This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back!
Today is Friday February 19, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast
You can always reach me at

How is everyone today?
Wow—what a difference a week makes—-I finally made it home folks after spending more than 2 weeks in western Arkansas. I was snowed in the first several days, then I was snowed out of the east coast with the major blizzard, but it’s good to be home!

Many events have had a change in date, so I only have a few events to share with you.

Tomorrow Feb 20th at the National Museum of the American Indian a genealogy workshop on researching Blended Families—African-Native American families. 2 pm at the Resource center on the 4th floor of the museum. The event is free to the public.

Next week—-Tulsa Oklahoma Feb 26-27—the first Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen Heritage Conference and Reunion. Langston University campus in Tulsa—in historic Greenwood district.

The Dec 2009 issue of the VA Genealogical Society Newsletter contained an announcement that the staff of the Sargeant Memorial Room at the Norfolk Public Library (VA) “had published a list of free African Americans of the Borough of Norfolk in 1836. The information together with personal property taxes for Norfolk City, was found on microfilm and transcribed in booklet form”. The publication is available at the library, but more importantly for many of you it is available on line.

City Directories for Norfolk, Portsmouth and Berekley City for the years 1851 to 1951 are available on-line. Information found in City Directories can be used by genealogists of all skill levels and the info reveals so much about the community.

An interesting article was shared recently about data from a Public Policy professor who studied the policy towards the distibution of penions to black soldiers after the Civil War.

The American Journal of Public Policy published this article written by economist Sven Wilson, associate professor of public policy at BYU, explained that after the Civil War, the U.S. Pension Bureau offered benefits to wounded Union veterans, regardless of race. He studied the actual pattern of awarding pensions and the article might interest you a good deal. If you have a chance to obtain a copy of this journal, by all means do so. Most colleg & university libraries have this publication.

Attention folks who research the Virgin Islands, there are some new resources for you.St. Croix African Roots Project
The St. Croix African Roots Project (SCARP) is a multinational project designed to enhance knowledge and understanding of the populaticn, families and individuals of the island of St. Croix during the period of Danish rule (1734-1917), through systematic utilization of historical documentation, computer technology, scientific research and educational outreach.

St. Croix Residents 1820
Fredericksted Residents 1824
Fredericksted Brand Corps 1863
St. Croix Census 1835-1846
St. Criox Census 1850-1911

Good news for Virginia Researchers—-Death Certificates are available.
As most of you know those deaths that occurred in VA after 1912 were
locate=d at Vital Statistics in Richmond and sometimes obtaining these
certificates could pose some issues. Recently the LVA acquired and
microfilmed the deaths certificates for the period 1912-1939, there is an
index. The index actually includes deaths up to 1954, but the actual
death certificates from 1940-1954 are not available.

ATTENTION—all who have a blog:


Beginning today 19 February 2010, Restore My Name – Slave Records and Genealogy Research, will kick-off this African-American themed carnival intended to be a gathering place for the community to share and learn about African-American genealogy.

This is an event for those who own genealogy blogs. (And if you don’t have a blog—just read the entries and you might be inspired to start your own blog.)

What is a carnival of genealogy? —-It is an online event on which you post articles on your blog centered around one particular theme. Various bloggers write about this topic on their personal blog, and the carnival coordinator will compile the information and make a general report to the online community about the articles and bloggers who participated.

What is the value of a carnival of genealogy?
–This is wonderful way to learn about others who are online and busy pursuing their own genealogy, and what they have to share.

What is a value of an Afr. American carnival of genealogy?
–As you know many of us are always interested in finding new sources of data particularly when researching our ancestors who were slaves. Much of our research into the era of slavery depends upon finding documents in public and private resources about our ancestor’s lives while they were still enslaved. AND—many of us know that many records of slaves still lie in the hands of private families. Many of those families are researching and conducting their own genealogy research, and some of them have blogs. This provides an opportunity for them to have a place and an occasion to share their family documents that mention slaves. During a 2 week period, as participants in “the carnival”—-bloggers will write an article centered around a certain theme, and post them as they usually do on their own blog. The coordinator will visit the blogs, and collect the articles and then post links to the particular carnival articles on the Carnival of Genealogy website.

This new venture into African American genealogy resulted from a bold and poignant “Open Letter” submitted to the Genealogy Community, written by Georgia researcher Luckie Davis–an insightful Afr. American genealogist who hosts the wonderful blog Her Open Letter can be found at: The response from around the country has been fantastic, and bloggers of all backgrounds have responded generously to this effort. Her gesture and her working with Thomas MacEntee, the Carnival of Genealogy founder, has broken new ground, and this promises to provide more information for African American researchers.

Hopefully this effort will bring about two additional results—–1) African Americans now have a new avenue to pursue to find their ancestors from slavery era documents. 2) More genealogists, especially those who have been conducting genealogy for several years—will now consider creating their own blogs. By visiting blogs and reading these blog entries, readers will consider taking their own research into an new arena and will expand their own boundaries as well.

Congratulations and special thanks to Luckie Davis from OurGeorgiaRoots, and to Thomas MacEntee for this collaboration that promises to open new doors for African American genealogists.

Joing the blogging community and let’s get started!

Thanks for listening. In the meantime, please keep researching, keep researching, and please keep sharing what you find.

One Response to “African Roots Podcast #47 February 19, 2010”

  1. Thanks Angela for the encouraging words! Just to clarify, Jasia of the Creative Gene blog is the creator of the Carnival of Genealogy. I am the creator of the GeneaBloggers website. Thanks!

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