurance papers, wills, freedom papers, receipts, and deeds to extract raw information for the database. To date, the database includes more than 2,000 names and digital images of hundreds of documents from which the information was extracted.

If you haven’t already, you are encouraged to visit the VHS website to utilize the free Unknown NoLonger database.They will continue to add thousands more names to the database. Please check back frequently to review new information added to the online material. Lauranett Lee is the Curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society

If you are in the Maryland, and Washington DC area and are not in Ft. Wayne Indiana at the National Black Genealogy Summit, then you are encouraged to perhaps join members of the Central Maryland AAHGS Chapter and visit the African American Civil War Memorial.
It is the hope that members will have a big turnout for the tour. The tour is about an hour. Bring a friend with you; bring your children and grandchildren. What a great way for to celebrate Family History Month!

Today as events are underway with the National Genealogy Summit, it is a good time to review what you have been working on with your own genealogy projects. This might be a time to fill in the gaps, by getting the documents that you have never obtained on your ancestors. Census years–do you have all of them? Do you have essential vital records on the family? Have you begun to look at the community to see what you can learn bdy studying the neighbors to your family?

When visiting a research facility—hopefully you are not using valuable time to research people you can research at home. Are you using computers when you could be reading valuable journals? Are you looking at online military records when you might want to spend your time exploring county records that may have been microfilmed? Have you prepared for the conference ahead of time? Make sure you do your homework before you arrive at the research facility.

Well, thank you for your time and for listening. Let me hear from you at

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