Monthly Archives: May 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #217 May 31st 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well summer is here folks and events are unfolding, trips are being planned and things to do! I hope you are all enjoying summer at last, but let’s remember the folks in Oklahoma who have still be experiencing very strong storms. So continued prayers for them are in order.

Now that summer is hear and time for summer travels. And speaking of summer travels, I am on my way to Burbank California next week, when I will be attending the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree!. And after that I will be on my way to Birmingham Alabama to attend the Genealogy Institute at Samford University. And of course in July I will be getting ready for the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute.

I hope that many of you who may not have begun to get out there and share your knowledge, that many of you will stop and consider stepping out there, and taking what you do to the next level. This is perhaps the time to specialize and to choose your niche. Perhaps it is your county or local community that is your niche. Who is the specialist on African American history in your ancestral community? If there is not anyone that you can name–perhaps you have been chosen to do that. If you get those feelings of doubt–squelch them! You are not an impostor, and you can become that leader.

That reminds me of Bernice’ Bennett’s guest last night on her sho, who has written a book on the “impostor syndrome”. The book is called the Empress has No Clothes” and the author was Joyce Roche. Her book addresses the fact that something that often impedes many of us–a feeling that we don’t belong, or that we might be perceived as being an impostor. Some amazing points were made in the show about the various positions we find ourselves in, often those feelings of doubt arise. As genealogists, many of us don’t venture out to become professionals because of doubts that our skills don’t measure up. Listen to the show as it brought forth lots of issues that sometimes makes us hold out own selves back.

Well I had a great week, as I have run into a long lost cousin! A cousin found the phone number of a long lost cousin Ruby Faye, and what a delightful experience. We talked for about an hour the first time, and the second time we talked for about 2 hours. Her son lives close by me, and I can’t wait to meet him! I mention this because as genealogists we need to be prepared. I mean to have the questions ready to ask when you meet that long lost relative, or that “new” relative for the first time. You know we never take off that genealogical hat.

Delighted that Who Do You Think You Are is coming back on the air. It airs on July 23rd, on the TLC network. We have been waiting for a long time, for this new season, and I hope that many of you will join us on in the chat center, to join in the fun. But let me ask how many of you have had your taste for genealogy programs satisfied with GenerationsTV? Actually it is called the Generations Project. I encourage you to watch it as well. The stories are so invigorating to watch and they should be watched because the persons featured are regular people–not celebrities.

Summer events are about to begin and I am looking towards the summer and fall. I hope that you will take the time to not just document what is happening, but to write about in some kind of format. It’s time for all of us to step out of our comfort zone, throw away the feelings of doubt and to undertake things but let’s make this the year to make them happen.

Well enough of my ramblings I wanted to share my thoughts on multiple subjects with you, but please note that I appreciate you all for being there and for taking time to listen. Have a wonderful week of research everyone! Summer is here, and as you take advantage of the season, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

African Roots Podcast Episode #216 May 24, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

A happy Memorial Day Weekend for to all of you! This holiday reminds us all to take some time out to remember those ancestors who have served the nation in some way. Let’s remember the men and women who have often given their lives so that we can be here, and can do what we do, today. Let’s make a point to appreciate these persons and their sacrifices.  If you can, get to a cemetery do so, if there are events in your local area, consider attending, and take some time to honor those in your own families for what they have done. And as we know—the tradition has grown to become a Decoration day for families in general, so do see that the final resting places are cared for, as well.

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Also on this Memorial Day before we begin our summer activities, let’s also keep the hundreds of people whose lives were altered in central Oklahoma this week. The strongest tornado on the earth an EF5 tornado struck the town of Moore, Oklahoma. Whether or not you have family or friends there, let’s keep that region in our prayers.

