This Week's Pod Cast
Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can always reach me at AfricanRootsPodcast@gmail.com.
Well Happy holidays everyone and welcome to the very last episode of 2013. I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday and best wishes for those of you celebrating Kwanza this week, and even better wishes for a year of peace prosperity good health, and happiness for the coming new year!
As the new year approaches it is time to renew memberships, subscriptions and make plans for the year. I plan to slow down with the travels just a bit to reflect, do some writing and preparing for the new year as well. And this holiday period for me is a good time to just pause, plan and prepare for something ahead.
I hope you made some memories on Christmas Day, and were able to practice some of those old family traditions, and if necessary I hope that you created some new traditions as well. As we move through this holiday season I do hope that you also will be able to take some time to truly slow down and reflect on the new year ahead as well. You know—January is just around the corner, and lots of new events are being planned. I understand there is a blog fest going on with the AAGSAR facebook group, and the institutes such as MAAGI for the coming year, are going to have their schedules online within the next week. And we are all excited about Roots Tech coming up in about 6 weeks in Salt Lake City.
As you make plans for next year–why not consider something new? We are all on Facebook and Twitter, but have you considered connecting with genealogists in a new way? Take Twitter– why not try to participate in a Twitter stream conversation? There is something going on with a special hashtag group called #genchat. Every two weeks there is a twitter stream taking place on different topics in genealogy. It’s fun and moves quickly, but you can meet people, find some interesting links to come back to and just have some new avenues to explore. They already have their schedule up the for the year. Take a look at the topics for the first quarter:
Twitter Genchat topics:
Jan 10: Looking ahead: your goals for 2014.
Jan 24: Capturing all the details: one document at a time.
Feb 7: RootsTech 2014! What new tech have you discovered because of genealogy?
Feb 28: NARA Across the States
Mar 14: Early Census Years
Mar 28: Migration routes across the U.S.
Perhaps this a good time to consider launching Twitter chats on African American ancestry. Discussions about researching the era of slavery, finding slavery records and also Record group 105–the Freedman’s Bureau records. Let’s take 2014 and be creative and try to share things a bit differently.
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How many of you take advantage of webinars?
Check out Geneawebinars, to see what is out there. Genealogy societies offer webinars, and if you are able to catch it live, it is free. After some time, the sessions go behind the membership wall. But groups from the west coast to the east coast offer webinars, and many of them pertaining to African American genealogy. Consider attending them, which might help you increase your skill set. Also check out Legacy Family Tree. I am giving a presentation on Native American genealogy in June 2014, and in July, Telling the Family Freedom Story. Webinars are lots of fun and can also take you down a new path.
Here is an interesting idea –have you ever thought about doing a surname project? There are people who have intersting names, and have started to research variations of an unusual or interesting name. Have you decided to look into a formal study of a surname. There is something that could be interesting for those of you who have names unique to your community, state, or region. Take a look at the Guild of One Name Studies—not necessarily to join which is surely fine to do so, but look at their structure. But speaking from an African American perspective–we have some names unique to our own communities already.
Although this is based in the UK—there is an interesting array of African American surnames that have a rich legacy—and some of us are familiar with a few of them—Hairstons, Goins, Chavious, Quarles, Hemmings, and more—these are names that stem from an interesting historical setting and circumstance, and there is room for a lot more encouragement to explore these names.
Well, as we become proficient in the histories of the various communities where our own ancestors lived, some of us have already unofficially been doing this anyway. Example—-I research Oklahoma—and many of the Freedmen families from the Five Tribes—Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. There are certain surnames that pertain to those tribes and to those communities—if you are remotely tied to families in Oklahoma, you are most likely connected to Stevensons, Cochrans, Hundys, Ligons or if you are Creek, the Perrymans, Barnets, Berryhills, are there, and Cudjoes, Bowlegs, Bruners, Barcus if you are Seminoles, and Cherokees have Vanns, Ross, Irons, Allens. Meanwhile the Perrys, Parkers, Burris, Darneals, Pitchlynns, Folsoms, McCurtains and so many other names are Choctaw names. As we study our histories and become proficient to the communities where our ancestors lived, we may want to focus on some of the unique inter-related families. We also study the diversity of our lines, and we have to consider so many things. So that is something new in particular as well.
Another point—it is no secret that we have mixed ancestries. DNA tests are now revealing what the composition of our ancestry is—including African, European, Native American, and some are becoming interested in studying the migration of our ancestries. Well perhaps the Guild of One Name Studies might be the platform from which you can launch your own name project. There might be some unique strategies on how to explore and to present the migratory data that you find.
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So let’s make the new year in which we try something new. We are doing the same thing, but using a new technique to get it all done. Let’s take the next week to plan, make a commitment to do something differently. All of these new things will help us to do the same thing but to do it better. And we know that is to tell the story.
Well thank you all for making this a great year, and thank you for allowing me to be a participant in the genealogy community. You have allowed me to come into your lives, and thank you for listening. I appreciate you, I know you are busy with family and work, and community so your taking time out means a lot to me. Thank you for this year, I wish you all the best for the coming year and look forward to meeting you all. Let’s all continue to grow in new directions. Have a wonderful and blessed and Happy New Year.
And next year, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.