Category Archives: African Roots

African Roots Podcast Episode #259 March 21, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Welcome to springtime! Or so the calendar says! Hope your are warmer than a few weeks ago and I know that we can all look with enthusiasm towards true weather change! Anyway–the word of the day is projects! I have been impressed in recent weeks by the numbers of projects that have turned into tangible products or real time events and encourage many of you to find your niche by allowing your own projects to grow.

And by the way—congratulations to the Memory Keepers!!  This is a project of 5 genealogists who have collaborated on a book project—and wow it has emerged!

They call themselves the Memory Keepers—they are Harris Bailey, Bernice Bennett, Ellen Levonne Butler, Ethel Dailey and Vincent Sheppard. They can now announce the publication of their work—a collaboration—where they share their ancestral stories from Edgefeild South Carolina. Now 5-6  years ago many of these people did not know each other. In fact, after reading the introduction even 2  years ago some of them did not know each other. But the ancestral forces were at play and with time they did meet on varying occasions and their common tie—having roots in the same community—led to a wonderful project.
The work is called Our Ancestors Our Stories! Well—I got my copy yesterday and I am so happy to see this emerge! Finally some voices that have long been overlooked have emerged—the African American story from Edgefield County SC.

Many are not aware that early genealogies and counties published over the years omitted the stories of the Black people from the community. In many such counties especially in the south they were the majority—but yet—they were omitted and their stories were not considered worth of inclusion. Well this is a wonderful method of filling that gap and the Memory Keepers decided to put their own people back on the historical landscape.

I am also pleased to note that it is well documented all sources were cited for each chapter has full end notes with clear citations made for just about everything. I am enjoying the read, and am so happy that this has come to fruition. Why not use this as your own model–collaboration can work!

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An interesting site was shared with me, called the Jesuit Plantation project. This site contains some historical data, but also the names of over 200 of the slaves eventually sold by the Jesuits to a plantation owner in Louisiana. I am a slightly familiar with the presence of Jesuit slaves in MD as a noted Maryland researcher,  Dr. Agnes Callum is a direct descendant of slaves from Jesuit plantations in southern Maryland. I learned years ago that there are records that go back pretty far, as, the Jesuits were at least committed to documenting the enslaved, and also baptized and allowed them to receive sacraments of the Church. This as a result created records. Many of the records themselves are now housed at Georgetown University. However, this website, which rests on a Georgetown University site contains names of the 200 plus people who were sent to Louisiana.

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Well tomorrow is a busy day—the new Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society chapter based in Delaware is having a monthly meeting and in attendance will be quite a few members from the Baltimore Chapter. This new group is off and running and to show support and solidarity, the Agnes K. Callum chapter is going to be encouraging and to fellowship with them. So this is  a warm and friendly shout out to a newly formed group.

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The Central MD Chapter of AAHGS is having a special program focusing on my funeral practices, death records,  and so much more. Elinore Thompson and another colleague of hers will set up displays and bring copies of documents such as morticians’ logs, photos and memoirs of clergy, church history books, funeral programs, and other documents that could provide clues about the deceased.  They will receive handouts and research guides as well. This chapter meets  each month in Columbia MD at the Owen Brown Community Center.

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Registration is open for the South Carolina Historic Preservation Conference Tuesday, April 22 in Columbia. We’ll be presenting two sessions with Drayton Hall ~ “Things Seen & Unseen: Looking Anew at the Post-Civil War African American Community at Drayton Hall” and “Connecting Past and Present: Researching History and Building Rapport between a Historic Plantation Site and Its Descendants.” Things Seen & Unseen: Looking Anew at the Post-Civil War African American Community at Drayton Hall

The history of African Americans at former plantation sites is less well known and in many cases undocumented, even though some sites have a significant postbellum African American history, and these communities served as bridges between slavery and modern times. George McDaniel of Drayton Hall and Toni Carrier of Lowcountry Africana will present recent documentary and oral history research on Drayton Hall’s postbellum African American community. The result is a vibrant story that puts people back on the historic landscape, and could serve as a model for other sites and preservation organizations.

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Scholarship winners for MAAGI will be announced in the next few days.

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Next week note that the Memory Keepers will be a guest on Bernice Bennett’s Show. We will get to hear how these 5 researchers collaborated and got their story in print. This should be an inspiring story to  hear. And hopefully you as listeners will be encouraged to take your own projects and expand it and dare to do something different with it. Next week’s story should truly be one that will encourage all of us. And as you know, her show airs every Thursday evening at 9 pm EST on Blog Talk Radio. 

