Monthly Archives: June 2010

African Roots Podcast #63 June 11, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and Welcome Back!
Welcome to the African Roots Podcast.
You can always reach me at

Wow–mid June is here and lots of things are going on. A quick shout out to folks enjoying themselves a the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree

Lot of events coming up:
June 12-
Little Rock Arkansas. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is hosting a series of panel discussions takking an historical look at education for African Americans in the state of Arkansas. A series of interesting panels from the Rosenwald Schools, to the 1 Room School houses, to the church affiliated schools, such as St. Mary’s AME, Immanuel School which was a Baptist School and even a Presbyeterian school for black children in Pocahantas Arkansas. The workshop is free, but registration is required. To register, email Linda McDowell, Arkansas History Commission, or call 501.682.6900.

On Jun 12, 2010 The Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen will have an information booth at the Africa West festival from 9:00am-6:00pm. The association will have a display of photos of African Creek families and Prominent African Creek leaders. The President of the Association will also present on the history and culture of the African Creeks at 12:30 pm at the Amphitheater during the history segment of the festival.

Sunday, June 13, 2010 – Friday, June 18, 2010. The Samford Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, AL provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation,
and use of genealogical sources and methodology through a week of intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. Well I will be participating in the event this year and am quite excited about it. Next week I shall be podcasting from there, as well as “tweeting” and blogging as well.

Well next week, Juneteenth is breaking out all over!! Lots of events taking place nationwide. Some genealogy events as well.
Note that the
Prince George’s County chapter of AAHGS (The Afri. American Historical & Genealogical Society) is hosting its annual Juneteenth event. This is an all day free genealogy symposium. This is a great event, with good workshops and a free lunch as well.

The New England AAHGS Chapter will hold it’s June meeting on at the NARA facility on Trapelo Rd. in Waltham Mass. The meeting will be from 11-2 pm. The facility is opening specifically for AAHGS members. After the meeting (and before it), participants can use NARA’s records to continue researching their families until closing.

The North Carolina Piedmont chapter of AAHGS is holding its own research trip to the NC State Archives in Raleigh. This is an all day research trip to the archives and members will depart at 7:30 am for a full day of research.

In Little Rock Arkansa, on June 19th, The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in partnership with Respect for Life Radio will host a Juneteenth celebration with music and film Saturday, June 19, 2010. The event is free. The music and film workshops will be held from 10a.m.-12 p.m. Film screenings will take place 12-5p.m in the MTCC auditorium. The featured documentary will be Wattstax, the dynamic film of the 1972 Los Angeles music festival billed as the “black Woodstock.”

In the spirit of Juneteenth, here are few more links for you reflecting activities around the country:
Juneteenth, Minnesota
Juneteenth Toledo Ohio
Juneteenth Cincinnati
Juneteenth Richmond California
Juneteenth Alaska
Juneteenth Delaware

I will be making a video about examination of documents and the need to analyze what you see when using indexes and original documents. A discussion took place in our lunch time chats about an error made when an index was produced. The discussion was whether a community in So. Carolina had an unusually high number of women and children all born in Nova Scotia, because the document had the letters “NS” written upon it. A person creating an index thought that the letters represented Nova Scotia. It was noted that this was most likely an error on the part of the person creating an index. Logic, in this case had to be applied—in other words, the likelihood of an entire community having all wives and children having been born in Canada while all of the husbands were born in So. Carolina would not be likely. The fact is—many people do not know what they are looking at when seeing the official record—-that is many times, NOT what the enumerator used to collect the data. Enumerator’s notations and the official census records that we see, are often not the same thing. We use for census records the data written by census tabulators. In the case of the mysterious community of women and children from Nova Scotia—the document was actually reflecting the fact that the census enumerator–did not state the birthplace of the wives and children—thus—-”Not Stated” was put on the form, and this was not an abbreviation for Nova Scotia. How we analyze the records that we have are just as important as the story that we tell.

Well, thanks for listening to this week’s podcast. I appreciate you for your time, and wish you a great week of researching and documentation.

Until next time, keep doing what you do.
Keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find.

(For previous episodes click on the date.)

African Roots Podcast #62 June 4, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back!

