This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and Welcome Back!
Today is Friday March 12, 2010
My name is Angela Walton-Raji and this is the African Roots Podcast.
Remember you can always reach me at

How is everyone today? Lots of things going on the genealogy community, now that spring is finally here!

March is a busy time here in the Mid-Atlantic area, and there are many things underway, from classes to lectures at the National Archives. In the greater Washington DC area at the main branch of the National Archives a series of lectures are taking place in the next two weeks.

Wednesday, March 17, at 11 a.m.
Room G-24, Research Center Beyond the Basics on Non Population Census Schedules Archives staff teach Beyond the Basics” genealogy research skills. This month’s topic of interest will be non population census schedules. Many of us are not aware of the many kinds of census collections that were made, and much can be learned from the non-population census records as well.

Saturday, March 20, at 10 a.m.Room G-24, Research Center Beyond the Basics on Finding Aids. It is important before looking at the records what some of those aids are that will help you to find more about your ancestors.

NARA- New York City
Finding Family: The 2010 Census: It’s Coming and It’s in our Hands
Learn the history of census-taking in the U.S. from 1790 to the present. Guest speaker Rosemarie Fogarty, NY Regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau, will provide information about how the data is collected, how your family history is recorded, and how the government uses it to make informed decisions.

Speaking of the census—when you get yours in the mail, do not ignore it, complete the form and return it—BUT—do your descendants a favor. Make a copy of the document that you complete. Save the family the 72 year wait—make a copy and put it in the family papers. I heard this suggestion 10 years ago, and it was suggested that one get a blank copy of the Long Form from 2000 and complete that document and include it also in the family papers. Even if you only submitted the short form 10 years ago, get all of the data included on a blank 2000 form and put it also in your papers. Your descendants will sing your praises for doing that.

Check the website for the National Archives to find out more about the upcoming lectures for March and April in New England, Seattle, Philadelphia and throughout the country.

What a great time to be a genealogist! Lots of televised programs have been airing from PBS to NBC, and there is even a companion book for the NBC program, Who Do You Think You Are. The book is authored by noted genealogists Megan Smolenyak whom many of us know and follow. By the way, she is giving a lecture in New York on March 31, 2010. New York Genealogical & Biographical Society at 5:30, at the NYG&B’s brand-new midtown headquarters.

Genealogy Classes
If you live in the Baltimore Washington area, you may want to take advantage of a series of classes being offered at Howard County Community College. Classes are being offered on all levels. An advanced class for African American genealogists is being taught by Robyn Smith, and those whom I know who have taken her class continually speak about how good the class was. Information about the classes can be found at:

A I said this is a great time to be a genealogist, and I have to take my hat off in appreciation for the work of a young woman from Georgia—Luckie Daniels of She has shaken up the genealogical community and she is best described as an Ancestral activist. Her Open Letter to the genealogy community has resulted in an incredible response from white researchers who have information about enslaved people in their private collections. The result—two things a new website:

A Friend of Friends. AND secondly the first Carnival of African American Genealogy. I myself have had to learn what an online carnival consisted of, and had no idea that the blogosphere was so dynamic. I also have had to just sit and marvel at what her proactive initiative has yielded. There are lessons to be learned, including the need for all of us who have been researching for a while, to step out of our comfort zone and start to truly share what we are doing, what we are finding and putting it out there on a new platform for others to join. Words do not adequately describe what Ms. Daniels has done for the community but I can only say, follow the links provided, and explore a vast new world.

Open Letter:
A Friend of Friends:
More on the Carnival:

Well, thank you for listening to the podcast this week and do know that you are appreciated. In the meantime, keep doing what you do:

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

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