Monthly Archives: May 2014

African Roots Podcast Episode #267 May 16th, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome to the African Roots Podcast! Remember you can reach me at


The Abolitionsist’s Children’s Primer

Sometimes it is good to revisit old sites. This is a fascinating primer that I noticed some time ago and still find it fascinating. It is an alphabet primer, but the letters of the alphabet are based on topics with an anti-slavery theme. This fascinating document is housed at the Mississippi State Archives, but it is also digitized online and it is one of those rare gems that one finds in state archives and among their digitized collection.  Take a look at this primer and it something to appreciate and to share.


Researchers Sought for Black Revolutionary Patriots

Friends of Minute Man Project

In New England there is a Minute Man National Park and the Friends of Minute Man, a group based in Massachusetts, is looking for a researcher to explore the history of Patriots who were men of color during the years of the America Revolution. There are some specific questions to be addressed in the project. Among some of the questions are:

  • How many men of color from Massachusetts who fought in the American Revolution were free?
  • How many men of color from Massachusetts who fought in the American Revolution were enslaved?
  • Were those who were enslaved during their enlistment emancipated because of their military service? and many more questions.

There is a short window for this project as the deadline is May 30th, so only a few weeks remain to be considered. The payment for the researcher is $2000 and if you are interested instructions are found in the PDF Download HERE. You can also contact the project directors HERE.


Deadlines approaching for Calls for Papers!

A reminder that the month of May and June are deadline months for those of you considering presenting at either Roots Tech, FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies), or both. Remember that both conferences will converge upon Salt Lake City in February of 2015 and that promises to be a milestone year for so many reasons, so I hope that you will look at the requirements for presenting at both conferences.


Yearning for a Sense of Belonging, History and Unity


Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s Blog Radio program was quite good. Her guest was David Wellington who shared his personal experience as he was able to research his family history and document his Civil War ancestor, Frank Worthington. His journey was one that reminds older researchers of the joy of making that first discovery when you see the ancestor’s name in the record for the first time. He spoke about how he shared this information with the family, and how we was able to transform mere data into an experience that could be embraced by the entire extended family and across the generations.  His work turned into a family book, a dramatic stage production, and how now the reunions are not simply folks mixing and eating together, but a true celebration of who they are and their history.

The episode is in two parts, as a thunderstorm interrupted the broadcast, for a few moments but in part 2 Mr. Wellington spoke about the need for healing–and understanding a sense of worth coming from one’s history! It is a story of empowerment. Tune in to listen to this story on Blog Talk Radio. Remember to hear both parts—and appreciate the work conducted by this researcher and how it has helped him to heal. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


Got Genealogy Hosts Technology Retreat


Lisa Lee of Northern California and host of has announced a new technology retreat, to assist genealogists with coming up to par in the technology world. This is a five day intense workshop with one on one attention by Ms. Lee who is a I.T. specialist by profession. The workshop begins next week, so register while you can!  More on the 5 day workshop can be found on her website, Got Genealogy. 


Well thank you all for listening this week as I know you are all busy and involved in multiple projects. Stay focused on what you are doing and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!


African Roots Podcast Episode #266 May 9th 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! I can always be reached HERE.


A special shout out to everyone in Richmond to everyone who is attending the NGS annual conference! I know I have seen some great photos online and have enjoyed seeing them. Some of you are watching the live streaming. And tomorrow, quite a few African American speakers are there and speaking tomorrow.  Take a look at the schedule as Bernice Bennett and others are giving their presentation, so if you are there, do go and support them.

And there will be the AfriGeneas MeetUp about 12:30 at Starbucks. Great chance to shake hands and put a face to those names.


An Amazing Week!


Cherokee Freedman Hearing

How has your week been? I have had an amazing week! You know how your genealogy projects and interests and projects can lead to unexpected paths? Well some of my Oklahoma Indian Territory research took me to a Federal hearing this past week in Washington DC. I sat in on a hearing pertaining to the status of the Cherokee Freedmen. This is a case pertaining to the rights guaranteed by the Treaty of 1866 granting full citizenship to Cherokee Freedmen. This case has gone on for the past two to three decades and it is one about people who were expelled from the tribe.

