Monthly Archives: August 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #228 August 16th 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

I hope summer is going well for each of your, even though it is winding down and schools are beginning to opne in the next few weeks. Enjoy what remains of summer and make some new memories.

Well a special shout to friends in St. Louis who are honoring 175 men ofthe 56th US Colored Infantry, who are buried at Jefferson Barracks today. These men are being honored in a special way and let’s join in good wishes for a special and dignified ceremony that is long overdue these men who were tossed into one large mass grave. I posted information about these soldiers in a blog post from my Civil War blog. Today I have a special guest–who is helping to honor those men. I also hope to add some news footage from the ceremony when I update the blog.

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Well as you know, I am getting ready to travel day after tomorrow. I am on my way to Ft. Wayne Indiana to attend the FGS conference. I have been working on presentations all week and am excited about the opportunity also to do some research at the Allen County library.

If you are pre-registered, you have already had a chance to see the syllabus. I do hope that many of you will be enjoying some research time, next week and will be joining us at the Grand Wane convention center in Ft. Wayne, next week.

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September is quickly approaching some events in the Carolinas are coming up. The first is a special event at Historic Stagville Plantation. By the way, to learn more about this event, I am going to simply urge you to tune in to last night’s blog radio show with with Bernice Bennett. Her guest was a href=””>Michael Twitty, a culinary historian, and he will be participating in the Harvest festival on September 7th. He is in addition to being an historian, he is also a master chef, historical culinary chef. He will be cooking on the plantation, in the methods used by the ancestors there at Stagville. This will be a celebration of the African American influence on American food traditions. And if you missed the show—catch the archived version of her show. Last night was quite special as Michael spoke and he was more than impassioned.

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Next month in Charleston SC a special heritage and legacy day will occur on September 15, 2013 at the historic Brattonsville Plantation, from 10-3. I understand that there were over 130 people enslaved at Brattonsville in the 1840s and now 150 years after freedom, the descendants of those enslaved families will gather to honor their ancestors. The event costs $6 and many will have a chance to hear historian Joseph McGill of the slave dwelling project share his insights and wisdom from his experiences. Brattonsville is located in McConnells SC and is one of the few southern antebellum estates that had African American interpretation. Call 803-329-2121 for more information.

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By the way—have you thought about next year? We are less than a year away from next year’s St. Louis Institute—I am talking about MAAGI. And here is a tip for you—-you are free to pre-register now with a $50 deposit. Check out the MAAGI website and see what I mean.

Speaking of MAAGI, Congratulations to a MAAGI alumna who has recently created her own blog. Ms. Rose Hill has a new blog. Give her some support and follow her blog, and welcome her into the blogosphere!

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! Today at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, the names of 175 Black Union soldiers will be read at a special ceremony of rememberence. That’s right—as you are listening to the show, know that at 10:00 am central time, men who were buried unceremoniously in a mass grave will finally be recognized. These were freedom fighters, men w ho saw battle, and who after the war was over, still were serving the nation, where they were not even yet recognized as citizens. Sadly, while in Helena Arkansas, towards the end of 1866—they were not yet mustered out of service—many became ill. An epidemic of cholera hit the encampment. They were quarantined, but later died from the outbreak. Buried at the time on Coke Island they were later moved to the national cemetery, and put in one mass grave. A lone military marker simple said “unknown soldiers”—but their names were known. But to shorten a long story—they are being honored today. So as you listen to this podcast, I want you to be aware of the fact that their names are being called, bells are being tolled and a gun salute will be released in their honor. I had a chance to speak with Ms. Sarah Cato an attorney based in St Louis and one who is part of the committee to honor these men. I am going to play some of this clip for you. (The audio is a bit hollow in sound, but the content of the dialogue is audible and important for you to hear.)

Well, on that note—-let us have our own moment of silence sometimes today on our own, time to honor those men, and appreciate their service, their history and their legacy.

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In the meantime, I thank you for listening. I always appreciate your being there. I will be coming to you next week from Ft. Wayne Indiana. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and please keep sharing what you find.

Be well and be safe, have a great week. Talk to you next time.

African Roots Podcast Episode #227 August 9, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, you have until next Wednesday August 14th to pre-register for the Federation of Genealogical Societies annual conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. And if your pre-register, you get a lot of conference “extras.”
You will have access the conference syllabus online before the conference begins, and you have a chance to obtain tickets for the many luncheons that are available. But take note, some area already sold out. There is also the conference social on Wednesday evening, and an event at the Allen County Library and so much more! So take the time and pre-register now. Visit THIS LINK to register now.

Do you have ancestors who may have made it to Canada on the Underground Railroad? Or do you have ties to the Caribbean and have ancestors who migrated there? Well you will be happy to know that the 1921 Canada census is now online at Ancestry. Follow those Canadian ancestors and see who you may find. There were black families who were loyalists who settled in Nova Scotia, and others as we know lived for decades in Ontario, in towns such as Buxton. And some are not aware that families from the west migrated to British Columbia and other parts of western Canada as well, so check out Ancestry’s Canadian census soon.

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Congratulations to the descendants of the Adams family of Ohio. This year at their family reunion will an historical marker devoted to the remarkable history of their family, and their community. This is the story of Addison White and the community that intervened and refused to assist slave catchers. An historical marker will be dedicated and unveiled at their reunion later this month. Read more about the incidents HERE.

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We often only think that slavery occurred in the American south. Well, it was also practiced in the north, including New England. More information about slavery in New England is describe in a new book by Allegra di Bonaventura. It is called “For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England”

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I know that many of you are aware of the slave narratives, including the autobiographies written by those who were once enslaved. One might be familiar to you, called “12 Years a Slave” by Solomon Northrup. You can get in online and also in many printed editions as well. Well it has been pointed out that the story of Solomon Northrup has now been put on film. You may want to follow the story and find out when it will be released. It will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September of this year.

Well I shall be putting my energy into final preparation for FGS next week, and also some projects that emerged almost by accident, such as my study of Civil War Nurses. We have to be open to those unexpected paths that take us into new territory. My experience researching nurses was an unexpected one, which I described in one of my blogs. All of these journeys are important, because sometimes this is how we learn more of our ancestors, by studying the lives of those who lived nearby—they might not be related in a family sense, but the details of how they lived and worked, provide substance to our own families stories. We must simply be open to receive those insights and to embark upon those journeys.

Well, thanks again for tuning in this week. I appreciate you for taking your time to listen. In the meantime, be safe, and be well, and keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.