Monthly Archives: April 2014

African Roots Podcast Episode # 262 April 11, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!

I can be reached at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com!

***************************************************************************************************

EVENTS 

***************************************************************************************************

Source of Image

In Harper’s Ferry a two day event will unfold celebrating the history of the USCT Recruitment station that was there. Many people think only of the John Brown Raid, but the same area was a critical recruitment station for US Colored Troops. Dates are April 26-27 froom 11am 4 each day. Events are free but there will be a charge for parking.

_ _ _ _ _

 

 

 

The Middle Peninsula AAHGS is holding a Show and Tell event at their meeting tomorrow in Tappahanock Virginia. The event is free and open to the public. Documents, old photos, or family artifacts are among the items participants are encouraged to bring with them to share and discuss.

_ _ _ _ _

FGS Awards Information

 The Federation of Genealogical Societies has announced that the nomination for awards is now open until June. This is a chance to acknowledge the contributions of a person or a society to the field of genealogy. So consider nominating an organization or a person who has become a leader and made an impact on the community.

***************************************************************************************

CALLS FOR PAPERS

***************************************************************************************

Ohio Call For Papers

 The Ohio Genealogical Society has released a call for papers for the 2015 annual conference to be held in Columbus Ohio. They are welcoming submissions for presentations on a variety of topics from Ohio history to pioneer history, ethnic genealogy topics, African, European, Native American, and so much more. This is one of the major events in the Midwest that takes place every spring, and you are encouraged to take a look at their call for 2015. The deadline is July 1.

_ _ _ _ _

Association for Preservation of Artifacts and Landsapes

 

Call for Papers

 The Pioneer America Society: Association for the Preservation of Artifacts & Landscapes (PAS: APAL) will hold its 46th annual conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from October 9 to 11, 2014. We as genealogists should think of those groups that work on the preservation of the historical landscape where our ancestors lived. I am sharing this as there is a rich history of African American history on the frontier and yes, in Oklahoma. We should look into societies such as this that work to preserve the historical landscape of our ancestral communities. this conference will take place in the fall and will be welcoming submissions to present until early fall.

***************************************************************************************

A Research Study – Full Genome Sequencing Opportunity

***************************************************************************************

More Information here

 Have you ever wished that you could afford to take the top of the line DNA test? I am referring to the Full Genome Sequencing test. Well there is currently a study underway at the National Institutes of Health that will allow participants to have this done and not have to pay the $1000 plus for such testing.

It is called The ClinSeq ® Study  and this is a project that seeks to learn about the role that your genes play in your health. We do this by getting a DNA sample from you, sequencing most or all of your genes, and then comparing that to what we know about your personal and family health histories. They will be looking at genes relating to a variety of health conditions. These include things like heart disease, breast cancer, and hearing loss.

Our goal is to enroll 1500 participants in the project. So far, we have over 900 participants, and we still need more volunteers for the study. At present they are hoping to add more African Americans to the study as well. If you are interested see the link above. This might be an interesting opportunity to learn more about one’s health and history.

*****************************************************************

Genealogy Events

*****************************************************************

AAGG of Philadelphia

The African American Genealogy Group in Philadelphia has their spring event coming up in May which is not too far away. They are sponsoring an event on May 3rd, which will be a full day with Tony Burroughs of Chicago. The event will consist of a full day of presentations and the charge is $40 for members and $45 for non-members. For more information see link above.

*****************************************************************

Podcasts and Presentations

*****************************************************************

Last night’s episode of Research at the National Archives and Beyond consisted of a sobering presentation by Judy Russell the Legal Genealogist. Her topic was Slavery in the North. This was an enlightening discussion on the little discussed topic of slavery north of the Mason Dixon line. The prevalence of slavery in New England, the mid-Atlantic and even parts of what we call the mid west were presented.

When we tell the story of our ancestors, we need to know the laws that affected them. This show was outstanding, and enlightening. And it should be pointed out that if you don’t know Judy Russell, you need to know who she is and listen to her present. Also take note that if you are thinking about attending MAAGI, Judy Russell will be on the faculty there as well in July teaching about Slavery and the Law.