Anyway, my point is that—my being there came out of my own genealogy efforts. I documented my family on the Dawes rolls in 1991. I wrote my first book in 1993. Prior to that—not one book had ever mentioned the Freedmen from any of the Five Tribes. It was as if they had never existed! None of the genealogy resource books every considered them noteworthy. Since that time, they have now surfaced as a people to document—but somehow the genealogy community of authors simply looked away and never mentioned them.

The point is however, that many genealogy projects can take you down unexpected paths. I realized that the entire court case centered around Freedmen arose out of people becoming aware in recent years of their history. I also realized, that genealogy, is a serious undertaking, and the story is not always about your own family. I would like to think that when I wrote the first book to document the history of the Freedmen, that I played a part in exposing this history to those who descend from Indian Territory nations.  I was happy to be there to watch this chapter unfold. Our task is to be willing to undertake the effort to tell these stories as they arise.

Also this week—-

Clin Seq Study (Full Genome Sequencing) at National Institutes of Health. 

Another experience for me, this week—I spent the entire day Thursday, at the NIH National Institutes of Health where I had the full genome sequencing done. This is the full DNA test that is done that is very costly. But I did not have to pay for it—in fact as a participant in the study, this stemmed from my interest also in the DNA testing. So here is another example of how one interest in something like DNA for genealogy, led me to an opportunity to have the full gene-sequencing test.

So my week has really made me think how important what we do, can really be. We should pay attention to what unfolds in the community and follow those paths to see where they take us.


(Free Negro Registers found on

I hope that many of you have been looking at the records and resources that I mentioned last week. They are really amazing. Those records out of Elbert County Georgia are fantastic. And I hope that you have begun to explore those No. Carolina Freedman’s Bureau records.


Exploring Pinterest!


Images from my Pinterest Boards

Last week I attended the LDS Conference in Kensington MD, and I sat on a number of sessions that were quite good. One inspired me to create a new account on Pinterest! I have found that I have found so many new discoveries on other websites that are similar, and I have met some new people and have developed some new followers as a result! It has helped me to sort things in new categories.

I was surprised when I saw the presenter’s boards—it clicked. I think I saw the benefits, as it has helped me to sort things in a number of categories. I finally understood how people used it and how I could benefit from it.  Anyway—it’s fun and I am enjoying it so far!


Allies for Professional Genealogists


ALA Conference Flyer

In recent weeks I have had a number of discussion about opportunities for professional genealogists. I think we have overlooked some of our best allies there is a great opportunity to interact with them. I know that the day before the NGS Conference is Librarians Day. And right now many are submitting proposals to speak at ROOTS TECH and the FGS conference, both of which will occur in Salt Lake City in February 2015. But I also gave some thought to a very large body of people who are our allies as well–librarians. Their professional organization is ALA the American Library Association. I know that they have the Black Caucaus of the ALA who have a conference from time to time. Their event is not an annual one, but we should not forget the parent organization–the ALA. They are key allies–well librarians and archivists. So as we look for those opportunities—librarians and their national organization should be there among the many venues that we should consider.


Fathers of Conscience

I hope you listened to the re-broadcast of Father’s of Conscience on Bernice Bennett’s show last night. The show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond. Dr. Bernie Jones, a professor at Suffolk University in Boston. She talked about the fathers of mixed race children who embraced them upon their children. She spoke about several cases in different states—each unique, but with some similarity as well. Good dialogue was going on in the chat as the show aired. Tune in–the show is archived on Blog Talk Radio and the show airs every Thursday at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


I hope to see some of you tomorrow in Richomnd, and also for those of you out west in California, I hope to see many of you in about three weeks at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree 

Well time has passed yet again, and I thank you for being there and for tuning in. Thanks for your announcements of events, and also for just taking time out of your day.

In the meantime, I hope we meet and of course I hope that you will continue to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.