Monthly Archives: July 2014

African Roots Podcast Episode #277 July 25, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! I can be reached at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com.

Hard to believe this is the last weekend in July! Hope the summer is going well for all of you. This week two databases were shared that will be of interest to African American researchers.

First one is out of the state of Illinois: The Servitude and Emancipation Database:

Coming from Illinois is an amazing database called Illinois Servitude and Emancipation Records. This comes from the Archivist Jesse White of the state of Illinois. This is a searchable database of over 3400 names of people both enslaved and emancipated in the state of Illinois from 1722 to 1863. This covers the following counties in Illinois: Bond, Edwards, Gallatin, Madison, Massac, Pope, Randolph, St. Clair, and Union. The document types are Bills of Sale, Birth, Census, Divorce, Donation, Emancipation, Estate, Guardianship, Indenture, Inventory, Lease, Marriage, Mortgage, Registration, Will, and a category called “Other” which includes receipts, contracts, runaway slave ads, and more.

Note this is a database and not a site with digitized images. But for those with strong ties to Illinois this could be very useful, indeed!

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A shout out to the City of Ft. Smith Arkansas. The Lincoln HS Alumni presents an all years reunion, and homecoming this weekend. This is really a homecoming weekend for the entire city–whether you attended the school or not. This is a homecoming celebration for the city! Also there will be a special dedication of a Memorial Bench in  honor of Dr. H. P. McDonald who was the city’s only African American doctor for many decades. He was deeply respected and he passed away about 2 years ago. I know that some of the McDonald family will be in Ft. Smith at the dedication at Elm Grove Park as well. So a shout out to everyone going home to celebrate the city’s history and rich legacy and make some new memories this weekend.

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Indexing Continues with the Freedman’s Bureau.

The Indexing Project 

The Indexing project on Family Search continues and I hope that you are all involved in assisting the effort to index the records of the Freedman’s Bureau. Note that this project stems from a partnership between the Smithsonian African American Museum that will open up in 2015 and Family Search. This project will take many months to complete, but with the help of volunteers, from around the world, we might get this critical record set completed much sooner! So please get involved. I hope that many of you were able to participate in the world-wide indexing weekend last week, but anytime is a good time to join the effort!

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It was shared with me this week, that the Tennessee State Archives has an extensive Bible collection that is digitized on their site. This is  a searchable database with actual images of the family data from hundreds of family Bibles that they have in their collections. What makes this unique is that there are Bibles that rest in numerous collections—and they have compiled them to make a unique digital collection. Of interest to African American researchers is that for some of the prominent wealthy Tennessee persons, some of their bible entries contain the names of slaves. So take a look and hopefully one might find ancestors among the pages digitized.

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WDYTYA Unfolds with African American Watch Party on AfriGeneas

Well we all watched Who Do You Think You Are, on the AfriGeneas community this week. We joined in the chat center on AfriGeneas.com/chat and we signed into the chat room WDYTYA, we shared our thoughts as the story unfolded. The story of Cynthia Nixon’s broadcast was a sad story of her ancestor. As we watched the show we shared our opinions about the story of Martha, the guest’s ancestor. Well I noted from a Twitter feed, that the book that was shared about Cynthia Nixon’s ancestor, was written by an abolitionist. That was why he was imprisoned. Now as one who has an interest in the history of enslaved people and those who worked for their freedom. The story did arouse some curiosity about this man. Can more be learned about him? Can more be learned about abolitionist history in Missouri? The story stimulated some interest among some Missouri researchers to learn more about abolitionist activities of the time.

Then there was the follow up re-broadcast of the epidosde with the Matthew Broderick, and in that episode, his Civil War ancestor’s story unfolded. And the fact came out that his ancestor was reburied, and we saw him trying hard to process what he was hearing and learning about his own Civil War past. Ironically Mr. Broderick in the movie Glory played a white solider who was the officer in charge of the Massachusetts’s Colored Infantry, Robert Gould Shaw.  In this re-run, of WDYTYA, we heard the story of the re-burial of his Civil War ancestor to a national cemetery. Well, in a follow up conversation with another genealogists, I was reminded of the famous image of the men who actually reburied these solders at Gettysburg. The irony of the story of Robert Gould Shaw and his relationship with the soldiers of the 54th, Massachusetts Colored Infantry was clear. Shaw was also buried in a mass grave with those black soldiers with whom he fought. But there is more irony in that there is a famous image of the men of color, that actually buried the men who were moved to the National Cemetery.  So quite possibly his real Civil War ancestor may have been buried by men of color. Of course many men were most likely involved in that process of reburial, but I have wondered if some of those men of color may have buried Matthew Broderick’s ancestor.

