This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me at

It’s good to be back home after a wonderful time spent at the FamilyHistoryExpo in Duluth Georgia last week! What a wonderful experience that was! Thanks Holly Hansen for putting it all together.

Today at the National Archives a Users group meeting is taking place at the NARA branch in College Park Maryland. For more info and info on future events contact Diane Dimkoff. Minutes from the previous meetings can be viewed at If you have not been able to attend the meeting you might want to review these documents.

Some news from Ancestry came out this week. ANCESTRY.COM has created an alliance with the National Genographic Project. Now I am not sure what this will mean yet from the genealogical perspective but I shall keep my eyes and ears open to find out more as time goes by.

Old Newspapers on Google I was glad to see a reference to a newspaper collection on Google. I am familiar with Google books, but the newspaper site was shared with me on Twitter, and I was fascinated by the link. I took a quick look and found some early editions of the Baltimore Afro American newspaper on line. I found the site useful for researching a community as well, so when you have some time, take a look.

HAMPTON UNIVERSITY RECEIVES LANDMARK U.S. COLORED TROOPS ARCHIVES Civil War Historian Bennie J McRae Jr. donates comprehensive archive on the history of the US Colored Troops
This is wonderful news!! I have known Mr. Bennie McRae of Trotwood Ohio for many years, have used his website often, and have been thrilled to learn from him, listen to him and try in a small way, to emulate him. The fact that his papers have been donated to Hampton, will ensure that future generations will be empowered by the wonderful knowledge that he has shared with the rest of us! His website Lest We Forget is merely the tip of the iceberg. His work has been pivotal to the preservation of the history of African American military history, in general and Civil War history in particular. We all need to emulate him, and document those long forgotten stories.

Here are some words from the official Press Release:
Hampton, Virginia, November 17, 2010 …. It was announced today that noted historian and author Bennie J. McRae Jr. has donated his archives on the African American military experience to Hampton University, located in Virginia. The centerpiece of McRae’s collection is the history of the Union Army’s United States Colored Troops that served in the Civil War. The scope of this extensive collection features on-line histories of the men and women who served or supported the Union military.

Dr. William Harvey, President of Hampton University remarked, “The Bennie McRae Jr. Collection is a landmark contribution to the memory of the of the United States Colored Troops. No longer will their strategic importance to the Union Army’s victory be a footnote in the history of the Civil War.”

I personally know this gentleman, and am so happy to hear of this effort! This man is devoted to his avocation, of documenting and sharing our history. I am honored to have met him several times, and feel that we all have so much to learn from what he has done. This is something to celebrate and appreciate. Hampton is fortunate to have acquired his records, and his information. For more information about The Bennie McRae Jr. Collection please contact:
KWL Marketing 212.629.3073

There are so many lessons to learn from what Mr. McRae has done as well as others such as Dr. Agnes K. Callum and Mr. Louis Diggs. These are individuals who have taken an interest in history, not just their own, but of others who lived in the communities where they lived. We should hope to learn and grow from each of them.

Well, next week a holiday is upon us. I wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy the time with your close friends and loved ones. May you all make new memories as you cherish the old ones.

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

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