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Well, thank you all for taking out time to tune in, and thank you for all of your messages and notices. In the meantime, have a great week and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.


African Roots Podcast Episode #258 March 14, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Did you get a  chance to hear Bernice Bennett’s show last night? Last night two guests presented a wonderful dramatization of the escape of the Fields family from Hanover Virginia? It was amazing and the true story of a family from Hanover and their escape to freedom was shared with the listeners. This is a true story with many pieces of the story taken from an old family diary. The guests were Drusilla Pair and Ajena Rogers. This was a story that they both developed from original historical resources and I hope you listen to the archived version if you missed it last night. It was very well done! and quite moving. And remember you can always catch the show every week on Thursday evenings at 9pm, on Blog Talk Radio.

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University of Virginia: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The Image That Changed the World

Today from 1:30 – 3 at the Meadows Presbyterian Church, a special presentation will be made by Dr. Michael Suarez about the image that changed the world. At least the image that made an imprint around the world. The image is called “Brookes” and you have seen it hundreds of times. It was the first time that the anti-slavery abolitionist community had an image to make an imprint on the horrors of slavery. You know the image—-the ship with bodies lying prone on different levels, lining up the hull of the ship with the human cargo being carried to the Americas. He will describe the use of the print and how it became a broadside used from London to the US, and widely distributed among abolitionists for decades. It is also the image that one sees today in HS and college texts. I never knew the ship from which the image was taken, nor its history. The lecture will discuss the impact of the visual and how image and text have a dramatic effect in terms of affecting a movement. Sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, at the University of Virginia.

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For Professional Genealogists–a Webinar

Click HERE for Information

“Targeting and Finding New Genealogy Clients”  This is hosted by the Professional Genealogist Podcast and for those of you who are searching for methods of gaining clients—tune in. To be discussed with be methods for new and for seasoned genealogists. Marian Pierre-Louis will be the presenter and she will present two case studies – one on an ethnic genealogy niche and the other a geographic based niche. 

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By the way, the new AAHGS Chapter in Delaware is inviting members to their upcoming meeting next week in Wilmington Delaware. More information can be found here.
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Fairfax County Genealogy Society Conference

Fairfax Genealogical Society Spring Conference Sessions begin Friday, March 28, 2014, 2:00 pm Sessions end Saturday, March 29, 2014, 3:45 pm Fairfax Marriott 11787 Lee Jackson Highway Fairfax, Virginia 22033   Early bird registration ends March 16th.   Leslie Anders will be presenting 4 sessions in Track 6- African-American Research on Saturday, March 29th. Information about the sessions appears HERE.

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Tomorrow in Baltimore


Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, is in Baltimore to show those in attendance how to identify and discover stories behind old old family photographs. Ms. Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on photograph identification and genealogy, and she will be bringing together her knowledge and skills in history and research into family stories while giving insight into the invention and development of photography itself. She has been featured in the national and international press, including Wall Street Journal, The View, The Today Show, and more.

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A Publishing Bootcamp Webinar!

Do you have a story to tell and want to turn it into a book project? Well there is a webinar next week, who want to learn about the various options on how to write and publish the story. Thomas Macentee and Tina Sansone are the presenters and I think you will find them to cover all aspects of publishing and self publishing in particular. So follow the links and consider catching them.

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 An Underground Railroad Workshop
Please join us for : Preserving Underground Railroad Stories, Sites & Structures. Saturday April 12 2014, 1-4pm  Indiana History Center  Indianapolis
Event is free and open to the public, seating is limited RSVP at  or 317 234-1268

Presenters include:
Cheryl Janifer LaRoche PhD -”Free African American Communities and the Underground Railroad” She is the author of ”The Geography of Resistance”
Deanda Johnson PhD- “Getting to Know the Network to Freedom and Researching the Underground Railroad” This should be an interesting presentation.
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * *From the University of No. Carolina, Chapel Hill
Macon and Eaton Bible Records 
Collection is called Macon and Eaton Family Bible Records 1743 -1837
This is exciting because embedded in those records are some rare slave births as well. I have a link for you to the site, so if this interests you and if you have Halifax and Warren county ties, by all means investigate this collection!
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Chancery Court Records from King William County VA are now digitized. This is an ongoing project from the Library of Virginia but those with ties to King William County are encouraged to study these records. The are between 1868 -1913. The contain some African American records and also some Native American data from Mattaponi, and Pamunkey Indians from Tidewater Virginia. Chancer Court records are fascinating and worth exploring.

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Well thanks again for listening this week!! Have a great week of research and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.