Monthly Archives: August 2014

African Roots Podcast #282 August 29, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

Well the last official week of summer is here and I know that many are preparing for the Labor Day weekend, with family gatherings and backyard BBQ’s and picnics! I hope that you have a good one planned as well. It is still warm in many places, and I hope that you have gotten some relief to the weather.

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A shout out to all who are attending the FGS Conference in San Antonio this weekend. And the schedule for 2015 has been uploaded and you can prepare for Early Bird Registration. Now—you know that FGS has partnered with Family Search to offer the combined FGS-ROOTSTECH event in February 2015! This will be the largest genealogy event in history!

Diversity comes to Salt Lake City! The combined FGS-ROOTSTECH event, Janis Minor Forte will be speaking, as will Bernice Alexander Bennet, and your truly, Angela Walton-Raji will be speaking at Roots Tech, and across the convention center will be Dr. Shelley Murphy will be presenting at the FGS Conference. Also Dr. Deborah Abbott will also be there speaking! So I hope that genealogy friends in the western part of the country, will also consider coming to this major genealogy event! So save your pennies, make your reservations early and I hope to see you there!

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Genealogist Sharon Battiste Gillens

Speaking of Bernice Bennett, her Blog Talk Radio show featured Sharon Battiste Gillens was her guest speaking about the amazing records to be found with Record Group 105–the records of the Freedman’s Bureau. This is a critical record set that is not yet indexed. And this is time for all of us to join the Indexing project. But last night’s show had an excellent overview of this under-utilized set of records. I am happy that she has made this an area of focus and she is one of the most well versed on the record types that can be found. So tune in to last night’s show. As we know Ms. Bennet’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9 pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

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Essential Records and Databases for African American Genealogy

We know from genealogist and author Tony Burroughs the right steps to take to document family history. Oral history, exploring the family archives, Exploring Census from 1940 to 1870, Identifying the Slave Holder, Studying the slave holder’s history, Finding the earliest ancestor who arrived in America. We know these steps–and I also like to insert into his list—the need to find and to tell the family’s freedom story.

Beyond that—there are some records and resources that we need to know that they exist and to make sure that we look at them.
Databases:
-Freedman’s Bureau (National Archives Record Group 105)
-Freedman Saving’s Bank
-Slave Narratives – Oral History Project
-US Colored Troops – Service Records (Found on Fold 3)
-National Park Service – Soldier and Sailors Database of Civil War Regiments (including US Colored Troops)

Some specialized Records Unique to one area:
-Slave Ship Manifests (Mostly Gulf Coast)
-Oklahoma Freedman Records (Dawes Records of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes) Enrollment Cards and Interviews
-FBI Case Files – Military Intelligence Records: Negro Subversion Files

These record collections are useful. I think that I should also suggest that one learn how to manipulate the many databases out there. When keyword is allowed of course use the term “Negro” in the search. But also use the word “colored” or Black and even the two words “black man, or black woman”. When searching for enslaved people, use the word “slave”, and also use the word “slavery” which can frequently bring up additional links to explore. So remember to modify the search in as many ways as you can, which may yield additional links.

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Curtis Family Reunion

A shout out to the Curtis family of Prince George’s County Maryland! Their 46th Family reunion will unfold in Upper Marlboro Maryland this weekend! I have the honor of speaking at the reunion and look forward to being there with them!

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I am winding down after an amazing week. I started out the week with some research at the National Archives that yielded some wonderful results from Civil War pension files!

Secondly I welcomed the latest branch of my family was born! My latest niece Anna Rose, was born in Washington DC! I am still on new-baby high welcoming this beautiful baby into the family!

 

Welcoming my latest niece Anna Rose into the family

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Well as I wind down things so I wish you all a great Labor Day weekend! Have a great time with friends and family this weekend, and thank you for taking time to tune in here! Next week the monthly class at the Historical Society of Baltimore County will unfold on Thursday morning at 10:00 am.

Please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what your find!

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African Roots Podcast Episode #281 August 22, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast

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

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Well, welcome to the end of August and school starts on Monday here in Maryland, so the summer season is quickly winding down. I hope it has been pleasant where you are and that you will enjoy the remaining balmy nights before the weather changes into fall. And much success to the children as school reopens.

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A shout out to friends in St. Louis as they will be attending the taping of the Genealogy Roadshow. The St. Louis African American Genealogy Society will be setting up a booth along with other societies and they will also be able to watch the excitement as the TV show unfolds. Also a friend from the Facebook community is there and will be featured on the show. True Lewis, whom many of us know from the Facebook group will have her genealogy featured on the Road Show, so we will be watching to see our many friends when the show airs in the fall.

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I know many are getting ready to attend workshops in the fall from Savannah to Chicago, AAHGS, and more. But let’s not forget that in spite of the specialized workshops–there is still room for beginners. We need to always brush up on the basic strategies of research. And today genealogy is taught so differently. One need not learn the Soundex system when one had to know it 20 years ago. So I am glad to point out that in Maryland, in Columbia , there will be a Genealogy Basics for Beginners tomorrow at 2:00 pm. It is free and sponsored by the Central MD AAHGS. More information on the website.

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News from Ancestry!
This past June, Ancestry announced plans to retire the My Canvas website . Well there was a strong voice of concern expressed that My Canvas will not be retired after all, but will simply be moved to Alexanders, a Utah based printing company.

“The transition of MyCanvas will take about six months. But in the meantime, all MyCanvas projects will remain accessible on Ancestry.com until it moves over to Alexander’s next year,” according to Ancestry staff.

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Story Corps

Story Corps is on the Road!

Since everyone does not choose to write their story, Story Corps provides another method. And there is a chance to tell your own story when the Mobile Booth comes to selected American Cities. I learned that this year Story Corps will be visiting Grand Rapids, Michigan, St. Louis Missouri, Tulsa Oklahoma, and Dallas Texas!

I am impressed with the many initiatives that this amazing oral history program provides, and there are some interesting intiatives that they have. There is a military initiative, the Griot initiative, Historias, and so much more! Take a look at this platform for telling your story!  You might find that this is what you are searching for.

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Bernice Bennett’s Show featured Antoinette Harrell last night who addressed the issue of Peonage and how many families were re-enslaved after the Civil War, and also how this new form of forced labor lasted until the 20th century. This is not a pleasant story to research, but it is one where some families may find data on their own ancestors who may have been held. Record Group 60 at the National Archives holds many of the cases worth studying. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio.

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(Courtesy of Sarah Cato) 

Well it has been a week since the folks in friends who are supporters of the 56th US Colored Infantry honored the men who were buried in the mass grave. The names of the men were reach, Echo Taps was played, re-enactors were there, and of course the local dignitaries were as well. Congratulations to Sarah Cato and the committee for honoring those men who fought for freedom and won.

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Root Digger Genealogy

I want to extend best wishes to Yvette Porter Moore as she launches her own Blog Talk Radio show on Monday! Let’s all tune in to hear her show at 9pm on Monday Eastern time. She has been extremely busy this year and now that fall approaches, she is really reaching out in new directions! Her Root Digger site is busy again and she has also launched her own publishing company in addition to her other new projects that are emerging!  So all the best, to Yvette!

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Well thanks again for tuning in this week. Have a wonderful week and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and to keep sharing what you find.