But all to simply say that we all had a good time Wednesday and later Thursday in various conversations discussing the “back stories” to the episodes that aired.

Source of Image 

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I hope you caught Bernice Bennett’s show last night.  Her guest was Dr. Dorothy Roberts who discussed a unique perspective on race and how so many policies have been based on things that are not entirely biological. A fascinating conversation unfolded. So you can download the show from ITunes or listen to it directly from the site. The show airs every week on BlogTalkRadio.com at 9pm EST.

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Well time is running out and I know you are all busy–some at reunions, cookouts, homecoming celebrations and more. So thank you for taking time from your busy day to tune in again this week. In the meantime–enjoy the great weather, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

 

African Roots Podcast Episode #276 July 18, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

It is good to be back home after a wonderful week in Missouri where I attended the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute in St. Louis. Last week I had two guests who shared their amazing story, so if you missed it, do tune in to last week’s episode. Check out the many blogs and posts on Social Media about the experiences.

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Well this is the season for institutes, and I know that many are on their way to Pittsburgh to attend the Genealogy Research Institute in Pittsburgh, and hope that they have a wonderful week! If you are hoping to increase your skills, you are urged to attend a genealogy institute. The benefits are amazing and the people who attend often bring their own wonderful talents. All are urged to attend these events in addition to the conferences and lectures in our own local area.  I also thank those who were in the Professional genealogy track, as I learned a lot from their enthusiasm that they brought with them to the institute as well.

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If you missed it, do tune in to listen to the Blog Talk Radio show produced  by the Professional Genealogy Track at MAAGI.  In this show one of the participants took on the persona of an ancestor Matilda, who asked the question Why? She in character, asked the questions to each of them why they were pursuing genealogy. They produced this program in less than 72 hours! I sensed their energy and while they were broadcasting live, we were listening to them in the other classes. If you missed it, tune in an enjoy!

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Now, if you missed Ms. Bennet’s show last night, please listen to the archived version. Her show is Research at the National Archives and Beyond. Her guest was Andi Cumbo, who is a writer who lives on the old family estate where her ancestors lived. She has written a wonderful book called, “The Slaves Have Names.” She has come to terms with the fact that her ancestors were slave holders. In a sense she has begun a healing of source. She has had the courage to address it, and she made an effort to put a human face on the names of the slaves.  Hopefully others who descend from slave holders will take time to read her book. She spoke of how writing the book had changed her, and how it has affected her own life in a new way. So tune in to hear this amazing discussion. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9 pm on Blog Talk Radio.

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 Family Reunion, the O’Jays

Well, this is family reunion time! I hope that  as you prepare for the reunion, that you plan to take a bit of history to the family as well. Beyond a family chart display—how are you going to share the stories with the family? Of course respond to your own strength, your own niche. Share your passion and your talent, and apply it. If you are an artist—share it at that family gathering.

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A shout out for the work that Robin Foster of South Carolina is conducting. As you know she is a leader in the genealogy community and recently in the community of preservationists. She has been working so hard to preserve a cemetery that was almost lost to overgrowth and time. Take a look and show some appreciation for her wonderful work and her hard work. See her work on Fairview Cemetery that is still unfolding.  And we all know that summer is great to travel, but not the best time to address neglected cemeteries as there can be snakes and other biting insects as well. But hats off to her for what she and others are doing in South Carolina. Her work is truly inspiring.

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Well here is a wonderful announcement that will interest Civil War enthusiasts. The African American Civil War Memorial Museum has extended an invitation to all descendants of United States Colored Troops. This invitation is for May 17th, 2015. We know that 2015 is a milestone year—the abolishment of slavery, of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution and the beginning of Freedom. You are invited to participate in the Grand Review Parade that will occur on May 17th  2015in Washington DC. This will be a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in honor of the end of the Civil War and the preservation of the Union, and for us who descend from the enslaved—this will symbolize the end of slavery. You are invited to participate, with at least one member who will be attired in Union Army regalia honoring their service. That entire weekend will be full of other activities from Thursday to Sunday. This is a great time to think about participating. As more information is available, I shall be passing it on to you.

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A congratulations is extended to Renata Sanders gave a presentation to the Heritage Society in Franklin County North Carolina. There is a lot of energy coming out of that part of North Carolina, and hope it was a successful event.

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AAHGS

Don’t forget that in the fall, Pittsburgh will be the place to be in October 9 – 12th. The 35th National Conference for AAHGS will unfold. The website now has full detail about that as well. The PDF can be downloaded from this page.

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Thanks for tuning in to listen this week. I know many of your are traveling this week and as those reunions and institutes are unfolding in this wonderful summer season! So you are appreciated for your taking this time. In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!