This Week's Pod Cast


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


Wow October is about to end and the major events are winding down for the year. A quick shout out to friends who are attending the Texas State Genealogy Society Conference this weekend! There is an amazing array of speakers and if your are in Texas then Dallas TX is the pace to be!



Danville Virginia Library Offering Genealogy Presentations


Best wishes to Ressie Luck who will be presenting next week in Danville, Virginia at the Public Library Auditorium on African American Ancestry. Some of us know Ressie through social media. She serves as president of her local chapter of AAHGS, and will be sharing methods of her areas of research.


On November 17th Danielle Pritchett will give a presentation of methods of navigating the Slave Schedules. Now this is a most under-used record, and many times we take a look–see that there are no names, and move on. Well Ms. Pritchett will share what she has learned from using both sets of records (1850 & 1860) and how she was able to glean more information about her enslaved ancestors.

In the Maryland area,  you are invited to attend the genealogy presentation at the Banneker Museum on Saturday October 28, at the Banneker Museum and Recreation center. The session will unfold in the house across the lawn at the Banneker Museum site at 10:30 am. I shall be giving a basic genealogical overview, and then will follow a family’s history into the mid 1800s, as a case study.

For more information click on this LINK.

Georgetown 272 – Descendants of Slaves Sold in 1832 Sought

Have you been following the story of the Georgetown 272? This is an ongoing story of the fallout from the story of a number of people who have learned that they are descendants of 272 enslaved men, women and children who were sold by Jesuit priests to save the university and to expand the university from the proceeds from that sale. A genealogist in Washington state first had her story told in the press several months ago, and since that time there has been an interest in learning more about the descendants of those who were sold. I am happy to also learn that there is an interest in also learning about those who were “left behind” the descendants of those whose families were torn away from them and taken to Louisiana for that sale.

Well—I want to draw your attention as genealogists to an active community of genealogists in social media who are researching, and sharing data about the descendants. There is an extremely active group on social media and if your are on Facebook, simply to to Georgetown 272 Descendants, and join the community. If you believe that you are connected and have ancestors from Maryland, and/or Louisiana, then you may want to explore the history and see if you have a connection to the families. Family trees, dna projects and so much more is being discussed. In addition, there is discussion about the university extending “legacy” admission status to those who can prove ties to the 272 who were taken south to Louisiana.

If you have ties to southern Maryland—St. Mary’s County in particular, and have the following surnames, the Georgetown University 272 project may be interested in connecting with you. They are seeking descendants of the 272 slaves sold in the 1830s to Louisiana. Note that many families were split before the slaves were taken south, and some who remain in Maryland, are among those whose relatives were taken and sold. The surnames are:

— They are seeking persons from Maryland and Louisiana, who have one or more of the following last names (the more the better!):
Barnes/(Barney), Blacklock,Blair, Brown, Butler, Campbell, Contee, Coyles, Cremble, Cutchmore (Kercheman), Digges (Diggs, Digs), Dorsey (Dorsy) Eaglin, Ford, Gough, Greenlief (Greenleaf, Green), Hall, Harris, Harrison, Hawkins, Hill, Johnson, Jones, Kelly, Langley, Mahoney, Merick (Merrick), Noland (Nolanty), Plowden, Queen, Riley, Scott, Sweeton/(Sweden), Ware, West, Wilton,Yorkshire

If there is  a connection—join the FB group and someone should be able to assist you.



Did you catch any of the National Archives Virtual Fair this week? The National Archives hosted an online virtual fair for two days with live video streaming coming from several of the branches of the National Archives. The classes allowed questions from viewers, and will still take questions about their collections. I was able to catch several of the video presentations and actually plan to re-watch two of them. I think that this is great way to learn more about the holdings, but in addition, it is also a wonderful way to understand what some of the records actually contain. You can catch archived versions of this year’s presentations HERE.



How many of your are out there planning to write that book on your family history? Some may be interested in writing the story of the ancestral families, others may wish to write the story of the research journey and others may have an interest in simply writing about a community–the place that became the backdrop where the ancestral story played out. Whatever your interest–you may want to think about watching last night’s webinar on writing hosted by the writing coach, Anita Henderson. There is a special online site that she created called, the Genealogist’s Writing Room, where you can get some special assistance in producing that long desired book sitting in the corner of your mind and trying to get on paper. More information can be found HERE. And if you missed last night’s discussion, you may do so HERE.


A final word about writing and getting your story out and on paper. There is much to write about, the more you are able to conduct research. The challenge for many is simply to get started! If you have already begun the research–the question is–what are you now going to do with what you have learned? Also what story is the most unique story to tell? The story of your research journey? The data itself? The revelations in what you have found? There are many approaches to writing—but you must first understand the urgency. You may find yourself talking about writing, yet never picking up the pen. And sometimes, you will find that others will listen to you and then realize that they can also tell the story. But we all know that we are the owner’s of our own narrative, and as a result, we are responsible for telling it ourselves.

To get started–just start a small blog. Make it private if you wish–but start writing–get some of the story out there. After a few days or weeks–share it with someone. Join a community of others who write and blog. With time,  you will realize that your blog has its own life and its own dimension in your life and writing will become a natural outlet for you. That is the beginning. Trust me–there are readers who are waiting for you.

MAAGI Writing Track Brings Historical Fiction Author

Well next week registration will open for MAAGI- the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute. If you are a beginner, or interested in DNA, the Pre/Post Slavery period, or in writing, then take a look at MAAGI 2017. July 11-13th 2017 at the Genealogy Center in Ft. Wayne Indiana, MAAGI will offer you 12 classes in each track from which you will be immersed for 3 intense days of learning, and growing.


And for the first time, the writer’s track will be featuring Beverly Jenkins the award winning historical fiction writer. The author who brought us Indigo, and so much more! On November 1st save your seat for MAAGI – The Teaching Institute!


Time to wind things down for this week. Thank you all for your time, and thank you for sharing some of your events and thoughts with me this week. We are all busy and there are many options for you. Your spending a few moments with me is truly appreciated. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend! In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!

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