Category Archives: African Roots

African Roots Podcast Episode #261 April 4, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!  You can always reach me at: AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com

Well it’s time for conferences, road trips, research trips and so much more, now that spring is here.

Tomorrow I am attending the April 5th, the Descendant’s Day Celebration at the African American Civil War Museum. I am looking forward to attending this event tomorrow in Washington DC. This event is always on the 1st Saturday of the month at the African American Civil War Museum.

 

* * * * *

NGS Conference Offers African American Workshops

Next month the NGS Conference will be unfolding in Richmond Virginia. And there are a few presentations that could be of interest to African Ancestored researchers.  Sessions in the African American track are: African American Research at the Library of Virginia”;  ”Freedman’s Bureau Labor Contracts”;  ”US Colored Troops Pension Applications”;  ”The “Free Negro Dilemna” in Virginia” and Records of the Slave Claims Commission”. So if you are in or near Richmond and attending the NGS Conference, you may want to see if these sessions will interest you.

* * * * * *

Genealogy Research Trips Planned

(Image Source)

Two genealogy societies have embarked upon research trips one from St. Louis the St. Louis African American Genealogy and History Society, that just completed a research trip to Jackson Mississippi state archives—and the other will unfold later this month when the Baltimore AAHGS chapter will make their annual research trip to Library of Virginia in Richmond. Such trips are a wonderful way for people to network, and share a common interest. Remember a genealogist’s best friend is another genealogist.

* * * * *

Civil War Sesquicentennial Events

Do you realize that this year 2014 is a milestone Year? For Civil War Enthusiasts and all historians, there is amazing history to explore. We have to remember the  United States Colored Troops (USCTs) and their amazing history. Were your ancestors involved in the Civil War? Well several major Civil War battles took place 150 years ago, and some of these incidents may have involved your ancestors. For example these were major battles:  Jenkins Ferry, Honey Springs, Ft. Wagner, Ft. Pillow, and many more. How many of you have thought to incorporate those stories into your own family narrative? Now—before you think that you didn’t have soldiers—so nothing to incorporate—think again. You have ancestors who were directly impacted–tell that story! Find the family freedom story!

Every major event in a community has a impact on those close by. Think Katrina, Think 911, think MLK Assasination,  (which occurred on this day) whether you were directly impacted or simply were aware of what took place—there was an impact that it made and it is part of the personal narrative and the family narrative. Find it and tell it.

* * * * *

Speaking of extracting a story, I direct you to the latest blog post by Drusilla Pair who wrote an interesting piece about an article that she found from an old newspaper, Richmond Dispatch. Her blog is called Let Freedom Ring, and she wrote an article about captured soldiers, referred to as simply “captured Negroes”. She saw the article while searching for something entirely different. But she realized there was a story to tell–these men, who were soldiers, who were freedom fighters, had a story. She knew that this list, created in the middle of the war, was significant. Her piece analyzes the document and her blog piece is an interesting read. And those these were not her ancestors, this was a story that needed to be shared and told.

Portion of Article from Richmond Dispatch, August 27, 1864

I have an example—from the blog of Drusilla Pair—Let Freedom Ring. She found a fascinating article about some captured soldiers in the Richmond Dispatch. She became intrigued as the names of the captured men were shared, in fact the entire article was shared. As a result, she presented something that would be of interest to many on a larger scale. These are some of the missing stories and unique stories. Her article is found HERE.

The greater lesson is to share your research story! Your research story is part of your own personal narrative. And your ability to document that journey is also part of it.  Have you considered putting aside the search for Grandpa, to tell the story ABOUT the search. The places your journey takes you, the documents you find—sometimes unrelated to Grandpa, but interesting nevertheless—well that story that may have caught your attention—is part of your journey.

* * * * *

Here is a secret. More genealogists want to hear about your journey than your personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong—the narrative is important—and it is most important to your family. But your fellow researchers—they prefer hearing your own narrative about your journey—the emotion you felt when you made a discovery. Or a document that would not let you go—until you wrote something about it. The question that kept gnawing at you, and how you were able to solve the mystery and find the answer -that is the public story—the one that is captivating the most!

* * * * * 

I had an interesting experience yesterday learning about a story of African Ancestored people who were in the Battle of 1812. And as many of you know—this is the Bicentennial of that battle. Fewer are aware that there were free  people of color who were involved, and there were also people enslaved, who were given Freedom from the British Crown if they fought for the British. Now some already know this and are aware of the Book of Negroes where Loyalists of Color were listed by name and some of these men did receive their freedom and ended up in Canada and other parts of the British empire. Well I learned yesterday of some additional stories emanating from that war—-a good sized population of freed slaves ended up in Trinidad, taken there by the British and given freedom. The A gentleman from Trinidad attended an event a few years ago at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore MD, and asked some of the historians about how they can find descendants of families that emigrated. They were seeking ties to American collateral descendants of others who had settled in Trinidad, but who had ties to early 19th century Maryland. The point is–there are many stories to still be found, to be extracted, and to tell.

