This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast!
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Well hello everyone and Happy Easter! I hope that you will all have a wonderful Easter weekend with your family and loved ones this weekend!

Well you know this is April and this is a milestone year for so many things that happened in April 1864. Emancipation took place in the District of Columbia, and there was in fact a parade on Wednesday in Washington DC.

Image from Harper’s Weekly, 1865

And for many who study events from the Civil War–there were some critical battles in the Civil War that unfolded in April. Ft. Pillow, and today in Arkansas is the 150th  anniversary of the battle of Poison Springs.

Sign Commemorating the “Incident” at Poison Springs.

I urge you to all study the events in your local area including Civil War history—because for a simple reason–many of our ancestors enlisted in the Civil war in 1864. Thousands of them —literally. And if you have not created your own timeline on your own family history then take note—for many of us–this is the beginning of freedom. Many of our own families also found freedom. The men enlisted usually around the time of a Union Army raid. When confederates were driven away, that meant that the captors, the enslavers, overseers were absent, and families found their first taste of freedom! This is something to take note of! Keep in mind one sobering fact—our ancstors have been enslaved longer than they have been free. So this is a critical thing to celebrate!!! Freedom oh freedom how sweet it is!!! So let the 150th anniversary of Ft. Pillow, and Poison Springs entice us to seek the freedom story and to tell it!


The Conference Season Begins!


The conferences are here! May is only a few weeks away, and there is opportunity to attend the Family History Center Annual Spring Conference in Washington DC!

After that comes NGS Conference, the Jamobree in Southen California, followed by Samford Institute, MAAGI, and so much more!


From Family Search


Last night on Bernice Bennett’s Show, Research at the National Archive and Beyond, featured two experts from Family Search. Merril White and Robert Kehrer were her guests, and last night’s show provided a great opportunity to listen to and hear methods of searching using the various filters and links to navigate your way through this incredible website! In fact one person followed a tip provided by the guests and actually found an ancestor while the show was airing! It was also a chance to have questions answered such as what the partnering with Ancestry would mean for users of Family Search. As usual it was an excellent show and it provided some good tips for those tuned in. The show airs every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio.


A Story of Preservation


You know I often speak about preservation, and I have mentioned the work of Joseph McGill before. This is the man working to preserve the slave dwellings throughout the country. He has brought attention to many of them, by noting their history and by spending the night in slave dwellings. The goal is single—to see that the homes of enslaved families are not demolished.  They are testament to the past, and they are were so many hopes were dashed, dreams deferred and plans for a better life emerged. As humble as the structures are, I applaud Mr. McGill, for these structures do need to be preserved.

Source of Image

 I notice that there was a tour earlier this week called “Behind the Big House” in Mississippi, and the tour encompassed the history of the dwellings. These tours are amazing and if he is coming to your area–consider joining him. Get a group from the community and meet and greet this man and the work he is doing to create those places were hopes and dreams were made and sometimes deferred, and where freedom began. These places matter and they are the sacred places where our ancestors spirits remained for many years! He is a person to follow and one to support.


Free Access to Civil War Records on Fold3



Between now and the end of April access to the Civil War collection  on will be free. Since we are in the middle of the 150th anniversary season, and since the Civil War Began in April, Fold3 is providing free access. This is good time to explore the USCT Service Records, or to check out those pension index cards, this is your chance, so go to and explore some Civil War History.

Well as we move into the new conference season and travel season, let’s stay committed to telling all of the critical stories and to support each other as we embark upon that journey. I look forward to seeing many of your on the road over the next several weeks!!

Thank you for listening, I always appreciate knowing that you are there and that you take out time from your busy schedules to tune in. In the meantime have a Happy Easter! And remember to keep researching…..keep documenting….. and keep sharing what you find!

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