Monthly Archives: December 2013

African Roots Podcast Episode #245 December 13, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com.

Well we are two weeks away from Christmas! Hard to believe that not only is the holiday so close, but so is the new year!

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Last week I had an interesting call—this is a sad story—as there is really nothing to be done—and nothing could be done. A colleague gave me a call when she was on the road to do some work on her own ancestral line. An effort had been underway, in fact to preserve some records from Franklin County NC. The Heritage Society had offered to work with the records. The problem is that many of the records were mold covered and damaged after being left in a basement for many years. A call had been made to the NC state Archives, at one point and after discussion and efforts of the Heritage Society, word came from a source with the fateful order to destroy them. Not toss them—for someone could have dumpster dived and retrieved them. But the order was—to have them burned. Burned!!!! This was so tragic. I was asked to share the story with any and all that I could—so I put the message out on Twitter and Facebook. My colleague was in the town and before leaving decided to drive by the courthouse—and another text message came—the removal had begun. This colleague took a cell phone photo, and I shared it on Twitter and Facebook.

Is there a lesson here? I am not sure. The community had stepped up and offered to handle the records themselves and at least to photograph them, then allow them to be burned since many were heavy with mold. So there were preservationists involved—but even they could not stop the destruction of records from taking place! This is so very tragic—but when the right people could not stop the wrong thing from happening—one can only feel exasperated, frustrated and sad. The generations yet to be born, will never have some questions answered.

Perhaps for future preservation efforts, it is time to visit and make inquiries about the holdings in old courthouse basements and attics, and to work quickly to get them copied before destruction. Special thanks to my Franklin County researcher who shared their concerns with me. This person did their own part to try to tell it to others, although they were destroyed—at least the efforts was made.

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Bernice Bennett’s show last night featured Dr. Elaine Parker Adams who was researching the life of Peter Wellington Clark, a Methodist preacher and an advocate for the people. Interesting show that illustrated how sometimes when we see something missing in a larger story—and you have the means to fill that void, you should. Thus came the work of Dr. Adams who wrote a biography of this Methodist circuit riding preacher of the south. So little was written about Black Methodist leaders, so Dr. Adams decided to fill that gap a bit. That is a good reminder to all of us, to not just shake our heads when we see something missing, or a void in history. This can be a good opportunity to fill that void.
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I had my own genealogy lesson this week. I went looking for an old document and found a direct ancestor I had not expected to find. I found my gr. Gr. Grandfather on the list of Educable children from Mississippi. And there he was at the age of 20 learning how to read. Such a lesson—because I had looked at the record before—but had not seen his name. But admittedly was not looking for it. Now years later, I examined the record and his name stood out. How did I miss him in the past? I know I had a probably earlier with poor microfilm, but this was a sharp image—and sure enough—there he was. What a wonderful surprise, but a lesson to visit documents more than one time.

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Well, time to wind down another week. Thanks for listening I always appreciate you for being there and for tuning in. Enjoy your holiday shopping and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #244 December 6, 2013

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com

This is the last month of the year, and only 3 weeks remain, which is hard to believe, and of course the season for holiday parties and gatherings that remain. Some genealogy societies are holding their end of the year events, and compliments of the season to them, and to everyone!
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And today is a sad today for me. Last night the world got the news that a man who was a true warrior for human justice has died. Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. I had the chance to be present when Nelson Mandela and wife Minnie arrived in the US for the first time. It was amazing to be there on that day in June 1991, with my mother, and we were present when the world got to see him!

What joy and how moving that was on that day! For me he represented an incredible movement that was similar to the same movement that he had here in America. But for me,I was now an adult and fully understood everything that it was about! This was a movement from which we all learned so much—courage, conviction and purpose!! I was inspired by this man who gave up 27 years of his life and was willing to die for what was right. I should only hope to have such courage in my own lifetime. We should all be so courageous and we should also dare to learn from him.

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By the way, there has been some very severe weather from Texas, through NE Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, SW Missouri—and many places have been affected by very severe ice. I hope that everyone is safe and warm and dry. Some of the storms will drift eastward, and another storm from the west is expected to move into the same area again next week. So do be safe everyone.

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Registration is underway for Roots Tech 2014. Also pay close attention, because there should be an announcement coming out soon for Roots Tech 2015. For 2015 there will be a combination event—FGS/Roots Tech. And possibly by mid to late January a call for papers for 2015 will be released—so keep your eyes and ears open for it.

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Are you interested in Detective work? Well perhaps the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy might be of interest to you. They are hosting two events back to back in March of 2014 and if you have any interest in researching the living, or making connections of that nature—perhaps of heirs, then it might be worth looking into these two events. One is a 3 day introduction to Forensic Genealogy and the second event right behind it is an event for enhancing one’s skills in forensic analysis.

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I have heard some mention of a Civil War conference coming up in July 2014, but I don’t have much data to share. This is a national convention of the National Daughters of Union Veterans, to take place in Gettysburgy Pennsylvania in late July. However there are not many details about the program as yet and as soon as I learn more I shall pass it on to you.

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And there will be an African American Track at the Genealogy Research Institute in Pittsburgh, next July. This will not conflict with the Midwest African American Institute in St. Louis (MAAGI) nor with the Afr. American Track at Samford in June. So it appears that next year will offer some interesting choices for one interested in expanding their research skills in Afr. Ancestored Research.

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Many of your know that I like Record Group 105 at the National Archives–the Freedman’s Bureau records. Last night Sharon Batiste Gillens was a guest on Bernice Bennett’s radio show. She spoke in detail about the different kinds of records that can be found within this record group including Labor Contracts, Marriage records, Co-habitation records, and even lists of newly freed slaves. This was a very informative show and it can be downloaded as a podcast from iTunes. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST, on Blog Talk Radio.

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As the holidays approach many will be practicing favorite family traditions. I am thinking about perhaps working on something not for this year, but perhaps leaving something for my nieces and nephews for posterity I suppose. We all should consider what we leave for the future generations and for those “beautiful ones, not yet born”, as writer and author Ayi Kwie Armah would say. What we do today and what we preserve today is for them. We should all give some thought to what information, and what treasures we want to leave as a legacy for those not yet born, as well for those whom we already know and love.
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In the meantime, let us all continue to pursue those tasks that we have begun, and keep ourselves focused on them. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

And let us carry one with the dignity and spirit of Nelson Mandela who left this world a better place.