Monthly Archives: December 2010

African Roots Podcast #89 December 17, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Only a week to go till Christmas, and I hope you are all preparing for a great holiday with your loved ones.

This has been a busy week for me, good research going on out there, with a nomination for my blog (My Ancestor’s Name) and a chance to follow up on an recent story.

The nomination has been fun and has introduced me to a number of excellent blogs that are out there. I hope you take the time to vote and to visit the wonderful sites that have been nominated. And yes, if you are so inclined, you may vote for my blog HERE. You have until December 20th to cast your vote!

An interesting follow up to a story from my blog. I recently told the story of Thomas McElroy on one of my blogs and have received great feedback since that story was published.

Since that time many have become interested in Arkansas in following up on the story. Several genea-buddies visited a local museum where the McElroy’s once lived. Unfortunately the depiction of the story was no presented in quite the same light. Thomas was shown as a young boy in a grey Civil War uniform, and holding a rope or noose in his hands. This is depicted in a region where sundown towns were prevalent and it is known what that suggests.

Other depictions also reflect images of slavery, and nothing of people who made a contribution of any kind to the community. Sadly—this must be how the community is perceived, for it is surely how they are depicted.

BUT—-this is also an opportunity to begin to tell the story, to begin to take responsibility of seeing that our history is reflected, and to tell the stories of the men, women and children who lived as dignified families during incredible years of hardship and adversity.

It is time to do the research of the families, time to document and to preserve the cemeteries and time to present our own history accurately and thoroughly. In a land where they are perceived to be “mere” slaves, with no history—-by taking an assertive role in our own preservation, caricatures will not be possible in today’s society.

I am optimistic that families of Central Arkansas will become aware of their history and go after it and tell the stories. I am hopeful that the descendants of Old Tom will tell the stories of his life and family and that the descendants will also learn the history of the battle of Jenkins Ferry—and learn of the Union soldiers with the US Colored Troops who fought. Yes, many lost their lives—but there is no nobler cause than that of men who fought and died for their freedom. The people were not “mere slaves” waiting for others to set them free—-many fought the battles and paid the price of freedom. Knowing this history is an empowering thing.

Well, enough of my ramblings this week before Christmas. Thank you for listening. Have a great holiday week, and in the meantime, keep doing what you do.

Keep researching, keep documenting, and yes, please keep sharing what you find!!

African Roots Podcast #88 December 10, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! Today is Friday December 10, 2010. My name is Angela Walton-Raji and you can always reach me at African Roots .

December and January Events:
Washington, DC… The National Archives and Records Administration will launch a redesigned web site on December 13, 2010, as part of its flagship Open Government Initiative. A preview of the redesigned is online. There will also be easy links to National Archives’ social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and more.
* * * * *
January 11,
African American Genealogy society, Philadelphia, PA. Blended Families. African & Native American Family Research
* * * * *

In Ohio: Jan. 22, 2011 10 a.m.-noon Ohio Historical Center, Columbus A Genealogy Workshop: Cornerstones of Genealogy
This course establishes the foundation for all genealogical research, providing beginning genealogists or family historians with an understanding of vital statistics, census records, land records and probate files. It includes topics such as military records, church records, identifying female ancestors, importance of source documentation, and more. For basic information, call 614.297.2510.
* * * * *

Jan. 29, 2011 10 a.m.-noon Ohio Historical Center, Columbus Genealogy Workshop: Family History Sources at the Ohio Historical Center This workshop offers a closer look at Ohio Historical Society holdings and their use in genealogy. This session is ideal for those who want to find out more about the sources in the society’s Archives/Library. To register, call 614.297.2510.

End of the year—-time to renew membership! Don’t forget to renew your membership in your local genealogical society. And if you are not a member, it is time to consider joining the historical society that covers the region where your ancestors lived. This is a wonderful way to learn about additional resources.

Interesting information from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. A new African American oral history program has been launched! This is an exciting new collaboration between the library and the Springfiled Illinois African American Foundation.

Civil War 150th Anniversary
Are you ready for the Sesquicentennial? Next year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the US Civil War. I hope that you will consider honoring the many African American men who fought for their freedom with the US Colored Troops, and the regular Army, as part of the Union Army.

If you have ancestors from New England such as the 54th and 55th Massachusetts, or the 29th Connecticut, then major events such as Ft. Wagoner, will interest you. Those soldiers serving in Virginia will have an interest in New Market Heights, (Chaffin’s Farm),or the Crater at Petersburg. Those with ancestors from west of the Mississippi, will want to know what happened at Poison Springs, and Honey Springs, Cabin Creek, and Jenkins Ferry. And we should all learn the lessons of what happened at Ft. Pillow.

If we don’t learn this history, then revisionists will spin it in a different way. Stick to the primary documents that tell your history, and your ancestors will be honored as they deserve to be.

There are many opportunities to participate and there are thousands of stories to tell. Now is the time to pay attention to this rich history and to tell these much over looked stories.

Well, thank you once again for listening.

Keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!