Monthly Archives: February 2012

African Roots Podcast #149 February 10, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

I invite you all to visit my blog to share my excitement over my genealogy adventures of the past 2-3 weeks. My pursuit of a mysterious woman began last fall, and I was surprised to find out more about her life when I got a break. I have shared the story of my Search for and Discovery of Story of Martha Danner Hockenhull might interest many of you, and I was thrilled to learn more about the details of an ancestor’s escape to freedom.

I hope many of you have been able to catch up on the goings on that took place at RootsTech last week in Salt Lake City. I watched a good number of the videos and learned a lot from them.

If you are thinking about taking some genealogy classes at an institute, you are encouraged to look at a new institute that will take place in Pittsburgh this summer. The Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. There is still room for registration and many of the classes look quite interesting.

Next weekend –February 18th–will be a busy one in several cities:
St. Louis
The African American Genealogical & Historical Society presents the 3rd Annual Conference. The conference theme is Piecing Together Your Heritage

Washington, DC
The African American Special Interest Group of the LDS Visitor’s Center is hosting an African American Genealogy Workshop. Several topics are being presented at the LDS Family History Center in Kensington MD.

Newport News Virginia
Sunday Crowns – A Program About Those Church Hats
Drusilla Pair has coordinated an interesting program about hat history and the legacy of hats among African American women.

African American Genealogy Communities Online
The community has expanded–visit the many genealogy communities of active researchers from Facebook to Twitter, to the favorite standard—AfriGeneas.

Our Black Ancestry
African American Genealogy Forum

There are a number of special groups for genealogists on Twitter, and many who research African American family histories. Too many to mention here, but if you follow me @AYWalton, you will be able to follow many of those whom I get a sample of writers and bloggers. Plus once you are comfortable on the site, you will develop your own list of followers and expand your list of people you follow as well.
#POCGenealogy – People of Color Genealogy
#genealogy – Genealogy
#USCT US Colored Troops
#Civil War
#cw150 – Civil War Sesquicentennial

The premiere site online to visit for African American Genealogy is AfriGeneas. Created in 1997, AfriGeneas is still the leading site and the longest continually operating site to visit. There are more than 20 message boards (forums) where messages can be posted. Questions and answers are all retained so that visitors can explore them in detail and follow up with each other. Among the many forums are:

Genealogy & History
Slave Research Forum
Surnames Forum
Brick Wall Forum
Free Persons of Color
States Forum
African-Native American
Cemeteries Forum
Of course—we have daily chats—-7 days a week—as well. So join us and share

Also on AfriGeneas Join us on Fridays for a Who-Do-You-Think-You-Are watching party. As the third season unfolds for this popular NBC program, a group of genealogists on AfriGeneas gather each week online and tune in to watch the NBC program WDYTYA. During the commercial breaks we discuss the research challenges, and sometimes our opinions on the research methods and conclusions researched and presented to the guest. It is an enjoyable way to watch the program with others.

I hope that these ideas will assist you as you explore the genealogy community in new ways and make more connections. All of these assist us in telling the family story.

Thanks for listening, and join me next week as I come to you from St. Louis Missouri!

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

African Roots Podcast #148 February 3, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well I do hope that you are all watching the wonderful live video broadcasts coming out of the RootsTech conference now underway at Salt Lake City! Lots of great information for the latest in genealogical technology now underway. And if you don’t catch them live, they are being archived on the Roots Tech website.

For Black History Month, Free access to Fold3 (formerly is given, to their Black History Collection.

Tuesday, February 7, at 11 a.m. Room G-24, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance) Black Patriots & Loyalists: Finding African-American Ancestors in Revolutionary War Records Damani Davis, archivist, discusses the rejection and appeals in a pension file and illuminates African American participation in the Revolutionary War. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, Wednesday, February 8, at 11 a.m.)

Tuesday, February 14, at 10:45 a.m. Lecture Room B, National Archives, at College Park, MD
Fighting a “White Man’s War”: African Americans and the Civil War Lopez Matthew, archives technician, discusses post–Civil War life for African American soldiers from Maryland. Presented in partnership with the Afro-American History Society. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives Building in Room G-24, Thursday, February 16, at 10:45 a.m.)

February 18th 2012
Melvin Collier Tells His Research Story! Melvin J. Collier, author of 150 Years Later will be giving a presentation, as part of “Roswell Roots: A Festival of Black History and Culture,” Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Road, Roswell, GA, Saturday, February 18, 2012, 1:00 PM.

Newport News, Virignia: A Church Hats Program Professor Drusilla Pair will be holding her hat history program at the James Newsome House in Newport News VA. The event is free, and donations are accepted. It goes from 1-3pm.

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February 18th
Washington DC Family History Center & Washington Temple Visitor’s Center A Full day of African American Genealogy will take place at the Kensington MD LDS Center. They are having over 11 different presentations between 10:00 – 12:30 and will end with a keynote address by Margo Williams speaking about her ancestors Miles Lassiter, a Black Quaker.
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February 18th
St. Louis Afr. American Genealogy Society is holding the third annual conference at Harris Stowe University in St. Louis. Informaion can be found on the links provided.

Tuesday, February 21, at 10:45 a.m.
Lecture Room B, National Archives, at College Park, MD, African Americans Dedicated to Gettysburg
Yolanda Bean, procurement technician, will address how black Americans participated in the Gettysburg campaign. Presented in partnership with the Afro-American History Society. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives Building in Room G-24, Thursday, February 23, at 10:45 a.m.)

Wednesday, February 22, at noon Jefferson Room
A special presentation on the first black naval officers will be presented. The Golden Thirteen: Recollections of the First Black Naval Officers In January 1944, a group of enlisted black men gathered at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois to train as the Navy’s first African American officers on active duty. On receiving their commission, these pioneers came to be known as the Golden Thirteen. Paul Stillwell, former director of the Naval Institute’s History division, will discuss the experiences of these officers as well as the life the U.S. Navy’s first black admiral, Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. A book signing will follow the program.

This is the time to consider thinking about what kind of data that you will leave your descendants. If you wish your ancestors had left diaries, journals and letters, perhaps this is the time to start to create your own diaries and journals. The future generations will appreciate the effort you put into the documentation of your life. There are many options from scrapbooks, and simple blank books—the journals that one can pick up almost anyplace. This is the time to think about becoming a “better ancestor”. Document your own life and pay information ahead for the future generations to follow.

Have a great week everyone, and keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!