Monthly Archives: December 2012

African Roots Podcast Episode #195 December 28th 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well it’s hard to believe that this is the last Friday of the year! But it is a good time to stop and appreciate all that has gone on this year. As I look back over the previous year, I appreciate the people I have met and how much they have inspired me.

Places Where I Traveled
St. Louis Missouri, Chicago, Ft. Smith Arkansas, Little Rock Arkansas, New York City, Salt Lake City and so much more.

Major Speaking Events: Keynotes: St. Louis, Chicago, Ft. Smith Arkansas.

Special People I met: Members of Jr. PAAC, New friends in Chicago and their organization, Chicago Society members.

I did manage to do some research, and to teach genealogy classes at the Historical Society of Baltimore County as well as work on two major writing projects.

I look forward to the coming year with MAAGI about to be launched. The Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute, will take place in July 2013 at Harris-Stowe University, in midtown St. Louis. This should be an exciting event with some wonderful speakers and the genealogy community will have an event for summer 2013 that should be a promising event. The institute’s webiste is now fully up and running and all involved are busy preparing for next July!

This past spring was exciting as I attended a Cemetery preservation conference in Arkansas through PAAC I was thrilled to meet so many delightful children who have a strong interest in history, geography, and preservation. These are members of Jr. PAAC, an inter-generational group where children teach others, what they know about technology, GPS, Google Earth and more. These children were articulate and had so much to share, and I put them in a video on my YouTube Channel, African Roots TV.

I also had a great time when I witnessed the unveiling of the first equestrian statue in Arkansas, when a US Deputy Marshall was honored, who also happened to be a man of color–Bass Reeves. The statue was dedicated in May of 2012, as well.

As the year winds down I also want to pause and to reflect on what 2013 will bring. This will be a year to honor the Emancipation Proclamation which was released on January 1st 1863. This is also the year that the US government created the Bureau of US Colored Troops, allowing men of color to fight for their own freedom. This is a year in which I hope that many of us will appreciate that finally at last, freedom for all was finally including our own ancestors, and we moved a bit further towards making this a more perfect union. Join me in Watch Night exercises.

I also want to thank all of you for listening to me this past year. What an experience it has been. I appreciate all of you for writing in and for listening. Have a safe holiday weekend, a very Happy New Year, and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #194 December 21, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, Merry Christmas to each of you, and may the Spirit of the season be with you and your family! We are also at the eve of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation. This is the time to commemorate that as well.

Let us also pause and remember those families that were touched by the terrible tragedy in Sandy Hook Connecticut and pray that with time they will be comforted and their pain eased. Keep them in your thoughts, minds and hearts.

On the genealogy scene–a new series of books from Closson Books was shared by Facebook Friends this week:

The series is called Early African American Deaths from the Pittsburgh Courier. They were all compiled by Marleen Garrett Bransom and there are 8 volumes in the set!

You should not think that because you are not from Pittsburgh that you do not have an interest in the publication. Over the years, the death notices began to reflect the communities from which individuals came who located to the area. And in some cases, there might be a unique death listing that could open some doors for you.

8 volumes—that is an awesome task! The books contain 150 to 240 pages and they represent listings of deaths and obituaries from multiple states. Take a look and see if you or your society might want to purchase these books. This is a model to follow for persons who are out there looking for a meaningful project to undertake! This is again a model—there are many cities that have produced historic newspapers—and if you are looking for a project—a compilation of records such as this that spans the years would be a wonderful undertaking. This is not a quick and dirty kind of project—it is a labor of love that can take you on a fascinating journey and this becomes one of those tools that could be used by so many researchers for generations!

* * * * *

Do you like a mystery?
Well a fellow blogger has a research challenge and put it on his blog. The blog is called Genealogics.
He is researching his wife’s family Mamie Rice—and would love some assistance from other genealogists to get more information about her.

Mamie Roce was born in South Carolina in the 1870s, and died in Arkansas, in Conway County, in 1947.

Genealogics is an excellent blog by Matthew and I urge you to take a look at it.

* * * * *

I mentioned the Emancipation Proclamation–the document will go on display for 36 hours on New Year’s Day. We should consider honoring our own enslaved ancestors whose lives and status changed on January 1, 1963. Also remember that Watch Night began for many of our Christian ancestors on the very first Watch Night–the eve of January 1, 1863.

Several of us in the genealogy community are going to launch our own Watch Night Services on New Years Eve–we shall write something honoring our own ancestors and how Freedom would come to the family. Bloggers, social media enthusiasts are all invited to join some of us in documenting this incredible time in our history by telling some aspect of our family’s transition from enslavement to Freedom.

We will be having our own Watch Night Celebration! Join us and tell your ancestral story!

By the way, as we speak about Freedom or Emancipation and even enslavement, an excellent discussion took place last night on Bernice Bennett’s Show when Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist was her guest. She talked about the years after the Civil War, and the impact on Black families. She also spoke in depth about those years before Emancipation, and how the records reflect what happened to so many families on many levels. What was significant is that so many name-rich documents exist from the courthouse to the National Archives, and how there are so many unexplored avenues to tell this story. The show airs every Thursday evening at 9 pm Eastern time on Blog Talk Radio.

Well thanks for listening everyone. Take some time out and have a truly memorable Christmas Holiday. And remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!