This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

A special note—-this is the 200th consecutive episode of the African Roots Podcast!! Thank you all for listening these past 199 weeks, and for tuning in to this 200th episode! This has been an amazing journey and I am honored to share notes, events and thoughts with you! Thank you all for your continued support!

Some good news for Black History Month: There will be Free Access to’s Black Genealogy Records in February! Fold3 is providing free access to its Black History Collection of historical and genealogical records for the month of February—Black History Month in the United States. For access simply visit their site at

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Family Search has a Free Negro Register from Isle of Wight VA. It is an old ledger that has been fully digitized and contains information for those researching Free People of Color. The actual ledger is called Free Negro Certification 1859-1862

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From ANCESTRY, comes the word that there have beeen some enhancements to the census indexing for 1940 and other years. There had been some errors in the indexing of certain states, and they are gradually being corrected. So states like Indiana which is correctly abbreviated as IN, will not appear as IA which is an abbreviation for Iowa. The word is to search again in case there were some missing ancestors that did not show up, perhaps the enhanced and corrections will direct you to your ancestors more quickly.

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A shout out to those who are enjoying the African American Genealogy Winter Getaway, which is currently taking place and is hosted by the The New England Historic Genealogical Society. It began yesterday and will run through tomorrow February 2.

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I hope you had a chance to listen to Bernice Bennett’s show last night on Blog Talk Radio. Her guest was Denise Griggs, author of “Searching for Truth, A Mulatto Slave. It was an excellent show and her guest was quite enthusiastic in sharing her story.

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From the African American Civil War Museum:

A lecture will take place this evening by Hari Jones, curator of the museum.Topic: Adding a Powerful Ally: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Civil War This will take place at 7:00 pm. This is part of the Black History Month celebrations. In this lecture Curator Hari Jones will explore President Lincoln’s policy and contributions of African American s to the Union military. This is a free event.

It should also be mentioned that tomorrow the First Saturday Descendants’ Day presentations will also take place in the AACWM Auditorium at 11:00 am. This is a chance to explore the story of African Americans in the Civil War through the eyes of their descendants as they share about their ancestor and research process. This is also a free event.

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Tomorrow February 2,the Baltimore Afr. American Genealogy Society will host the annual Genealogy Expo—this is a fun day and a gret show and tell day.
Northwood Enoch Pratt Library branch, on Cold Spring and Loch Raven from 12-4 pm.

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From Atlanta:
Legacy of the Emancipation: Its Impact upon America and the African American Experience – This day-long program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, features lectures and a panel discussion from leading African American scholars, exhibitions by USCT and Buffalo Soldier re-enactors, and other displays representing the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation. Curator Hari Jones will also be there in Atlanta giving a presentation as well.
Where: National Archives at Atlanta , 5780 Jonesboro Road, Morrow, Georgia
When: 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. For program-specific information and registration questions: please contact Joel Walker, National Archives at Atlanta, at 770-968-2530

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From Winchester Virginia:
U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison
Handley Library Auditorium
Saturday, February 9, 2013 2:00 p.m.
The Friends of Handley Regional Library and Josephine School Community Museum are pleased to sponsor a talk and book signing by Bob O’Connor as part of Black History Month. Mr. O’Connor has written six Civil War books. His book “The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison” is an accounting of those black prisoners seldom mentioned when the horrors of Andersonville are discussed. Almost half of the U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison were brought to the stockade after being captured at the Battle of Olustee, Florida. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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February 12th
The Friends of the National Archives’ free monthly webinar will be“Exploring the Records of the Freeman’s Bureau” with presenter Angela Walton-Raji. When: 2 p.m. To register, click HERE.

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From Cobb County Georgia: The Genealogy Society of Cobb County is sponsoring a Genealogy 101 class . The class will meet multiple times throughout February. The classes are free to all who attend. Course materials are available for $45. The February 16 class is Newspapers & City Directories and Afro-American Research with instructors Bea Coker and Emma Davis-Hamilton. Ms. Emma Davis-Hamilton is also President of the African American Genealogy Society of Atlanta.

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February 16th in St Louis Missouri the 4th Annual Conference of the African American Genealogy Society will take place at Harris-Stowe State University.
Speakers are coming from the Atlantic to the Pacific—a day of suggestions strategies and success—join them for their 4th annual conference. There is a conference fee that includes lunch.

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Friday February 22, 2013
Researching African American Genealogy Through the National Archives and Records Administration This even will present an overview of the various Federal records useful for genealogical exploration, including census records, military service records, records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, naturalization records, and others. For those interested, a guided tour of the National Archives at Denver facility will follow the workshop. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED and
spaces are Limited To RSVP, call the regional archives office at
303-604-4740, Mon-Fri, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM or you may email

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From Kentucky:The African-American Genealogy Group of Kentucky (AAGGKY) & National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) have joined forces for a special presentation. This will occur at their Third Saturday meeting and the topic will be “Black Patriots of the American Revolution – Tracing African-American Genealogy”. There is a $5.00 charge for admission, but AAGGKY members who are active for 2013 will be admitted free with an RSVP to

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Memphis Tennessee: Feb 23, Memphis Tenn
Our AAHGS-Memphis chapter and AARP-Cordova are hosting a genealogy workshop – “Reclaim Your Ancestors” on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

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A fascinating article was share with me this week from the < a href=””>Smithsonian Magazine about some lost and found photos of black families of the western plains. Apparently Douglas Keister traveled 40 years collecting images of mid America. He later learned that he had unknowingly preserved images of African Americans on the Great Plains as well. The Smithsonian Magazine article addresses this collection and now over 60 images will be donated to the African American Museum scheduled to open in 2015. This was the collection of Johnny Johnson. An quote from the article reflects the sentiment share by curator Michèle Gates Moresi: “They speak to a time and a place where African-Americans were treated as second-class citizens but lived their lives with dignity,” she said. “You can read about it and hear people talk about it, but to actually see the images is something entirely different.” I agree with her wholeheartedly and how wonderful that these images will be shared with the museum.

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Well winding down this 200th episode. Thank you all for listening and for your support these past 199 weeks and this 200th episode. In the meantime, keep doing what you do–keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

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