Category Archives: African Roots

African Roots Podcast #286 September 26, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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


Genealogy Authors Speak at CBC Event in Washington!

Congratulations to the writers from Edgefield SC—the Memory Makers! These are the 5 authors who wrote about their ancestral research from Edgefield South Carolina. Well, yesterday they gave a wonderful presentation about their research and their book Our Ancestors, Our Stories, in Washington DC at the Congressional Black Caucus event at the Convention Center in Washington DC! They were among hundreds of authors present—but they were on a special panel discussing their work and their research. Their work should be encouragement for others to share and to collaborate. Community efforts such as this take our work to another level. And don’t forget to tell the story as they did about the research journey. You don’t have to tell always the story of your family—share your research journey with your readers! So congratulations to the authors of Our Ancestors, Our Stories!


Genea-Friends Gather as “Finding  Your Roots Airs”


This has been a busy week—-and I know that many of you were watching Finding Your Roots on PBS this week. Hopefully you got some interesting insights on how things can been learned about the family. But it should be pointed out—that it is not all an easy task and does not always come in a quick fix—the research is a process that has to be undertaken step by step.

I watched the program with genealogy friends in the AfriGeneas chat center and about 16 others watched and shared thoughts and reactions as the show unfolded. You can join us next week, in fact and watch the next episode. We meet online in the AfriGeneas chat center, and you are most welcome to join us there. Nothing like watching a program with genea-friends. To join the fun, simply go to:, type your name or initials, then join the fun! What did you think about the program?


Link to this Episode

Are you researching the south, for enslaved ancestors and in need of more primary resources? Well if you missed it, tune in to hear the rebroadcast of Bernice Bennett’s show. The episode focused on finding antebellum slave records.  The featured guest was Jean L. Cooper who spoke about amazing slave records. You know—there are literally millions of pages that contain data from plantations from multiple states and many of these incredible records have been microfilmed and there are some good index guides that have been created to access these records. Not every state is full—but places like the Carolinas, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi—there are amazing records that await you!

If you are that stage in your research and ready to go looking for additional records—you need to explore this. And by the way—-Texas researchers—there are records from various plantations for you as well. We don’t often hear about Texas resources—so this is good news for Texas Ancestored people as well.

October Events

Lots of genealogy events emerging, AAHGS, ChicagoAAGHSC, and other groups are holding their fall events. Well, I know many of you are involved also in Cemetery preservation. Robyn Smith in South Carolina is working on a local cemetery, friends in Arkansas work hard with PAAC, Etta Daniels works to save Greenwood Cemetery in St. Louis, and preservation friend Jack Robinson is working alone on African American cemeteries in Onslow County North Carolina. Well here is an interesting event for cemetery preservationists. There will be an event sponsored by Find A Grave.

The event is described as a Global Meet Up Day where the goal is to get people worldwide to be aware of the need for cemetery preservation and documentation. I am putting some information up for you to participate.

(Click photo for Link to Event)


African Heritage Celebrated in South America

I want to send a special hello and saludos to friends in South America—some of our Latino brothers and sisters are busy celebrating their African heritage and culture as well. We have cousins all over the world from Africa to other parts of the Americas.

Well, I belong to a group on Facebook called GenesPeruano—so a special “Hola Mis Amigos” to all of them! Apparently this weekend in Miraflores there is a special celebration of the history and heritage of Afroperuvian people.  A special dance ensemble there is holding a special event where as they say “Dos Culturas y Un mensaje.” Two cultures and one message. Their goal is confirm Peruvian identity  – peruanidad and to strengthening their African identity as well!  Buena suerte con todo—best wishes for a successful event to our amigos from Peru!


 Ancestry Day Planned in Oklahoma—An Opportunity Remains

Ancestry Day in Oklahoma

From Oklahoma—I hope listeners in the Oklahoma City area will contact the historical society about Ancestry Day being held in early November. The schedule is online, and looks interesting, however, for some reason there is no African American history/heritage being included.