Tune in to hear the archived version if you missed last night’s discussion. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

*****************************************************************************

 Online Digital Collections

*****************************************************************************

Historical Society of Pennsylvania Digital Collection

On one of the images I was delighted to see a collection of pages from the papers of William Still detailing people whom he assisted on the Underground Railroad. This was amazing to see and it must be one of the few notations made from this secret underground movement! 

Journal of Willian Still Documenting UGRR in Pennsylvania

* * * * *

Lincoln University Special Collections

A link was share with me earlier this week from Lincoln University Archives.  The Langston Hughes Memorial library has some amazing holdings. Alumni magazines,  yearbooks and some wonderful directories that you can only find there.  I always appreciate seeing early 20th century publications and images and they have a vast array of documents on their own site about early Lincoln university year. 

And by the way, are you aware that Lincoln University is the very first HBCU? Lincoln was established in 1854 and is the first historically black institution in the nation. What an amazing legacy! I know many think of Tuskegee or Howard as the oldest, but Lincoln nestled in the farmlands of Pennsylvania is the very first one.

* * * * *

African American Women in Iowa

 This is an interesting collection on the library site of the University of Iowa. The collection contains photos, articles and documents that are part of the Esther J. Walls collection. There are some really nice photos—family portraits reflecting black families and numerous articles about social life in Iowa for people of color.

* * * * * *

Duke University Behind the Veil Oral History Project

This is the largest Oral history project focusing on American segregation in the south from 1890s through the 1950s. Over 1200 interviews were taped and over 400 of them are online to hear. You must take a look at this amazing site and listen to some of them! I listened to an amazing one from Arkansas in St. Francis County. If you want to get a good overview of history as it is told by those who lived through it—this oral history of southern segregation is an amazing one.

Interviewees came from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky Louisiana,  North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia

* * * * * *

So, the greater lesson is learning one’s local history. Ask yourself, how well versed you are in the history of the region that you research. This is so critical in terms of what we should do as we attempt to tell those stories! So many rich stories, but they cannot be told withouth the backdrop of history upon the land from which the families emerge! We must do this—and even if you feel that you have been derailed from your genealogy, you haven’t been.  You have to learn this and incorporate this history in to that family narrative.

* * * * * *

Thanks for listening and in the meantime continue to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

 

African Roots Podcast Episode #261 April 4, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

Well it’s time for conferences, road trips, research trips and so much more, now that spring is here.

Tomorrow I am attending the April 5th, the Descendant’s Day Celebration at the African American Civil War Museum. I am looking forward to attending this event tomorrow in Washington DC. This event is always on the 1st Saturday of the month at the African American Civil War Museum.

 

* * * * *

NGS Conference Offers African American Workshops

Next month the NGS Conference will be unfolding in Richmond Virginia. And there are a few presentations that could be of interest to African Ancestored researchers.  Sessions in the African American track are: African American Research at the Library of Virginia”;  ”Freedman’s Bureau Labor Contracts”;  ”US Colored Troops Pension Applications”;  ”The “Free Negro Dilemna” in Virginia” and Records of the Slave Claims Commission”. So if you are in or near Richmond and attending the NGS Conference, you may want to see if these sessions will interest you.

* * * * * *

Genealogy Research Trips Planned

(Image Source)

Two genealogy societies have embarked upon research trips one from St. Louis the St. Louis African American Genealogy and History Society, that just completed a research trip to Jackson Mississippi state archives—and the other will unfold later this month when the Baltimore AAHGS chapter will make their annual research trip to Library of Virginia in Richmond. Such trips are a wonderful way for people to network, and share a common interest. Remember a genealogist’s best friend is another genealogist.

* * * * *

Civil War Sesquicentennial Events

Do you realize that this year 2014 is a milestone Year? For Civil War Enthusiasts and all historians, there is amazing history to explore. We have to remember the  United States Colored Troops (USCTs) and their amazing history. Were your ancestors involved in the Civil War? Well several major Civil War battles took place 150 years ago, and some of these incidents may have involved your ancestors. For example these were major battles:  Jenkins Ferry, Honey Springs, Ft. Wagner, Ft. Pillow, and many more. How many of you have thought to incorporate those stories into your own family narrative? Now—before you think that you didn’t have soldiers—so nothing to incorporate—think again. You have ancestors who were directly impacted–tell that story! Find the family freedom story!

