Monthly Archives: July 2009

African Roots Podcast #16 July 17, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and Welcome Back to the African Roots Podcast!

Hello to all of the bloggers and website hosts who are sharing their findings and details about their research trips for everyone to share. Keep up the good work. Thanks to all who are sharing data on their research trips on their blogs and websites about their research and research trips.

Here are some great blogs that I have been visiting!
George Geder’s Blog

Reclaiming Kin

Find Your Folks

Just Thinking

The Arkansas History Commission will present a workshop August 1, 2009, at the 1888 Courthouse at Powhatan Historic State Park. The AHC offers free workshops to our patrons and to the people of Arkansas. This seminar will give both beginning and experienced researchers the chance to get acquainted with the resources of the State Archives. Touching on many of the diverse resources that make the Arkansas History Commission a premier destination for genealogists and historians will enable researchers to use these materials more effectively. Each presentation will include a question and answer period.

The workshop will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude approximately at noon. Among the presenters are:
“Finding Your Ancestor’s Unknown Burial Site” Linda McDowell, African American History Coordinator, Arkansas History Commission; “Preservation Microfilming at the State Archives” Ronnie Watts, Archival Microphotography Supervisor, Arkansas History Commission; Several additional speakers are also on the program.

From Illinois, comes some exciting news for those researching Illinois state slavery history.
Illinois Database on Emancipation and Servitude records is now available:
This database includes approximately 3,400 names found in governmental records involving the servitude and emancipation of Africans and, occasionally, Indians in the French and English eras of colonial Illinois (1722–1790) and African-Americans in the American period of Illinois (1790–1863). The Archives extracted the names of servants, slaves, or free persons and masters, witnesses, or related parties from selected governmental records to produce this database. After searching the database, researchers can see an abstract of the record by clicking the record number of the appropriate entry.

Here is a wonderful update from Footnote. I mentioned back in April, that there are some new slave records coming from the islands. Well the data from Puerto Rico consists of the Central Registry of Slaves from 1872. Registro Central de Esclavos. Although in Spanish they are easy to read. This record set resulted from Ley Moret of 1870 which was a law granting freedom to certain slaves in Puerto Rico. They are listed under the municipality in which they lived. Information for each slave may include name, country of origin, present residence, name of parents, sex, marital status, trade, age, physical description, and master’s name. (These schedules are in Spanish.) There were 6 districts from which the data is taken, and it is an interesting look at slavery in Puerto Rico.

New Partnership between ProQuest & AfriGeneas is Announced!

If you’re researching African-American families, then you can keep your eyes open for a new database this fall from ProQuest, creator of the Heritage Quest Online genealogy service.

ProQuest African-American Heritage will combine records with research guidance.
A new database will open up this fall, which will contain census records, slave records; birth, marriage and death records; church records; court and legal records; genealogies and family histories. The specific details will come forth later.

There will also be a strong relationship with AfriGeneas and many are anxious to see what this relationship will contain. For more information the ProQuest Video will highlight the relationship.

In the past week a new phenomenon has arisen online. There was a website called Family Link. It was decided to start a social networking site. There are several places on line where one can create a networking site of one’s own. They created Genealogy Wise—and this was is a little over a week ago. Well an explosion took place. In less than 2 days over 1000 signed up. In less than a week, they now have over 4000 members. Today at this time, they now have 6,974 members and it is growing by the minute.

People from all cultures are participating, and for African Americans, there are places to discuss how to research slavery, and others who have ancestors who had owned slaves, are coming online also to share data that they have.

I had noticed that Family Search had put up a link to their resources and right on their front page is a link for African American Family Resources.

Good features:
There are some expected links—getting started advice and tips. But also there are 7 Videos on Afr. Genealogy presentations. I even found one that I made in Salt Lake City, in 2006. There is a searchable guide to FHCs—Family History Centers in your area. This is searchable guide is easy to use—just type in your city/county and a database will prove you with location of genealogy libraries in your area.

What really impressed me was the fact that Freedman Savings records are now online. Now I have used this before—-I have the CD that was released bout 7-8 years ago. But this online feature allows the viewer to use a beta version that is searchable. You can look at images and use it only to search data if you wish. This is a wonderful feature and I urge you to visit Family Search once again.

Thanks for listening and join me next week for the African Roots Podcast.
Remember to Keep Researching, Keep Documenting and Keep Sharing What you Find.

African Roots Podcast #15 July 10, 2009

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back
Today is Friday July 10, 2009, and this is the African Roots Podcast.
You can reach me at

Some announcements for you this week:

Virginia Freedman’s Bureau Records are now online. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has announced that Virginia Freedman’s Bureau records can be found on their massive website. Information can be found here

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is announcing that they are hosting an African American Genealogy Workshop on Saturday July 25, 2009 in Nashville Tennessee. The event is free to the public. The Archives is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, in downtown Nashville. The featured speaker will be author John L. Baker, author of the Washingtons of Wessyngton.

The Indiana African American Genealogy Group is hosting their 6th annual African American genealogy workshop at the beautiful Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis Indiana. The event is $25 for members and $35 for non-members. The theme of the conference is “Starting, Restarting or Continuing your Genealogical Research.“ Featured speakers are Cassandra Brown, and John L. Baker.

Planning to attend the IBG Summit in Ft. Wayne Indiana in October? There is still time to reserve your seat on the bus from Baltimore. Join a group of other genealogists for the road trip to Ft. Wayne. It is a great way to fellowship with other researchers on the way to and from this historic conference. Info available from Agnes K. Callum at or 410-323-3883

Speaking of the International Black Genealogy Summit—you wish to receive full conference materials, you are urged to register by August 31st. There is more information on the conference website.

How many times do you take a fresh look at an old thing? With genealogy it is a good idea to take another look at familiar census records, old documents, and when driving through the country, be observant of the historic houses and old estates (Plantations) are in abundance on the countryside. Are they well maintained? Did slaves live there? Are t he slave burials preserved? Is the family that resided there buried on the same site as well? ) For some good ideas and genealogical tips you will find that many genealogy blogs are opening up genealogy avenues more than ever. Here are two blogs that I visit often— Druscilla Pair’s blog Find Your Folks has been fun to visit, as she documents her history in Skippers Virginia. Robyn Smith on her blog Reclaiming Kin, takes readers on a wonderful genealogical journey as she uploads images and shares details about her trips with readers.

Thanks for listening and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!