African Roots Podcast Episode #309 March 6, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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


Well we have had a week throughout the country with some serious weather. We in the mid-Atlantic are buried on tons of snow. Yesterday I hope was the final hurrah of winter, when it snowed and snowed the entire day. So today is a day of digging out completely! I hope that you are all safe and warm and dry. The task at hand besides digging out–is to write it down and tell this year’s weather story.



In the meantime–genealogy does go on. Coming up next week in Charleston SC. The Avery Research Center is hosting a lecture by Dr. Leslie Harris, March 12 at 6pm. Dr. Harris will discuss the book, “Slavery and Freedom in Savannah”. The event will provide an opportunity for discussion and to look at Freedom and how it came to the Low Country.


Out west in California, in Sacramento, the 10th African American Family History Seminar. This will occur next Saturday March 14 and the Family Research Center. The special keynote speaker is Tony Burrough and a large number of topics are covered. Common Names, Native American Research, the Freedmen’s Bureau, DNA, and a Beginners class, and so much more! This will take place from 8 to 4, an all day event. I always enjoy showing support for so many groups that are out there!


This being March, I invite people in Maryland to attend an all-day program for Native American research. I will present 4 workshops all day at the SE Anchor Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library. I will be presenting resources for general research, blended families and 10th and 20th century records, so I hope that you will join me on that day.



I was so happy to see an event that will honor a much admired researcher, Dr. Ira Berlin. We appreciate the work of historians and depend upon their work to gain knowledge of the area, and the people who interest us. Well, coming up in April, at the University of Maryland, College Park, a two day event will honor the legacy and scholarship of Dr. Ira Berlin. This conference will be at the McKeldin Library.


I saw a posting from a blogger this week who decided to create something called the Slave Name Roll Project. It began in February and the creator has decided to share data, and sort it by place of origin. It is wonderful to see what is shared. Thankfully many more people are willing to share this data which can be found in private collections, or a unique record set. The blog is called Tangled Roots and Trees, where Family and History Come Together. I am not sure who the owner is—can’t find the name of the contributor, but I am still happy to say thank you!

Article Here

I was excited to see info from the Family Search blog. Top African American genealogy resources. Congratulations to all of those websites and blogs that were mentioned.

This is March, which is also Women’s History Month. This is the time to honor the many women in the family. We know that for many, the pulse of the family revolves around many of the women, the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and the female nurturers in the household. This is the time to perhaps honor those women in the family around whom many heartwarming stories  revolve.


Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show. Her guest was Antoinette Harrell, who spoke about the genealogical value of Civil Rights records. We don’t know that there are many records that reflect our history as well. We are all survivors of their efforts, and the many indignities that they endured. Explore those records as  you weave the family story. Bernice Bennett’s show can be heard every Thursday evening on Blog Talk Radio. The show can be downloaded if you miss it last night.

Also hats off to our friends in the Irish American community, as they celebrate Irish American heritage. Many of us in the African American community know that we have genetic European ties, and perhaps someday we may put energy into exploring this part of our past and may receive assistance to explore that par of our history as well.

Stay warm this week and hope that you who have to dig out, will not exert yourselves too much and do stay safe while undertaking that enormous task. Thank you all for taking time to tune in, and please ave a good week of research.

In the meantime, the task continues, so please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #308 February 27th 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!  You can reach me HERE. It is great to be back home in Maryland! I was in Atlanta this time last week, and two weeks ago, I was in beautiful Salt Lake City, for Roots Tech.  I had a great experience in both cities, but coming home is always a nice thing.



A serious winter is still roaring away and I hope that you are all keeping safe and warm. We are at the end of February, and just two more days to take advantage of free access to Fold3 and the African American collections on that site. So if you are not already a subscriber, take advantage and look at the Civil War service records, also items reflecting Civil Rights years, slavery, emancipation and so much more.

Still time to also submit a proposal for presenting at the annual national conference for AAHGS, that will occur in October in Richmond Virginia. If you are thinking of submitting, go on and get that proposal in right now.



A special thank you to all who are visiting the new mapping site, Mapping The Freedmen’s Bureau. Perhaps you had an ancestor who used the services of the Freedmen’s Bureau, or who was a patient at a post civil war hospital, or who attended a freedmen’s school. Well I am excited to mention that there is now another new mapping site. The African American Geography of the Civil War in Tennessee. This is a wonderful site that is also interactive, and it is a GIS application that has over 150 sites. Also Union Army recruitment sites that recruited black soldiers from Tennessee. You might find some additional records that might reflect your ancestors and help to tell more of the story.  So take a look at this new mapping site. What a thrill to see some new colleagues in the mapping world.

TennMapAfrAmCWLandscape of Liberation Map

I was fascinated by one of the documents that I discovered through this site was one pertaining to the Colored Orphan’s Asylum in Memphis when many children were left homeless and parent-less during the Civil War.

Orphans Asylum Memphis Harper’s Weekly, May 1866



Tune in to last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show, if you missed it.  Her guests were two people whom she had as guests before. Sharon Morgan and Thomas DeWolfe were her guests who shared elements of their lives since the book Coming to the Table was published. This was an interesting show and provided listeners to get another version of the same story. What happened after the book was published and after they have traveled across the country together sharing their  story of the life after the publication. Ms. Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


MAAGI 2015 SaveThe Date

Keep your eyes open for updates on the MAAGI website. Registration will open up this weekend. This might be a great time to enhance you genealogy skills and take classes at the Institute.

And speaking of classes those who are halfway through the History of the Slave South offered through University of Pennsylvania. Keep at it, what a wonderful accomplishment to complete this amazing course.

Upcoming Events


March 21st 2015 at Enoch Pratt Free Library at the Southeastern branch, I shall be giving an all day presentation on methods of researching Native American Ancestry. This will go from 10 am to 4L30 pm.


April 18th, Old State House Museum in Little Rock Arkansas, I am honored to participate in a special event called “Let Freedom Ring”. This is in celebration of freedom and how the enslaved population coped and fared in those years as the war ended. I hope to see many in Arkansas for that event.  This will be free and open to the public.


How does one balance—perhaps this is the time to invest in a good calendar or planner to keep up with things. Also I use not only a planner, but also a journal, and during this sesquicentenniel of the end of the Civil War, of slavery, establishment of schools, or hospitals. There are so many unwritten stories, and many are buried in collections such as Record Group 105. As we plan our reunions, I hope that many will incorporate the year of freedom into the family story. In many cases, those whose families were free people—they too had endured separation. In some cases one portion of the family was manumitted, but others remained enslaved. They too were now able to reunite with loved ones, because movement was no longer restricted.

Also take note of the wonderful online celebrations of Black History from the wonderful exhibits that have been shared online. Some photo galleries and amazing images. Yes, every month is Black History Month for myself and so many others, there are some special online exhibits that have been shared. Also I am thrilled to see that people are still sharing events and photos from Roots Tech and I urge you to catch the live video streams from that event. Also note–Bernice Bennett has compiled all of the videos made by African Americans at Roots Tech on one YouTube Video channel.


Don’t forget to tell your own stories including your version of this winter’s amazing story. I hope you are also writing and journaling to share you own story. Yes, I love journaling, and believe in recording events in one’s life.


Well time to wind down. Thank you all for taking time to listen to this week’s podcast! Thank you all for being there.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and remember to keep sharing what you find!