Monthly Archives: June 2012

African Roots Podcast #169 June 29th, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome to the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me at

Some new websites to share with you:
Black Gotham Digital Archives
The goal and purpose of this new site is to link an interactive web site, and to provide unique glimpses at the geographical spaces of Lower Manhattan as well as Brooklyn to create a better understanding of what it was like to be black in New York in the 19th century. This is site that is an extension of the book by Dr. Carla Peterson of the University of Maryland College Park. Her work is a major work providing an  understanding this early history of New York and of the lives of free people of color in what would become the metropolis of New York City.

From New Orleans Louisiana, those who research Creole ancestry will be pleased to see the new site and blog for Creole Gen. This new blog is dedicated to sharing history, documents, photographs and research methodologies related to the Creole people of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. I visited the site and enjoyed seeing some of the images presented on the site. Up only since May, the looks like it will be a promising one, reflecting a unique and colorful history.

A New Monumnent
I was pleased to read the article about a new monument honoring US Colored Troops. This story comes out of Lexington Park MD., in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. What a joy to see this new monument devoted to the Black Union soldiers from St. Mary’s County and that a special ceremony was held to celebrate the unveiling. From that very community three medal of honor winners in the Battle of New Market Heights were honored and these were black Union soldiers specifically. I also noticed that on that day, my good friend and mentor Dr. Agnes Callum was present for the event. Although in declining health, she was a special guest that day, and she spoke at the event, and much of her work, including three books on the US Colored Troops of Maryland, was mentioned on this wonderful day in her ancestral community.

From Colonial Williamsburg: A special event honoring black soldiers who participated in the American Revolution will take place next weekend. On Saturday, July 7 at 2:30 p.m. there will be a special youth program, called Looking Back to Plan Forward, which will explore how the inspirational story of enslaved African Virginians can impact our lives today.

A New Organization from the Mid Atlantic is Forming
Introducing the Delmarva African American Historical & Genealogical SocietyThere has been interest in forming an organization focused on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and regional African American history and genealogy. This group is still organizing and in the formative stages, but their website is up, and they are taking wonderful first steps. This will be the first genealogy society focusing on African American history and genealogy on the Eastern Shore and all of the Delmarva area. (Note Delmarva represents the coastal communities of Delware, Eastern Shore of Maryland and Accomac County Virginia.) The organizers are Linda Duyer, and Kimberly Conway Dumpson. For more information phone 443-366-2451.

A Septemer Event
Mark the data–Southern Studies Showcase September 28 – 29, 2012 Hosted by the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society & the Old Edgefield District African-American Genealogical Society, this event  will take place at the D. A. Tompkins Library, Edgefield, South Carolina. This is a collaboration between the two groups and a wide variety of speakers are on the program, including our friend Bernice Bennett, host of the weekly radio program.

And if you missed it, don’t forget to check out the archived version of Bernice Bennetts’s Blog Talk Radio program, Research at the National Archives and Beyond. Last night’s guest was Leonard Smith a video documentary producer. The show provided some encouragement and a strong reminder for all of us to tell the story and to even honor our loved ones by putting their stories on screen. I found the story to also be a reminder of the urgency to preserve our images in more than one way and to store what has been preserved in more than one place. This was a good reminder for all of us to practice preservation!

Thanks for listening and have a safe 4th of July holiday, next week. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #168 June 22, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

It is great to be back home after a wonderful week at Samford University Genealogy Institute! The experience was wonderful and I met so many fascinating people throughout the week. But coming home is always great! By the way, I was blogging from Samford, so if you want to see what was going on, take a look at the updates on my personal blog.

By the way, I urge you to tune in to Bernice Bennett’s Blog Radio program! Last night’s episode was devoted to blogging. I was honored to be a guest on the show and was thrilled to share my feelings about blogs. But her other two guests was truly a joy for me to hear—Andrea Kelleher a new blogger and Melvin Collier a writer and teacher. They were so much fun to listen to. Tune in to hear the archived version of her show if you missed it!
Kind of a slower time period as far as conferences are concerned, but genealogy meetings are going on as usual.

Central MD AAHGS is having their monthly meeting with a special presentation by Bill Shelton on the critical need to back up our data. This meeting is always great, as there are also door prizes and genealogical challenges for those in attendance as well. They meet at the Owen Brown Community Center in Columbia MD at 1 pm.

Best wishes to those in Giles County Tennessee who are celebrating the history of the African American community will be celebrating its history, the history of the 110th and 111th US Colored Infantries. The events will take place in Pulaski this weekend.

July 13-14th Columbia South Carolina
The 40th Annual Summer Conference of the South Carolina Genealogical Society will take place. Keynote speakers are Tony Burroughs and Jan Alpert. A detailed scheduled is online here. Wevonneda Minus will also be presenting. I met her last week at Samford.

Free genealogy classes at the Historical Society of Baltimore County are offered each month on the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 – 2:00 pm. They are free and open to the public.

Registration is now available for upcoming conference–the FGS Conference in Birmingham now has open registration. There are other events as well to follow that—October the Chicago society has a conference, the national AAHGS conference is holding its conference in Greensboro NC, and the International Black Genealogy Summit will take place in Salt Lake City. Register early for these events.

This is summer and great time to create some new memories. Take pictures and collect signatures of family and friends—you are creating new artifacts and memories! Are you creating new treasures? Remember the old autograph books that one used to get at the old five and dime stores? They were small books with blank pages. All one had to do was to get signatures of friends and family to sign the book. Well, what a treasure. If you find an old book, you will see the nams of the friends of the original owner, and you can sew together a community just by looking at these books and learn who their friends were. This is perhaps something to do once again—create that new artifact! Summer is the best time to create new memories. Maybe it’s time to create that newsletter, or the blog we have wanted to create.

We are old story tellers and we have many methods of getting those stories out there. Create the books, newsletters, scrapbooks, or yes, blogs!
How Did I Get Here?by Andrea Kelleher
Reconnected Roots, by Melvin Collier

We must remember that we are all story tellers!

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