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I mentioned Memorial Day, well during this holiday period, and actually for this weekend and through next week, there is a chance for you to take advantage of access to and their digitized records. One of my favorite collections on Fold3 is the record set that contains the Military service records of the US Colored Troops—the true freedom fighters of so many of our won ancestors. Well if you have always wanted to have access to this site, take advantage of the free access during this holiday period. This access if provided through a special partnership with The National Archives . This partnership provides online access to all service records—more than 3.8 million images—of Union volunteers in USCT units.

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Shout out to the Gullah Festival Attendees!
Well a special shout out to everyone in the area aournd Beaufort SC. I am referring to those who are attending the Gullah Festival this weekend. It starts today and will unfold all weekend, so if you are within driving distance you may want to attend. This is the 27th Annual FEstival and over 70,000 are expected to attend. This is one of those events that those of us who live far away, would love to put on our list of must attend events. The site is the Technical College of the Low Country in Beaufort.

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Speaking of the Low Country—this is different and quite interesting indeed. The Smithsonian and Low Country Africana are looking for people from the Low Country who have a unique tie to Edisto Island. They are specifically looking for people whose ancestors came from the Point of Pines, plantation. This plantation was owned at one time by the Bailey Family. Why the Smithsonian? Well, this might have something to dow ith the slave cabin that is being taken to Washington DC. Perhaps you saw the story in news. As you know the African American Museuem of History, is under construction in Washington DC, on the mall, and scheduled to open in 1014. Well, as part of one of the exhibits depicting slavery, a South Carolina slaves cabin will be permanently on display there.The cabin, as well as those who inhabited it, were once owned by the Baily family and the estate was said to have held over 170 enslaved Africans. If you know from your family history that you do have family ties to Point of Pines Plantation, contact Low Country Africana at 813-246-2201 , or send email to Toni Carrier at:

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As you know Juneteenth is coming soon, and lots of announcements will be made in the next 2 weeks about event coming up. In the Mid-Atlantic area, we have the Prince George’s County MD AAHGS chapter Juneteenth Genealogy seminar coming up that weekend, which I mentioned last week and you can find the link there on last week’s posting. This week I learned about an event that the NARA branch in Kansas City Missouri is hosting in June 15th. This is a special seminar on how to search Civil War era records through the holdings at the National Archives. NARA in Kansas City 10.00 =- 11:30 am, 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City MO

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Here is a neat story from Hagerstown MD. Efforts are underway to raise money for a new monument honoring an African American chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic in Hagerstown MD. This will honor the Black men who were part of a group called Moxley’s Band and who later because part of a special military brigade during the Civil War. More information HERE.

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Here is an interesting archaeological story.  Mother Bethel Burial Ground will be explored.
Archeaological Survey Begins of Mother Bethel Burial Ground. Mother Bethel the oldest AME church which is located in Philadelphia. Sarah Bass Allen, the wife of Richard Allen AME founder is buried there among many other leading blacks in PA history. The site kind of grew out of mind of many in Philadelphia, so to speak for over a century, but a local researcher began pursuing records and found references to it. It’s a fascinating story and more about the project can be found HERE.

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Mississippi Researchers might enjoy hearing last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show. Her guest was Laura T. Lanier who is a Mississippi researcher. She shared how she has been able to follow her own Mississippi ancestors’ footsteps through the records. Her focus is Adams County Mississippi, a basically rural county and she shared how she has been working hard for the past several years to document her own family story. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9 pm eastern time.

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Finally, I mentioned earlier Fold3 and their military access between now and May 31st. I urge you to take advantage of this access and also examine the other military record types as well, including Negro subversion records and also other records from other periods in history.

And I also hope to encourage you all to consider looking beyond your own family when telling the story. The neighbors, the witnesses, and associates all hold vital information and sometimes by studying them, you still learn more about your own family. And by studying the neighborhood one sometimes learns about the SSL—Secrets, Scandals and Lies that are sometimes part of the community’s more colorful history.

Well that’s it for this week’s episode, thank you all for listening and for your time! I appreciate you for being there. I also love hearing from all of you. In the meantime, be well and be safe, and keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.