Every major event in a community has a impact on those close by. Think Katrina, Think 911, think MLK Assasination,  (which occurred on this day) whether you were directly impacted or simply were aware of what took place—there was an impact that it made and it is part of the personal narrative and the family narrative. Find it and tell it.

* * * * *

Speaking of extracting a story, I direct you to the latest blog post by Drusilla Pair who wrote an interesting piece about an article that she found from an old newspaper, Richmond Dispatch. Her blog is called Let Freedom Ring, and she wrote an article about captured soldiers, referred to as simply “captured Negroes”. She saw the article while searching for something entirely different. But she realized there was a story to tell–these men, who were soldiers, who were freedom fighters, had a story. She knew that this list, created in the middle of the war, was significant. Her piece analyzes the document and her blog piece is an interesting read. And those these were not her ancestors, this was a story that needed to be shared and told.

Portion of Article from Richmond Dispatch, August 27, 1864

I have an example—from the blog of Drusilla Pair—Let Freedom Ring. She found a fascinating article about some captured soldiers in the Richmond Dispatch. She became intrigued as the names of the captured men were shared, in fact the entire article was shared. As a result, she presented something that would be of interest to many on a larger scale. These are some of the missing stories and unique stories. Her article is found HERE.

The greater lesson is to share your research story! Your research story is part of your own personal narrative. And your ability to document that journey is also part of it.  Have you considered putting aside the search for Grandpa, to tell the story ABOUT the search. The places your journey takes you, the documents you find—sometimes unrelated to Grandpa, but interesting nevertheless—well that story that may have caught your attention—is part of your journey.

* * * * *

Here is a secret. More genealogists want to hear about your journey than your personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong—the narrative is important—and it is most important to your family. But your fellow researchers—they prefer hearing your own narrative about your journey—the emotion you felt when you made a discovery. Or a document that would not let you go—until you wrote something about it. The question that kept gnawing at you, and how you were able to solve the mystery and find the answer -that is the public story—the one that is captivating the most!

* * * * * 

I had an interesting experience yesterday learning about a story of African Ancestored people who were in the Battle of 1812. And as many of you know—this is the Bicentennial of that battle. Fewer are aware that there were free  people of color who were involved, and there were also people enslaved, who were given Freedom from the British Crown if they fought for the British. Now some already know this and are aware of the Book of Negroes where Loyalists of Color were listed by name and some of these men did receive their freedom and ended up in Canada and other parts of the British empire. Well I learned yesterday of some additional stories emanating from that war—-a good sized population of freed slaves ended up in Trinidad, taken there by the British and given freedom. The A gentleman from Trinidad attended an event a few years ago at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore MD, and asked some of the historians about how they can find descendants of families that emigrated. They were seeking ties to American collateral descendants of others who had settled in Trinidad, but who had ties to early 19th century Maryland. The point is–there are many stories to still be found, to be extracted, and to tell.

* * * * *

(Image Source)

 Your research story is part of your own personal narrative. And your ability to document that journey is also part of it.  Have you considered putting aside the search for Grandpa, to tell the story ABOUT the search. The places your journey takes you, the documents you find—sometimes unrelated to Grandpa, but interesting nevertheless—well that story that may have caught your attention—is part of your journey. A secret. More genealogists want to hear about your journey than your personal narrative. Don’t get me wrong—the narrative is important—and it is imost important to your family. But your fellow researcher—they prefer hearing your own narrative about your journey—the emotion you felt when you made a discovery. Or a document that would not let you go—until you wrote something about it. The question that kept knowing at you, and how you were able to solve the mystery and find the answer THAT is the public story—the one that is captivating the most!

That is our charge!

* * * * *
Well, thanks again for listening and for taking time from your schedule to tune in to the podcast. Do remember in the meantime to keep researching, keep documenting and to keep sharing what you find!