This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well can you believe it is March? I mean really! But I am not complaining, that means for me I can start to think about planning and planting flowers in my flower bed, and warmer days ahead! Can they get here soon enough?

Anyway—in the genealogy community lots of things going on!

I hope that many of you met some deadlines! Recently about a week ago the deadline passed for the AAHGS 2013 conference in October in Nashville TN. Also some other deadlines passed—the AfriGeneas Writing contest deadline passed! Now if you missed that one—fear not—-there will be 3 more writing opportunities coming from the AfriGeneas community this year. Keep your eyes open for many more exciting things to come forth! This promises to be a brand new year!! I will address that in a while!

Best wishes to our friend and colleague Bernice Bennett as she works her way through Louisiana this week on a research trip. She is on her way to St. Helena Parish Louisiana today to dig up some records, and it should be lots of fun to hear about her results! Yesterday she was in Baton Rouge and found a bit of data and she is still at it today! By the way, follow her on Facebook to keep up with her. And if you don’t know who she is—she is host of the Blog Talk Radio program, Research at the National Archives & Beyond which airs on Thursday evenings at 9pm eastern time. This week because of her trip, she interviewed Pat Sluby on an earlier broadcast, that occurred on Monday. Pat Sluby is a genealogist of more than 20 decades, who has written a fascinating book on Black inventors.

Congratulations to researcher and blog talk radio host Antoinette Harrell who was recently honored at the National African American History Month luncheon which is hosted by ASALH. Many of you recognize her name as one of the blog radio program hosts as well as her videos and efforts to bring little known history to the forefront.

Ok—a quick plug for MAAGI. the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute! It will take place in July 2013 in St. Louis Missouri.


Are you a librarian or archivist wanting to learn more about African American genealogy?

Have you considered taking your skills to a new level and becoming a professional genealogist, but are not sure exactly what to do?

Have you reached a point in your research where you are stuck at the slavery era and are not sure where to find more data?

Have you looked at a research facility like Allen County Library, but are overwhelmed and not sure where to go?

Are you a basic beginner and would love to have a thorough overview into African American genealogy?

Then if you answered yes to one of those questions—-you may want to look at what is happening in St. Louis Missouri in July! There will be an opportunity to explore the methods and mysteries of the African American genealogica journey. 12 full classes will be offered in several tracks and speakers from east coast, to the Midwest, to the west coast will be there for a 3 day immersion experience. This will be a project oriented exercise where at the end of the 3 days, participants will emerge with something new—-a book outline, a research strategy, a brand new blog, or a business plan to initiate their own business or so much more. Take a look at MAAGI and see what there is to unfold. Expand your genealogy skills, and your methods of sharing what you do! It is time to step out your comfort zone! So let’s meet in St. Louis!

* * * * *

Well it is March and this year—that means it is almost time for ROOTS TECH! I hope that many of your are beginning to give thought to expanding how you find information, how you store information and how you share it. If you are doing things the same way that you did them for the past 10 years—then its time to step out of your technical zone and learn something new. If there are live video streams, then take advantage of them!

In case you haven’t noticed-there are new ways not just to store information, but also how to find information and perhaps time to revisit those old sites and look at them with new eyes—have you looked at FamilySearch lately? Have you seen not only the new records, but the dozens upon dozens of resources for African American genealogy—including videos, articles and so much more? And how do you capture new data when you see it? Well hopefully some of the streaming videos from RootsTech will also open your eyes.

Do you have a favorite blog or blogger? Well I have to give a shout out today to a blogger from Atlanta Georgia! Well one of my favorites is Melvin Collier—he is well known as a genealogist, a writer, and archivist and more. Well his blog “Roots Revealed” is one of those that I consider mandatory reading for beginners. Well, take a look at his last 2 posts on his Roots Revealed blog. “When the Ancestors Just Leap off the Page!” Two great reads!!

I mention Melvin because he takes the readers on a genealogical journey and his conclusions are based on logic, sound analysis and evidence! He does what we are supposed to do—conduct an exhaustive search and analyze what has been found! He does this and he shows the reader how he did it! My question—have any of you embarked upon a journey in your own family history research? Have you ever let a mystery just take you into unchartered territory? Have you read and article about an historical figure and then taken some time to find the people that the author mentioned, in the census records just to see what could be found? There is so much that can be done and if you are one who loves the journey itself—this might be a way to find your own niche as you are stretching your genealogical wings and to grow in a new direction.

Also perhaps it is time to revisit an old friend Not sure if you have taken a look at late–but there is a lot there, more than 20 message boards, databases and just so much more! If you visit AfriGeneas for the chat, then spend some time on a message board that you were not aware of. If you visit one particular forum, then try a new one! There is so much out there and sometimes those familiar sites are holding new resources and connections to new people that we never knew were there!

Well, time has passed quickly, and thank you for taking time from your schedule to tune in. Please in the meantime, keep doing what you do, keep researching, keep documenting and always keep sharing what you find!

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