Perhaps the organizers simply did not know what to include, but the African American history of the two territories is a rich one—so please Oklahomans—so I hope that Oklahoma friends will reach out to OHS and discuss the events and work with them to diversify the program just a wee bit more.

African Americans were on the pioneer landscape of both territories and also arrived in the west on the same Trail of Tears.  Many were enslaved, and some were free. African ancestored people worked on the lands as cowboys and settlers and of course there are the Black towns.  So it’s time to step up and step out and discuss our history!! Oklahoma–we were also there!


Southern California Genealogy Jamboree Extends Deadline for Presenters

The deadline to speak at the Southern California has been extended to October 10th, so if you are considering presenting this might be the venue for you!


Thank you all for tuning in this week and know that I appreciate your time and also I love hearing from you all. In the meantime, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #285 September 19, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well in a few days, summer will official end, and fall will officially arrive. Although it’s kind of sad to see the leaves fall, I admit that autumn is truly a beautiful season, so time to enjoy some beautiful colors that the season brings.



Thanks to everyone who tuned in to listen to my webinar that took place this past Wednesday for the Georgia Genealogical Society. I enjoyed it an am looking forward to the next one!


Facebook and the active African American Genealogy Groups!

Sample of groups on Facebook

I was fascinated to see an interesting new Facebook group this past week. And a special congratulations to Robin Foster and Jan Edwards. They have launched a new group called “Genealogy, Just Ask”. They are looking for those willing to share their volunteer services so congratulations to them. And it is a good place to also ask questions as well, so go and take a look.

I am continually amazed at the vigor in which people are pursing their family history! Social media is reflective of that activity! I am impressed with the number of groups that are out there, so take a look. at some of these groups:
Our Black Ancestry
African American Blogging Circle
Afr. American Genealogy Forum
Afr. American Genealogy Interest Group of Texas
Afr. American Genealogy & History Society of St. Louis
………and so many more!

Take a look at the dozens of African American research groups on Facebook, and join them!

Folks in the Mid-Atlantic area will be hearing Tim Pinnick tomorrow present his session on Newspapers. He is sponsored by 5 organizations in the Washington-Baltimore areas, and you are urged to contact the local groups to see where the event will take place. (No website link available for this session.)


Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show was focused on Louisiana Resources for African American Genealogy. Judy Riffel was the featured guest who shared so much information about the amazing resources coming from that state! Plantation records, church records and so much more were discussed. So much information on this complex and very interesting state was presented, so if you missed it, tune in to hear it. As you know, Research At the National Archives & Beyond airs every Thursday evening at 9:00 pm on Blog Talk Radio. And check out some of the other archived episodes for you.


Story of Mystery Tombstone, courtesy of KJRH TV

I have a mystery for you.

A cemetery in Wagoner Oklahoma featuring a headstone featuring names of people who have ties to an AME Church. The church is called Bethel Hill AME church. But there is no such church in the town, so genealogists are puzzled by this marker in Elmwood Cemetery. Here is a link to the story for you. Mystery TombstoneIf you have information call 918-485-2741.


Best African American Genealogy Websites 2014

Congratulations to the 5 websites names “Best” African American websites by Family Tree Magazine!
-Afro-Louisiana Genealogy Database
-Digital Library on American Slavery
-Documenting The American South
-Low Country Africana

All of these sites should be familiar to you, and if you are not familiar with them, please explore them and become familiar with them! And—what are YOUR favorite websites that are are not on the list? Please share them!


What is your Genealogy Specialty?

This question was placed on a Facebook group today, and I thought I would ask the question to the listening audience? Do you have a passion for a specific place or time period? Are you writing about it, or sharing information that you have? Consider “coming out” with your passion and create a blog or write an article about this passion. Possible specialties: Cemeteries, Preservation, Civil War, Women, Teachers, Rosenwald Schools, Jeanes Teachers, Contraband Camps, and on an on. What is your interest? Dare to tell the story and dare to become the authority! We need so many more writers and specialists. And we need them to share their passion with the rest of us.

Well, thanks for listening and tuning in today, and thanks for sharing your stories and links! In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!