Monthly Archives: April 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #212

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well I hope you had a good week! I had a chance to get some research done this past week. I went through boxes of Service Records of women of color who were nurses, matrons, laundresses and cooks. I have been intrigued by these women who served in the war as civilian workers and I am immersed in a project to document as many women of color as possible. So keep your eyes open for my blog post about these women on my USCT Blog.

Events coming up:
April 27th at the Family History Center, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, an all day genealogy workshop will unfold.

May 4th Family History Center in Kensington MD will also host an all day genealogy seminar from 9 – 3 pm.

News from Florida:
Oldest genealogical records to be digitized and to go online. The reason that I am sharing this information with you, is that among some of those old records from the 1600s are records with names of freed slaves. Keep in mind that from 1619 onward, Africans were In what would eventually become the United States. 1619, individuals landed in Jamestown and from that time forward, enslaved Africans were arriving throughout the America’s but also here in what we know as North America. We often think of US History as being history exclusively of UK origin. HOWEVER—we cannot forget Spain and the territory that was Spanish—and that later became the state of Florida. Well, there are records that reflect the diversity of the city that included escaped slaves who made their way to Florida from Georgia, and the Carolinas as well. So let’s stay tuned to this story—and when the records are available, I shall share with you.

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Do you use City Directories in your research?
Well there is an online site that will provide some access to directories from multiple states. Two sites are quite fascination—one which I use for Freedman’s bureau data and the other I have not used as much. which has a number of collections has a good portal to view city directories and secondly Don’s list. Interesting sites and both are free—so take a look.

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Well a chapter in history has been closed. The Scottsboro Boys have had their names cleared at last. This was on of the terrible tragedies of the early 20th century when rape hysteria occurred and were often hurled at 9 black teenagers who were to be executed for an incident that never took place.
More information here.

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Great link containing a list of emigrants to Liberia. This came from a 19th century book about the ship Azor that transported these former slaves to Africa in 1878. This is one of the few resources that lists the outbound passengers en route to Liberia.

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MAAGI-–last night’s episode of the Bernice Bennett show was lots of fun—with a chance to hear about the upcoming African American genealogy institute!

President Charles Brown was co-moderator introducing the staff of MAAGI and a chance to get an overview of what to expect. Tune in to find out more of what is going to unfold at this Institute in St. Louis!

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NEH Grants (National Endowments of the Humanities) are available for organizations, societies, libraries to apply for and May 15, is an upcoming deadline. These grants are available for up to $1200 for groups to use. If you have a small project and need some funding, perhaps one of these grants might assist you. This might be the time to launch your project.

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Well, thanks for listening and tuning in and taking time form your own schedule to listen, and to continue to share things with me. In the meantime, have a great week of research, and keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #211 April 19th, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
I can be reached at

Hello and a special greeting to those attending the New England Regional Genealogical Conference in Manchester New Hampshire this weekend. Several bloggers I know are there, and it looks like it will be an interesting weekend.

Before starting it is important that we all take time to offer our prayers for everyone who has been affected by the terrible tragedies in Boston this past week. I lived in Boston for many years and it was often common for me to watch the marathon runners sometimes at the finish line and cheer them on. I am familiar with the place and found the events so terribly tragic. In addition let us also offer prayers for those in West, Texas who have also lost a lot this week with the explosion that has taken lives, homes and devastated that community. These are trying times, indeed.

Well back on the genealogy scene, if you have not noticed, there are some major changes at Family Search and you may want to take a a look. Now visitors to the site can build their own family trees, share family stories, photos and also receive live research assistance as well. Photos can be shared through social media, tagged and added to one’s tree. I understand that there is a invitational process for uploading photos which is created to avoid having the system being overloaded in some way. This kind of slows down the process so the system is not likely to crash. So, for those who put family trees online, this is a new option to try.

An interesting African American research project from Heirlines was shared with me this week. In early May as well as in November, there will be an effort to document early African American slavery history. One area of focus will be Ulster and Sullivan Counties in New York. In the 1800 census there were over 2000 enslaved people documented and the state of New York had just passed a law in 1799 to bring about the gradual emancipation of slaves giving them freedom once they reached the age of 25. To ensure that would work, it was required by law to create a register of slave births in every community. As a result Heirlines will be targeting these two areas to see if documents can be found. I am not certain which towns are part of these areas, but perhaps in the next few weeks more details will emerge.

One of my favorite genealogy websites Accessible Archives has a new feature–a Day Pass, allowing visitors to try out the site. This is a favorite site that I use for the early African American newspapers. But this site offers so much more. I think that many will find this a great and affordable way to try it out. Take a close look at their Day Pass offer, I think you will find the site to be easy to use and worth trying out.

Last night’s broadcast of the Bernice Bennett Show did not air as Blog Talk Radio has had some technical difficulties that have affected their entire radio platform. Hopefully their problems will be resolved in the next day or so. Her planned broadcast will occur this Monday evening and her guest will be Marvin T. Jones of the Chowan Discovery Group, who will talk about the tri-racial communities of the Winton triangle. And next week’s show will feature the director and the coordinators of MAAGI, the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute. This show will feature the coordinators of various tracks, some changes in the program and words also from the director of the Institute.

I hope you are all having success with your many projects underway. I have to mention the creativity of Drusilla Pair who has taken the concept of “thinking outside of the box” to a new level. Her “Hat History” programs are now well developed and she is a person in demand in her local area in Virginia. And now she is exploring the history of a local family, has researched it well using a diary that sparked her interest and is not taking her research to the stage. She is now using the spoken word as a format to tell the story! Great ideas are emerging from her work, and I think she has taken her skills as a genealogist to a new arena and will be able to inspire so many of us to do the same. Keep your eyes on her blog, Find Your Folks over the next few weeks to see what she will be sharing with us.

Well, time passes so quickly, I do thank you for tuning in yet again. I also wish that you will all be safe for these are trying times indeed and the news is changing at times by the minute. Be well and safe this coming week, and as always, keep sharing, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!