Monthly Archives: February 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #203 February 22, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

A week ago I was in St. Louis attending the 4th annual conference of the African American History and Genealogy Society. I had a wonderful experience, and the day before I enjoyed revisiting Moses Dickson Cemetery, and got to see 3 special stones that I was glad to copy. This is a special cemetery in St. Louis and I hope you get to visit it someday as well.

Lots of things are underway, but first, special congratulations are in order to Bernice Bennett, for hitting a new milestone! As you know she is the host of a Blog Talk Radio program, “Research at the National Archives & Beyond”. Her show lives every Thursday and after the show one can download her show for it is available every week as a podcast on Blog Talk Radio. Well, this week she has had her 100,000th download!! That is truly amazing! Bernice should know that she is appreciated, as she has brought so many people to the forefront who have deserved to be highlighted and who have so long been overlooked for their tireless efforts to document their communities, and to tell long forgotten or stories that have been overlooked. One of the things that she does is truly highlight others and you know—much of what we do is not about us. She gets it—she is generous with what she does—because she looks outside of herself, and brings others to the front. This is truly a spirit of generosity. And if you missed last night’s show you need to tune in—Dr. Carla Peterson, author of Black Gotham was one. You know, many people know Harlem, but few know much about the early history of Black people in New York City, and how it predates he Civil War and is amazingly rich. She shared so much on last night’s show, so take some time, download the show to your Ipod and listen! Benice’s show airs every Thursday at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

Things are going on all over the place and today is the beginning of the Family Tree University Virtual Conference. You will have access for this entire weekend to a series of videos and interesting lectures by a number of genealogists of all backgrounds and talents. There are 15 instructional videos in three tracks: genealogy technology, ethnic research and research strategies. We’re also planning many live chats with our experts over the weekend—these are exclusive to conference attendees! Additional classes and chats will be added as confirmed. Tracks: Tech Track, Research Strategies Track, and an Ethnic Research Track. Take a look, join the fun and learn a lot. The Family Tree University Virtual Conference

A special shout out to one of my favorite websites– Accessible Archives. Take a look at this remarkable site with access to early black newspapers.

I hope that many of you did take note of the deadline that passed this week to submit abstracts for the national AAHGS conference 2013 that will unfold in Nashville Tennessee! This will be the first time that AAHGS will have been to Tennessee, and I hope that will attract new members as well as just introduce the concept of family history to that part of the country. The AAHGS conference will occur in October 10-13th in Nashville

MAAGI REGISTRATIONS ARE NOW COMING IN. From Maryland, to the Midwest (Illinois leading the pack from the Midwest) and also California!! This is a chance to have 12 solid presentations over 3 days in your chosen track. Check out the program, the speakers, the facility, and more and plan to Meet Us in St. Louis!

So what are you all up to these days? Have you often wished you had the money and the time to take out to conduct some in depth research? Why not make some submissions for grants? A wonderful opportunity exists for researchers through the Foundation of the National Archives. This fellowship will provide an opportunity to spend some time researching at one of the branches of the National Archives for 1 week. It is actually called The Residency Fellowship Program. The program gives researchers the opportunity to conduct original research using records held at National Archives locations in Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Fort Worth, TX; Riverside, CA; San Francisco, CA; and St. Louis, MO. What a wonderful opportunity! The deadline is in March.

On a smaller scale, one might wish to consider applying for one of the grants through Megan Smolenyak on her site “Honoring our Ancestors”. These are small to large genealogical grants generously offered by Megan Smolenyak! Take a look at her site and look at some of the projects she has given. Many societies are recipients of her grant as well. She is truly paying things back to the community! Her generosity is truly something to take a look at!

A shout out to Professor Dru, Drusilla Pair who is thinking outside of the box with her work. Her work with the historic Field House in Newport News Virginia is breaking new ground. Her work to tell Ms Martha’s story and the history of a remarkable family is noteworthy. Pay attention to her work.

Well thanks for tuning in again, and please keep researching, keep documenting and always keeps sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode # 202 February 15th 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Black History Month 2013 Challenge
Announcing the first AfriGeneas writing challenge of the year. For Black History Month, we’re asking you to write a Success Story about researching and finding an ancestor. $250 in cash prizes: 1st Place, $100; 2nd Place, $75; 3rd Place, $50; 4th Place, $25.

1. Must be 18 years of age or older.
2. Only one entry permitted per person.
3. Entry may not exceed 1500 words.
4. The theme is “Success Stories” and must be about researching and finding your own ancestor(s).
5. Entry will be judged on style and content. Please include photos or illustrations and cite sources.
6. Entry must be the original work of the submitter, may not have been previously published, may not have won previous awards, must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person.
7. Entry must include the Entry and Release Form including the following information: title of the essay, your name, your address and phone number, your email address, and word count. Download it here.
8. Entry must be submitted in Word format to
9. Entries may be submitted beginning at 12:01 AM CST, Monday, February 11, 2013.
10. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST.
11. Winners will be notified by email by Sunday, March 17, 2013.
* * * * *

Lot of interest of late about Blacks in Nova Scotia in Social Media and online. Some good articles can be found here. In addition there is a tie to Sierra Leone for Black Loyalists as well.
* * * * *

I am excited to see that the work of Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall has gotten attention with her work on the Slave Ship Manifests.
* * * * * *

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s Show was excellent! The topic was Cluster Genealogy and the guest was Dr. Deborah Abbott. The interview was informative, the chat in the room was focused and the caller had data to share as well.
* * * * *

Interesting activities coming out of Delaware in the next two weeks. A Delaware Genealogy Summit is unfolding, and also the group in Delmarva holds their meeting and there is discussion about a new African American genealogy group organizing in Dover.
* * * * *

Washington DC Family History Center Announces the following:
Celebrate Black History Month on Saturday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m. with a special program at the Washington Temple Visitors’ Center, 10000 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, MD 20895. Sponsored by the African-American Interest Group of the Washington DC Family History Center and the P.G. County chapter of AAHGS. Hear the stories behind a heritage quilt hand-made by the WDCFHC Interest Group and attend one of two classes: “African-American Inventive Brilliance” by Pat Sluby, or “Beginning African-American Research” by Carolyn Rowe. Free of charge. For information email or call 301-587-0042.
* * * * *
It is with great sadness that I must mention the passing of genealogist and fellow blogger, Sandra J. Taliaferro. She was such a kind and generous spirit and she touched so many people in the community. Many of us were inspired by her blog “I Never Knew My Father.” Others were also connecting with her exploring their own family lines, and the possibility of their lines crossing. We shall miss her. A memorial page for her has been put online. We were blessed to know her, and can find some solace that at last she knows her father and has been introduced to the ancestors. May she rest in peace.

Thank you all for listening again, and please keep doing what you do. Keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.