African Roots Podcast #41 January 8, 2010

This Week's Pod Cast

 

Hello and welcome back! Today is Friday January 8, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji & this is the African Roots Podcast!
You can always reach me at: africanrootspodcast@gmail.com

Hope you are staying warm this very chilly January. Some new events coming up this month:

January 10, 2010 in Norman Oklahoma The Cleveland County Genealogical Society is offering a beginning genealogy workshop. “Genealogy 101: Basic Genealogy Skills” will be from 2 to 5 p.m. in a classroom near the Cleveland County Genealogical Society Library, just inside the south entrance of the Community Service Building, 1183 E Main St. Registration is $15, if paid by Jan. 4, or $17 after that date. The course is designed to help beginners or near-beginners in their search for ancestors. Topics include how to organize what you know about your family now, where to find more information and how to use the Internet to further the search. For more information, call 701-2100.

From Mississippi, a new Oral History project is about to begin. This is a joint venture between The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Humanities Council. The Greenville Washington County Joint Historic Preservation Commission will soon begin collecting oral histories within the county. The group working on this project received a $1,500 grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council for the project. This is the kind of project that makes one look at one’s own communities and consider capturing groups of people to tell their own personal stories.

An interesting artcle about some individuals who located an old suitcase full of photos. It had been stored in the crawl space of an attic of an old house and the question was really who the photos belonged to, or rather what family they were connected to. The article is a wonderful story of how a long lost photo was reunited with a descendant of some of the individuals in the images. There is a lesson with this story—and one that we should consider as we do what we do.

I often go online on sites like Ebay and other auctions sites, and often see long lost photos where sometimes the individuals are identified. Among the many items for sale are often images of African American families as well, right there, on sale to the highest bidder. My question is have you ever considered taking some time to research the history of those inviduals—especially if data such as city state are included?

Of course I know that many of you are thinking—I have enough to do with my own line, let alone researching someone else’s line. But do you? I participate in a daily online chat and it is common for beginner’s to come into our lunch time chats inquiring about details on how to conduct their research. Several of us, who have subscriptions to Ancestry, get other details and there we are each living in a different state, trying to assist this beginner with locating his/her family, and giving them advice on how to get started.

My point is—-we often take time to research someone else’s line, and this is done in a spirit of generosity and encouragement.

Why not consider the process of reuninting photos with descendants as well? Or old Bibles?
Perhaps you might not be aware—there are hundreds of old family bibles on sale at antique stores, thrift stores,

You might see them, and think—wow how sad that somebody’s family Bible is here—but I encourage you to stop and think—-this might also be an opportunity for you to have a different kind of genealogical experience—and the act of researching and reuniting an artifact from someone’s family with a descendant of that family might provide you with a different kind of experience.

Just food for thought—-
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The state of North Carolina has launched a news paper digitization project.
In 2009, the North Carolina State Archives completed a project to digitize newspapers from its collection that were, up until that time, only available on microfilm. These materials include papers dating from 1751-1890s from cities like Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816) – a total of 23,483 digital images that are keyword searchable. The project was made possible by an LSTA grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina.

This is a good time for us to consider looking at our projects from the perspective of how we can learn about our ancestors, by studying what was taking place where they lived. Your ancestors don’t have to appear by name in those articles, but learning about their neighbors, their employers, and about others whom they knew—will also give you some ideas about their lives even without their names being in the publications.

Let’s try to ask explore our communities through those old papers, and publications and see the value of digitized projects such as the NC Newspapers.

Thank you again for listening and please join me next time.

Keep researching
Keep documenting, and
Keep sharing what you find.

1 Comment

  1. Posted January 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanx muchly for this information, Angela!

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