This Week's Pod Cast


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

Family Search Digitizes the Mississippi Freedman’s Bureau Records!

Good news is out this week from Family Search—the effort to digitize the Mississippi Freedman’s Bureau records is unfolding! This is exciting, since so many families from throughout the country have ties to the state of Mississippi, this is a critical body of records. So far about 66,000 records are there to examine, and hopefully even more will surface. Since this is a new collection–it is taking time for them all to be viewed, but within a few days this should be completed, and all will be easily seen.

And of course—-join the effort to index these records! We need these records to be indexed as soon as possible, and truly need to become a part of this critical project!


MAAGI is 10 days away!

The Midwest African American Genealogy Institute is 10 days away. Nationally known speakers are going to be there, Thomas Macentee, Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, Bernice Bennett, Dr. Shelley Murphy, and Janis Forte!
For more information about MAAGI, click HERE.


Those in Washington DC are invited to join Bernice Bennett and Ellen Butler for a book signing at the Family History Center in Kensington MD, tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. They are two of the authors of the collaborative work, “Our Ancestors, Our Stories”¬†published earlier this year. If you have no yet obtained your copy, then this will be a great opportunity to meet some of the authors and to learn more about the collaborative process as well.


Speaking of Edgefield South Carolina—they are truly amazing and I have to salute them. Their records are intact, and I appreciate the fact that this community is embracing its history. They are sharing their history—with the African American community as well. I was recently shown a copy of The Quill, the newsletter of the Old Edgefield District Genealogy Society. The most recent issue of the newsletter contained data from an estate inventory of John Ryan, who had left data on the slaves on his estate. I know that there are wills, estate inventories and so much more. I hope other communities will put this data in their publications as well.

If you come from a community in the South where there were lots of people enslaved and if your society newsletter does not reflect those enslaved people–this is a great opportunity to do so. If you need a model–check out the Old Edgefield District Genealogy Society. To get a copy of the Old Edgefield Genealogy Society Newsletter—contact the organization at this link.


Library of Congress Acquires African American Oral History Archive!

News came out this week that the Library of Congress has acquired the archives of the History Makers, a series of oral history interviews documenting African American life and culture.

This acquisition consists of over 14,000 tapes, 3000 DVDs, 70,000 paper documents and so much more! What makes this so significant is that this is the¬†“single largest archival project of its kind since the Works Progress Administration‚Äôs initiative to document the experiences of former slaves in the 1930s.‚ÄĚ To describe this as larger than the ¬†WPA Slave Narrative project says a lot.

This project began in 1999 and has traveled throughout the nation as well as countries to capture this very rich history. For more information click HERE. 

For more on The History Makers, click HERE.


If you missed Bernice Bennett’s show last night, you are urged to tune in to hear an interesting discussion of a book and a discussion on race, class and color. Her guest was Daniel Sharfstein, author of The Invisible Line. He discussed the book where he researched three families that went intentionally from Black to white, and how identity has changed. The discussion in the chat was a poignant one on race and color. ¬†To hear the archived show, go to BlogTalkRadio.¬†Remember her show, “Research at the National Archives and Beyond airs every Thursday evening at 9pm eastern time.


AAHGS Conference¬†Announcement is out—also check out their newly ¬†This may be a good time for you to consider planning to attend the conference in October in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania!


Use Social Media to document your research journey and your findings in the records and in the community! I was excited to share something on Facebook with another researcher who shared her challenge in finding an ancestor’s headstone. Well it turns out that her ancestor had two headstones! By sharing the story of finding one—I was able to follow a clue on a death certificate that she shared—and I found the other headstone! And this is the one that resides on the actual burial site of her ancestor! I am speaking about Robin Foster and you should be fully aware of her amazing research, and her hard work. She is one of those unsung heroes in the genealogy community and is one to follow. The benefits of sharing in social media cannot be discounted!

I hope that many of you will be sharing your experiences on social media from the reunions and research trips that you will be making as well over the next several weeks! Enjoy and share!


Well thanks for tuning in again this week, and know that I appreciate you all for sharing your news and announcements. Also next weekend is the 4th of July holiday weekend, so I know that many of you will be spending time away with family, so do enjoy that as well.

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!

One Response to “African Roots Podcast Episode #273 June 27, 2014”

  1. Brenda Louise Hudson says:

    I am so glad to be able to learn more about Mississippi. I have been waiting for this since the 1980’s! Thank you for making this possible.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Brenda Louise Hudson

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