Today is Friday, June 4, 2010. This is the African Roots Podcast.
You can always reach me at

Hope everyone has had a good week, and that Memorial Day weekend went well for everyone. I hope you had a chance to remember your loved ones and visit those burial sites as well.

Summer season is here—reunions, picnics, family gatherings, and conferences are unfolding.

June 5th
Baltimore Chapter AAHGS holds the annual picnic at the Banneker State Park in Baltimore County.

June 5th Oklahoma City
Book signing for the book: Oklahoma City Music -Deep Deuce and Beyond
I mention this because in downtown Oklahoma City there is a neighborhood off 2nd street—thus the nickname Deuce–and later Deep Deuce– a portion of the city’s history, rooted in Jazz and Blues took place. The event itself is a book signing and a celebration of the history of Charlie Christian a well known guitarist from the area. Again—-this is another piece of history that those with strong ties to Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, the African American experience in Oklahoma City—will want to remember. I was surprised when I obtained my father’s birth certificate. For a brief period my grandparents lived in Oklahoma City–and where did they live—in the Deep Deuce area! Deep 2nd now Deep Deuce was one on of the largest African American neighborhoods in Oklahoma City. It was also home to Charlie Christian, Jimmy Rushing, and the community was also spoken about in the one of books by Ralph Ellison.

June 9-11thPreservation Conference, Oklahoma City, OK

June 11-13th SC Genealogy Jamboree

Best wishes for a great trip next week, for everyone attending the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. This is one of the “Big Three” genealogy events in the country, and I am looking forward to reading the blogs and tweets coming from Burbank next week. So if you are attending, please share your thoughts and images with the rest of the country by talking about it on your websites.

June 11-18 Samford Genealogy Institute
Next weekend, about 300 folks will be traveling to Alabama to attend Samford Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research. This will be a full week of genealogy lectures, and I am hearing from several researchers I know who plan to attend. I am looking forward to the sessions and hope to learn a lot. I shall be talking about my experiences while there, and I shall be tweeting from there, as well.

You know—a great deal of what we as genealogists do is preservation, and I wanted to mention that today, because as those who are asking questions and documenting the answers–we are preserving our family’s history. There are many of us, who surprisingly find ourselves doing everything from working to restore abandoned cemeteries, to preserving old photos, to locating and preserving documents, artifacts and so much more.

As preservationists—we need to consider ourselves among those who do this for a living and we need to look into the kind of advice that is offered by preservationists. Now I mentioned the event taking place in Okmulgee Oklahoma, June 9-11—-a statewide preservation conference. This will take place next week in Okmulgee Oklahoma, and this conference looks quite exciting. They have speakers from all over the country—Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, Iowa, and so much more. I only became aware of this event in the past 2 weeks, but this is the kind of event that I actually hope to be able to attend in the future. So much of what we do is preservation and beyond the genealogy conferences that we attend—we do need to understand that what we do crosses other disciplines, and we can learn from those who are masters in those fields.

Now—in case you are wondering what all of this has to do with genealogy—well it has everything to do with what we do. We do more than collect names and hang pictures or charts on the wall. We tell the stories—and part of those stories involve the places where our families lives.

There are those occasions that we might feel that we get side tracked. But sometimes we are getting involved more actively in preservation. There is a researcher whom I have met here in Baltimore who is working so hard to preserve the oldest and largest African American cemetery in the city. This burial ground has falled into a very sad state of neglect and this woman–who began her work documenting her family is now very much involved in the effort to restore this burial ground into a place of honor. Has she been side-tracked? Not at all. She sees a need, is responding to that need and she might be able to bring about change that will effect not only the burial ground of her ancestors but of thousands of families. She has become an activist—and she followed where the research took her.

This is the lesson that we all learn from what we do. We must followed the lead—that sometimes come to us from our genealogical work. These are not distractions, in fact they are enhancements to what we do, and for some of us–these efforts help us in finding our voice.

Well, before leaving I have to share some Juneteenth links for you as this is a nationwide celebration. Wherever you live, I hope you will be able to participate somewhere and join the spirit of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth Kansas City
Juneteenth Nebraska
Juneteenth NJ

Juneteenth Pomona:

Juneteenth Central Texas:

Juneteenth in the Coachella Valley:

Juneteenth San Antonio:

Juneteenth Virginia:

Juneteenth in the District:

Juneteeth Jazz Missouri: