Angela Y. Walton-Raji on January 22nd, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

Blizzard 2016 1
Early view from my deck as snow begins.

Well we are truly now in the heart of winter and about to experience the blizzard of blizzards in the next few days. I have been busy in preparation mode, and have run all of the errands—plenty of bread, milk and other essentials in the house. That’s right most of the south central region, south east, and mid-Atlantic states are getting hit with the same storm. As a result, this is one of those storms of all storms that shall be unfolding! I know that many of you listening are also in the path of the storm, so I pray that you will all be safe, warm, and dry, and will not have to venture out into the frigid air. We are also expecting high winds over the next two days so I hope that you will all be safe as the storm moves in and hope that it moves out quickly.

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BlackProGenHangoutBrickWall

Black Pro Gen Hangouts Start Next Week!

Everyone is invited to participate in the BlackProGen Google Hangouts next week! They will start on WEDNESDAY January 27th! (not Monday) and for info and the link to participate in the live chat click HERE. Black Pro Gen is an informal group of professional African American Genealogists who get together to share thoughts, strategies, projects and fellowship with one another. We started last year and we are beginning a new season of discussions, brick wall sessions, and exchanging ideas with each other.

The topic for the next two hangouts will be discussions about the PBS series Finding Your Roots. This is a two part topic and participants will share their opinions, thoughts, and reactions to the findings and records used.

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Bernice's Logo

When Wills Don’t Go As Planned

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured David Paterson, who shared with listeners some of the data that can be gleaned when a family challenged a will in the 19th century. The challenge to the will had dramatic and direct impact on the lives of the enslaved people who were often the prize when a will was contested. He shared last night the plethora of data that can be obtained from such files, and how researchers should study some of these contested wills. The information that he presented was outstanding, and one that stood out was the story of Macharine Bunkley who had an unusual relationship with her enslaved population, whom she educated and later freed, in her will.

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Ealy Family Book

The Ealy Family Book Emerges!

Congratulations to Melvin Collier who has recently authored yet another book. This time his focus was the Ealy family to which Melvin has some amazing documentation on how various branches connect! The family today consists of the descendants of “Big Bob” who was taken south from his home in Nash County North Carolina, and his 12 children whom he had with wife Jane. The result is a very large clan with many branches today. Melvin has incorporated stories and memories from elders about their lives in the Lena and Tuscola communities. In addition he has incorporated information on three additional children of Bob Ealy have been found, and of course the quest to find more children and descendants still continues.  Melvin is an accomplished author and the book is sure to please many readers even beyond the Ealy family itself. Melvin is noted as a storyteller, and also as an accomplished writer.

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DPLA

Digital Public Library of America

I want to encourage you all to take a look if you have not yet done so, at the Digital Public Library of America. So much is there, I can only describe it as a place where you can survey the holdings of many libraries from one place–your own computer. This site is a collaboration between libraries and repositories around the country that are sharing links to their digitized holdings and the sites are truly amazing. The site is free, the images load quickly and the search experience is only limited to your own imagination! DPLA  (if link does not work simply type dp.la)

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For Cemetery Enthusiasts:
Architecture Writer is Looking for Cemetery Preservationists

LandscapeArchitectureMag

A writer for Landscape Architecture Magazine is interested in individuals who have worked in the restoration or preservation of neglected African American cemeteries for a special article in their publication. The writer is also interested in learning of neglected cemeteries that were successfully restored, and if anyone used the help of landscape architects. If you are working in this area please feel free to contact Zach Mortice. He can be reached at 773-654-3611, or via Twitter @zachmortice. His website is htt://zachmortice.com.

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Thank you all for tuning in this week. As we are all being blanket by more than a foot of snow, please stay safe, warm and dry, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and please keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on January 15th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast

 

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

MLK PhotoHappy Birthday Dr. King!

I hope that you have had a good week of research. Today is the beginning of the holiday weekend, and this is the historical date of Martin Luther King’s birthday. Although the official holiday is Monday, today is a good day to pause, taken a moment to reflect on the legacy left by Dr. King. May we all be people of courage, leadership and dignity. We have so much to learn from his history and devotion to social change.

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ChoctawRollCover

I have had a good week and have gotten good feedback from a blog post that I made on my Choctaw Freedman Blog. I placed a link to a new set of records recently digitized by Ancestry. This was the 1885 Choctaw Freedman Census, and I was happy to point out to readers that this database has been made available, and how to use them.  And I am more than excited that Ancestry partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to get these records in the hands of a larger community.


ChoctawFreedmenFamilies1885 3
Source: CTN 07 Choctaw Citizens and Freedmen Ancestry.com. Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Marriage,
Citizenship and Census Records, 1841-1927 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

Since the posting, I have heard from three people in the past day that this new record set has helped them find out more about their history. What a joy to know that something that I wrote made a difference in one’s research. I hope to expand this into a new series about additional Ancestry Oklahoma Freedmen records available.

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DNA 23andMe ScreenShotImage showing my DNA composition from 23andMe

DNA conncetions have been in the news in recent days. I have been fascinated reading a number of articles about hos people are not only solving research questions, but how they are also making connections with new “relatives” previously unknown in Africa.

StudentAndDNA

One article about a  young lady who used DNA connections to help her find and define who she was. The article focused on a student attending MIT, who came to feel that she did not belong there. This led to a period of depression as she struggled through self reflection and began to search for a way to define herself. Eventually family history and later DNA testing assisted her. A second article referred to an ongoing event encouraged in West African countries. Places like Ghana and Cameroun are beginning to accept and welcome lost “family” consisting of descendants of those captured and taken to the Americas as slaves. Both articles reflected a desire on the parts of many to find “that place called home” and DNA is part of the process expanding.
MAAGI DNA TRACK

And speaking of DNA—remember that there is a brand new DNA Track at MAAGI this summer. 12 classes are in place to help you with triangulation, recombination, and other aspects of DNA for genealogists. Registration is now open!

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Bernice's Logo

If you missed last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show, you can tune in to catch it online. Her guest was Marcellus Joiner who spoke about his own research connecting his family to the slave holders William Neal in North Carolina. He himself is an archivist and works to help others with preservation. But he is also now focusing on his own history and quest to connect the dots. If you missed the show, you can download it and hear it in its entirety as a podcast or download from Itunes. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9m on Blog Talk Radio.

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AKADST
Happy Founder’s Day

I want to extend a wish for a Happy Founder’s Day to the women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. who ware celebrating their own history and legacy. Also note that several days ago the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, also celebrated their founders day as well. Both were founded at Howard University and both organizations are devoted to uplift and dignity of women. Both groups are to be celebrated and honored and regardless of differences, both are on the same side, and I wish them all well and all reflect a strong legacy of dignified and devoted women.|

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I want to thank you all for taking time to listen again this week. I appreciate hearing from you all, and hope that you enjoy what you hear each week. Thank you for your warm letters and emails as well. Remember to take some time out on Monday on this holiday weekend honoring Dr. King. And also, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!