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

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! I can always be reached HERE.



Well, it’s literally the middle of the month and also the infamous 15th of April—yes tax day! And we will be watching the evening news to watch the last minute tax payers rush to drop their tax statement in the mail. That is always the news story of the day on the 15th of April it seems, at least in larger cities. But I am excited about seeing mid-April, because that is usually when winter finally gives up and truly it melts into spring. We are now having 60 degree weather daily, and what a warm sweet thing to feel once again. I hope that you are also enjoying spring warmth and sunshine at least where you are.


Tampa Newspaper Cemetery story

I have been following an interesting story to preserve a cemetery in the Tampa area. Lincoln cemetery has fallen into not only neglect, but has totally been forgotten. Well one resident Vanessa Gray has devoted her time to help preserve this burial ground. This kind of story deserves out attention and if you live nearby then it deserves your assistance. Find the story HERE. I enjoy these stories of individuals who put in a true labor of love to honor the deceased. Like the efforts in St. Louis to preserve Greenwood Cemetery, this lady in Gulfport works tirelessly to honor those buried there.


Shout Out

A shout out to Andrew–a listener who is working tirelessly to follow the history of his ancestors prior to 1870. He is studying and analyzing the community in 1870. There are some critical tips to follow in identifying the slave holder.
1) Study the neighbors
2) Determine who had real estate and personal property of value
3) Look at the 1860 slave schedule–are the same land owners of 1870 there as well?

If one finds a pre-1865 document, then one may be able to reach conclusions about possible slave holder. But then look at earlier records, tax record, court records–probate and chancery court and more.

There are methods of identifying the last slave holder and with a sound strategy one can begin to walk the maze of pre-freedom research.


MAAGI Tiny Logo

Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute
Registration Is Fully Underway

Have you taken a DNA test, but now want to know more of the stories that are part of your African American family history? Or, are you a professional genealogist researching for an African America client? Are you familiar with Black resources in one part of the county, but not in the other?  Well–if any of these situations apply to you and your research, then you may want to attend MAAGI

MAAGI is the Midwestern African American Genealogy Institute. For 3 days in July, you will have a chance select 1 of 4 different tracks devoted to African American genealogy. For the novice MAAGI can teach you new skills. For the experienced researcher, MAAGI will expose you to different resources that you may not be using

MAAGI will be located this year at the world family Genealogy Center at in Ft. Wayne Indiana, July 12-14, 2016 at the Allen County Public Library.

MAAGI will bring together nationally known speakers to a small group of participants to spend 3 intense days of  learning, analysis, and presentation. July 12 -14, 2016 can change what you know, and influence how you approach your knowledge of your own family history.

MAAGI can enhance how you present family history data to your clients, and for many MAAGI will illustrate various methods of writing the family story.

Whether you need a foundation course, a writing course, or want to explore time before nad after slavery, or want help with finding out what the DNA report really means.

MAAGI will teach you how and where to go next, now that you have begun to look at your past. Join the small and intimate group at MAAGI—the Teaching Institute!



For Immediate Release
Press Release from AAHGS

National African American Genealogy Conference Set Oct. 13-16, 2016 in Atlanta

For beginning, intermediate and advanced family tree searchers

ATLANTA, GA — Black genealogists and other family tree searchers from across the nation will meet here October 13-16, 2016 for the 37th Afro-American
Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) National Conference.

The theme, “The Ancestors on my Mind – Discovering our Ancestors, Our History, and Ourselves — TOGETHER,” will focus on the conventional and unique techniques
for researching family trees of persons of African American ancestry.

Open to the public, the conference will be hosted by the AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter at the Westin Atlanta Airport hotel, 4736 Best Road, Atlanta, GA. Hotel
reservations can be made at special rate via a link at or

Beginning, intermediate and advanced genealogists will attend more than 30 sessions (to be announced) on topics such as resources, research methods, social media, family
history writing and publishing, repositories and DNA.

AAHGS is a national non-profit membership organization committed to the preservation of the history, genealogy and culture of African-ancestored
populations of the local, national and international communities. The AAHGS Metro Atlanta Chapter, founded in 2000, meets monthly at various locations in
the Atlanta area.

Follow conference updates on Facebook (, Twitter ( (#aahgs2016), and the websites. Send queries to


Finding Samuel Lowe Featured on Blog Radio program

Why Skip the Freedom Story?

How are you trying to tell the family story?
They were there in 1870 and were free at last.
Well—-how were they free?

