This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back, to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me at

Hello from Ft. Wayne Indiana. I am coming to you from the Black Genealogy Summit and am thrilled to be here, seeing old friends and I have made some new ones as well. The event is sponsored by the Allen County Public Library. Many of you know that Allen County Public Library is the largest genealogy library east of the Mississippi, and several hundred of us are here to learn from each other, to network and to take advantage of where we are—to use this great facility.

As promised, the Virginia Historical Society has launched a free searchable online database of Virginia slave names thanks to Dominion Resources and The Dominion Foundation.
Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names contains personal information about enslaved Virginians gleaned from some of the more than eight million processed manuscripts in VHS collections.

VHS archivists and historians spent the spring and summer combing through material, such as diaries, letters, insurance papers, wills, freedom papers, receipts, and deeds to extract raw information for the database. To date, the database includes more than 2,000 names and digital images of hundreds of documents from which the information was extracted.

If you haven’t already, you are encouraged to visit the VHS website to utilize the free Unknown NoLonger database.They will continue to add thousands more names to the database. Please check back frequently to review new information added to the online material. Lauranett Lee is the Curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society

If you are in the Maryland, and Washington DC area and are not in Ft. Wayne Indiana at the National Black Genealogy Summit, then you are encouraged to perhaps join members of the Central Maryland AAHGS Chapter and visit the African American Civil War Memorial.
It is the hope that members will have a big turnout for the tour. The tour is about an hour. Bring a friend with you; bring your children and grandchildren. What a great way for to celebrate Family History Month!

Today as events are underway with the National Genealogy Summit, it is a good time to review what you have been working on with your own genealogy projects. This might be a time to fill in the gaps, by getting the documents that you have never obtained on your ancestors. Census years–do you have all of them? Do you have essential vital records on the family? Have you begun to look at the community to see what you can learn bdy studying the neighbors to your family?

When visiting a research facility—hopefully you are not using valuable time to research people you can research at home. Are you using computers when you could be reading valuable journals? Are you looking at online military records when you might want to spend your time exploring county records that may have been microfilmed? Have you prepared for the conference ahead of time? Make sure you do your homework before you arrive at the research facility.

Well, thank you for your time and for listening. Let me hear from you at

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

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