* * * * *

(Image Source)

 Your research story is part of your own personal narrative. And your ability to document that journey is also part of it.  Have you considered putting aside the search for Grandpa, to tell the story ABOUT the search. The places your journey takes you, the documents you find—sometimes unrelated to Grandpa, but interesting nevertheless—well that story that may have caught your attention—is part of your journey. A secret. More genealogists want to hear about your journey than your personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong—the narrative is important—and it is imost important to your family. But your fellow researcher—they prefer hearing your own narrative about your journey—the emotion you felt when you made a discovery. Or a document that would not let you go—until you wrote something about it. The question that kept knowing at you, and how you were able to solve the mystery and find the answer THAT is the public story—the one that is captivating the most!

That is our charge!

* * * * *
Well, thanks again for listening and for taking time from your schedule to tune in to the podcast. Do remember in the meantime to keep researching, keep documenting and to keep sharing what you find!

African Roots Podcast Episode #260 March 28, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! I can be reached at African Roots Podcast @gmail.com

* * * * *

Well this is a shout out to everyone who is attending the Fairfax County Genealogy Society Annual Conference this weekend in Virginia!

Fairfax County Annual Spring Conference

Track 6 will consist of African American Focused Sessions.

 The African American track will be unfolding tomorrow with Leslie Anderson who will be busy presenting several sessions, on the US Colored Cavalry, Free People of Color, the Ft. Monroe , Freedom’s Fortress, and the Hampton Roads Community. If you are attending, I know that you will learn a lot while there. I have attended in the past, and have always come away with useful information!

 * * * * *

Archived Podcast 

Well I must admit that I had a great time last night as I was guest host for the Blog Talk Radio program Research At the National Archives and Beyond. The guests were the Memory Keepers who have collaborated on the production of the book, Our Ancestors Our Stories. These five researchers shared with listeners their journey to publish pieces of their genealogical journey. This is the kind of project that I hope will inspire people and make them realize that they too can do the same thing. You know many feel that they are on a solo journey and yes the research is such a process a solitary one, but collaboration might just allow you to share what you have been working on. In addition, sometimes you don’t have the huge family saga—but you do have some interesting anecdotes to share about your experiences. Well others do as well, and it is hoped that you will pay attention to what these five researchers have done. If you missed the program is is already archived and can be heard on Blog Talk Radio. And the show produced by Bernice Bennett airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST.

* * * * *

GENEALOGY EVENTS

* * * * *

Looking ahead, 2015 is a milestone year and I hope you are making plans for the myriad of events that will unfold. I hope next year to attend the Forensic Genealogy Institute that is currently underway in Texas right now. This is sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy. I hope to attend that institute next year.

The 2014 Foresenic Genealogy Institute is currently underway in Dallas TX

* * * * * *

April 5th,
Baltimore Reginald Lewis Museum Genealogy Expo – Members of the Agnes K. Callum chapter of AAHGS will be showcasing much of their own genealogy at the Genealogy Expo 

* * * * * *

AfriGeneas FB Page

 I hope you are paying attention to social media. Facebook has a number of groups devoted to African American Genealogy. There is the AfriGeneas page and the OBA page--Our Black Ancestry. Exlpore these communities including the small state groups—all devoted to African American genealogy from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucy, Texas, and so much more. This is a good time to connect with other researchers.

* * * * * *

People of Delaware are to be commended for honoring their past, which occurred this past week in Wilmington. The state of Delaware  acknowledged the victims of slavery on an international day of remembrance and pay tribute to the state’s Medal of Honor recipients on the national day of recognition earlier this week. It was part of an international day celebration that has been going on for 20 years, although it had never been recognized in Wilmington, the state capital. This was a combined event with the slavery remembrance that began at noon . This took place at the the Peter Spencer Plaza, which is a recently renovated landmark to mark the site of the nation’s first independent black church, founded by Spencer, who is buried there with his wife and other church members. Spencer was born a slave in Maryland. There was also a will feature a drum call, mayoral proclamation and reflections of the past that were made. That ceremony was then followed by The Medal of Honor ceremony, at 1 p.m., is marking its 14th year.

* * * * *

Casting for a TV show!

Deadline April 4th
The Casting Producer for a TV show is looking for reunions who have done something truly out of the ordinary – people who have taken their reunion to the next level. Examples could be something off the beaten path very elaborate, (a costume themed reunion, a giant flash mob, taking the grandparents skydiving or bungee jumping, etc), or very competitive (some sort of major contest – ie, soap box car build or a fashion-designing contest). This could have taken place anywhere, been a reunion of any size, and any mix of ethnicities. If the family has videos and pictures, that’s extremely helpful. To submit, send information to: familyreunioncasting@gmail.com. 

* * * * *

Deadlines are approaching and as we look towards 2015—that is a milestone year.  Next year is the Sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War, so it is time to plan our conference schedules early.

  • 150th Anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in the United States
  • 150th Anniverway of the end of the Civil War
  • 150th Anniversary of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution which gave citizenship and the right to vote to formerly enslaved people. 
Because of the milestone year–we have many things to celebrate, many things to plan for and it is time to become truly involved in the celebration of this rich legacy. And we now have a call to action and need to approach even next year with that attitude. Let’ get involved!

We will have many choices from FGS / RootsTech double conference event to MAAGI, AAHGS, and so much more!

We must truly make next year a strong year of celebration, and one in which we are to move ahead and represent, and celebrate.

* * * * *

Well thank you for taking time once again to tune in an listen. Have a great week! Share your events, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.