Do you think that your ancestors waited passively for freedom? There are countless stories that are missing? Were they freedom fighters–soldiers with the Union Army? Were they contrabands who freed themslves? Were they runaways? Why not search for how their status changed. Sometimes the story is told in military records–pension files, or Southern Claims Commission. Look at the Freedom Bureau records–and find out how freedom came. Let’s all make a commitment to telling that story.

Well—time has quickly passed. Thanks for sharing the records that you have located. I appreciate you all for being there. I hope in the meantime that you continue to work on your amazing projects. Please continue to keep researching, keep documenting, and always keep sharing what you find.


Angela Y. Walton-Raji on April 8th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to this week’s podcast! You can reach me at

I hope that you are enjoying spring, but we are still having changing weather and are even expecting a bit of snow this weekend. But spring is slowly settling in.

FHC May 2016 Conference
Spring events are now underway. I am looking forward to upcoming events–in May, the Family History Center in Kensington Maryland, in May. Hope to see some of your there.


Yesterday I had a good day at the Historical Society of Baltimore County, in the monthly genealogy classes there. Yesterday, Noreen Goodson did her thing with her outstanding Introduction to Genealogy class.

Noreen Teaching Class

She did a fabulous job—this was a great workshop. If you have not seen it before–then you really need to catch her session. Those of you in the greater Washington-Baltimore area, make note of her name. She was in her element  yesterday and really outline some wonderful beginning steps for those just getting started!

Next week–I am excited to mention that I shall be teaching a class in Oella Maryland, the historical neighborhood of the African American patriot, Benjamin Banneker. Well, the Banneker Park and Museum will host a series of classes, and I am honored to be teaching a class there this coming Tuesday beginning at 10:00 am. I am honored to teach a class there, and look forward to it.

This week I have had a chance to explore my local area. Have you had a chance to explore the local area where you live? Many of us don’t live in the communities of our childhood. Well I have been learning so much more about the African American community of western Baltimore County of late. I have been inspired to look and embrace the local history where I now live.


Melvin's Webinar

Today—2:00 pm—don’t forget to listen to Melvin Collier’s webinar., Confirming Enslaved Ancestors, Through DNA. You really want to catch this. I have seen him in action, and he will be inspiring. I like the fact that he creates a theory and then sets out to prove it. In this case he had some DNA matches, and was able to solve the mystery of a family separated by slavery and selling of slaves—an amazing story!  So tune in today!


MAAGI Tiny LogoMAAGI Offers DNA Track

Speaking of DNA—are all of those words a bit confusing? Centimorgans, triangulation, SNPS, autosomal tests, mitochondrial DNA. Well it can be confusing. To make sense of it all—you may want to look closely at the DNA track to get a handle of it all. This year at MAAGI, there will be a full DNA track, and even a chance to explore the emotional side of DNA. The new track on DNA will explore DNA in full–Shannon Christmas, Bernice Bennett, Nicka Smith, will break it all down for you. The emotional side is quite intense. Some are surprised when they see the result. And imagine the emotion for adoptees, finding blood relative for the first time. There is also emotion for others who are suprised to find an ethnic makeup that they did not expect. Some are expecting to find something else that they did not know was there. Sometimes family stories are confirmed, and others find out that a story is not what it was expected. Take a look at MAAGI which unfolds at the Genealogy Center at Allen County Library, July 12-14th 2016 in Ft. Wayne Indiana.


James and Jari

Were your ancestors involved in a fraternal organization? Were they masons, or members of the Eastern Star? Or how about the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, or United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten? And Odd Fellows in the family?  Have you seen an unusual headstone for ancestors? Well–they may have been, and last night on Bernice Bennett’s show, she featured two guests–Jari Honora, and James Morgan III. Both of them are more than knowledgeable about numerous groups in which our grandparents, and their parents were often involved. These groups are membership organizations that became the essence of their life apart from work and the daily routine. You can learn so much about the community where they lived. Both Jari and James laid it out for listeners. Studying Benevolent organizations can be so useful to your genealogical research. Last night’s show was so informative, so if you missed it, tune in and listen to the podcast. Bernice’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

Question of the Week: Do you Know Any Family Stories?
I hope that many of you are doing more than collecting names. We have dozens of stories. Capture them, seek that information. Your friends and even relatives do not want to hear your list of names. They don’t really want to see your family history chart. They want stories. Were they enslaved? Then how did they become free? How did freedom come? Did they leave enslaved? Did they emancipate themselves? Find that story and tell it.


Winding it down again for this week and I want to thank you for tuning in. You have choices on how to spend your time and I am grateful that you are there. Thank you so much for sharing your announcements, event, interviews and am always happy to pass them on to others. You are appreciated.

Please remember to continue to keep researching, keep documenting and to keep sharing what you find!