Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 18th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, autumn, is officially only a few days away! I hope that you have had a great week of research and genealogical searching.

**********************************************************************************************************************************56th US Colored Infantry Ceremony

Special thanks, Sarah Cato for sharing this image.

Today our friends in St. Louis are honoring men of the 56th US Colored Infantry.  A ceremony recognizing this Arkansas unit of Black Union soldiers  56th US Colored Infantry is taking place today in St. Louis. Though organized in Arkansas, many of the men in this unit came from the state of Missouri. Also this is the same group where a large number of men perished at the very end of the Civil War in a cholera epidemic on their way back to St. Louis in 1866. They were at first buried at Quarantine Island, and were later buried in a mass grave at Jefferson Barracks National Ceremony.  Last year a special ceremony was held to honor them, when a special plaque was placed there to put the names of the graves where the men in the mass grave now lie and today another event is being held in their honor. More information can be found HERE.


CAAGS Announces the 30th Anniversary
CAAGS Call for Papers


Indiana Group Holds Annual Conference


Tomorrow in Indianapolis Indiana—the Indiana African American Genealogy Group is hosting an event! They have two special speakers—Michael Henderson, and Robin Foster. Many of you are familiar with Michael Henderson and his work, “Got Proof”. He has documented his ancestors to the early colonial time in America and has told the story in his book of his ancestors who were American Patriots. His research is sound and his research and work have provided enough data that he was eligible and joined the Sons of the American Revolution. He will be speaking about that journey to document his ancestors. His second presentation will be Manumissions and Motivations: Decoding Freedom Papers to Uncover Family Connections.

Their second speaker is another person with whom many of you are familiar. Robin Foster! How good to see that she is now speaking on the national circuit. Her two sessions are: Finding your Ancestors in Freedmen’s Bureau Records, and Using Social Media in Genealogical Research. This will be hosted at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis. For more information:



Register HERE

Are you registered yet for ROOTS TECH 2016?   Registration is now open!!!  Calling all friends from the western states, then note that the coordinators of MAAGI will be speaking at ROOTS Tech 2016!  Join us!




Georgia Genealogical Society to Host Tim Pinnick

Researchers in Atlanta will have a chance to hear four presentations by Tim Pinnick. His topics are:

Maximizing Your Reach:  Research in University Libraries
Researching Civilian Conservation Camp Newspapers
Researching Your Civil War Ancestor in the Grand Army of the Republic
Congressional Hearings:  A Primer on This Valuable Resource

For information click HERE.

Academic Society to Examine Genealogy as a entity. 

PCA/ACA to present conference on Genealogy in popular culture

Interested scholars are invited to submit papers for the:
2016 Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference
Seattle, Washington,
March 21-25, 2016

Academics studying and writing on American popular culture might examine genealogy within the context of television and literary disciplines, library and archival disciplines, American and public history disciplines, museum studies, or folklore. Proposals for papers or panel presentations regarding any aspect of these or other connections would be welcome.

Possible themes for papers/panels include but are not restricted to:

  • DNA in genealogy
  • Comparison of different genealogy television programs
  • Comparison of US genealogy television programs with British or Canadian programs
  • Study of the motivations for researching family history
  • Religious aspect of family history (e.g., LDS church)
  • Those who are interested are urged to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words. Potential participants do not need to be members to submit proposals; however, membership in PCA/ACA and registration for the conference are required in order to present.

Please send all inquiries to:

Bruce E. Drushel, Ph.D.
VP Programming & Area Chairs, PCA/ACA


Volunteers Needed for Archaeology Dig

Information HERE

Have you ever wanted to go and participate in an Archealogical dig?

Well, next week on September 22 and 23,  you will have your chance. The site is the 18th century slave quarters section of what was the old Carter’s Grove Plantation. For the past several years archaeologists have been excavating the area during the biannual public archaeology dig for the past several years. Now this area is located in York County Virginia. This site has yielded a number of artifacts. Last year a cellar was discovered and that area will be explored during this year’s dig.  What is great is that no prior experience is required and that one can sign up for morning or afternoon on either of the two days. For information send email to

A quick shout-out to the authors of Our Ancestors, Our Stories who are in Edgefield South, Carolina for the Southern Showcase and having a book signing, this weekend! Hope that all goes well there.
Time for me to wind things down for another week. I look forward to some time at the National Archives and hope that many of you will tune into the webinar next week.

Thanks for being here and sharing your information with me. In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 11th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

May the innocent souls rest in peace.

Let us all remember the innocent lives lost on this day. May their souls rest in perfect peace and may we as a nation never forget them.


Well this has been a busy week, with the holiday at the beginning of the week! I hope you all had a nice Labor Day Weekend, and now that  summer season is over, that the school season has gotten off to a good start, and that  you are ready for the fall. Actually fall is a beautiful time of the year, and the colors are truly breathtaking—but the cooler weather always reminds me that colder weather is approaching.. But let’s forge ahead into the new season.

A Google Hangout


Did you all catch this week’s Google Hangout? I am referring to the hangout  hosted by Black Pro Gen, a group of professional genealogists who gather periodically to discuss issues of interest to the community. Well the first one of the season took place on Tuesday evening and we had a great time! The topic was working with the Bureau of Records, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands—the Freedmen’s Bureau.  We had a good discussion, talking about everything from the records themselves, to the emotional aspect of reading some of the documents contained in that massive record set.  Many of the participants were indexers for Family Search and one was even an arbitrator as well in the indexing process. If you missed it, you can still watch it online: . I will add that we all had a great time taping it and I think that the next episode promises even more!

BCG Congratulations

Congratulations to LaBrenda Garret-Nelson for having become a board-certified genealogist. She found out this week and this is wonderful news to hear. There are only a handful of certified genealogists of color to become certified, many  of whom have become discouraged from going through the process, so a hearty congratulations to her.


Tomorrow the Baltimore AAHGS chapter will hold its monthly meeting tomorrow. The special guest will be Reginald Washington former staffer of NARA. He will be speaking about the Southern Claims Commission.  This may be a record set that many of you are not familiar with, and perhaps should be. I hope that you will explore this record set, which by the way has been digitized and is online at .



If you live in the greater Washington DC area don’t forget to make it over to Alexandria Virginia to catch researcher Char McCargo Bah in the second presentation on the 1880 census series. She has been presenting a number of workshops in recent weeks and Virginia researchers in particular will have a lot to gain from her knowledge and skills.

AAHGS Web Design

An announcement for you. The Early Bird deadline for the fall AAHGS conference has been extended through today, the 11th. The deadline was  yesterday, but many found out that they  missed it and apparently it was decided to extend the deadline through today. So after today the registration will go up.

Our Ancestors Our Stories

Be wishes to our friends who co-authored the book, Our Ancestors, Our Stories. They are on their way to South Carolina next weekend for the Edgefield Showcase. There will be a large book signing for this group of authors, and they are featured guests at this event.


On the Friday the 25th of September, note that there will be a webinar with Legacy that I shall be presenting  on maps and their value in African American history. The webinar will be at Family Tree Webinars at 2pm Eastern time.



I mentioned authors, I hope you were able to catch Bernice Bennett’s show last night. Her guest was author Robyn Smith, owner of the blog Reclaiming Kin and author of the new book “The Best of Reclaiming Kin.”  She discussed many things including her experience with publishing, and also the variety of stories that she presented on her blog and how she was inspired to write about them. Her blog to book can be purchased from Amazon and also directly from her blog, Reclaiming Kin.


Well time to wind things down again for the week. Thank you all for listening and tuning in and taking out time today and every time you take your time to do so. You are truly appreciated.  Have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and to keep sharing what you find.