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.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on September 4th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well it is the Labor Day weekend and yes, the last official weekend of the summer season! I hope you have wonderful things planned for your family and friends. Last BBQ of the weekend, later summer reunion and a fun-filled gathering for everyone. Schools are also now open, and I some are having family gatherings, so make some wonderful memories with family.AncestryFree

In the genealogy community–well its time to visit the subscription sites that have specials going on Ancestry has opened up their collections to everyone this holiday weekend. So if you have time, go and see what their new collections have to offer as well.


ReclaimingKinReclaiming Kin

Most events in the genealogy community are on the local level. Many society chapters are meeting next weekend, because of the holiday weekend. I know also that in Maryland the Central Maryland will host Robyn Smith author of Reclaiming Kin. As you know she hosts the blog of the same name, and she has turned her blog into a book and has decided to share her blog posts with the larger population by turning some of those stories into articles and chapters of her book, Reclaiming Kin. She will be a guest at the Septemeber 26th meeting of the Central MD AAHGS chapter at 1:00 pm.



A new database from Fisk University is available. This database reflects the history of the Rosenwald Schools. Well the Fisk database allows the user to search by name of school, by state, and by county. Delightfully the database is easy to use, it loads quickly and for me a special treat is to also see images of these schools. One can almost hear the voices of the teachers and students on the grounds of those old structures by looking at the images that are there. One person in the genealogy community found schools that her ancestors attended. If you have ancestors from those rural communities chances are high that they attended those Rosenwald schools.  Those old places are gone in many cases, and the images now reflect the ghosts of the past as they were many decades ago. Take a look at the database.



Next week—BE THERE! I am talking about the first episode of the season–the Black Pro Gen Google Hangout! The topic will be  the Freedmen’s Bureau. We will talk about the records and the indexing initiative as well. This record set has begun to open doors and to put a real crack in the “wall of 1870”, where many African American’s get stuck. The bureau helped freed slaves adjust to freedom, also to have their children released from bondage. There are also records where marriages were recorded, where labor contracts were negotiated, and so many more kinds of records. Contact Nicka Smith at who is nicka smith for more information.


HIdden Stories

I mentioned forgotten places like the Rosenwald Schools is a project that arose from an event in North Carolina at the North Carolina Museum of History. This is an exhibition called Hidden Stories of Abandoned Places. This is an effort to capture other aspects of history. I mention this because we all have a number of projects that capture our attention. But our quilts, our stories, the plays we write, or other dimensions of our history. There are so many options we have to reflect our histories and to extend our historical interests into different media paths. I like the facts that those who love old structures, old buildings have methods to tell their own story that go beyond the pen and paper that we often collect. There are many outlets for us, we just need to have the courage to listen and to tell.



I mentioned documents on Ancestry a few moments ago—I am delighted to see several generations of wills that have been digitized and now placed online! I just found an ancestor’s slave holder’s will, and I am excited to see that these wills are there. And remember–not only look at the will of the slaveholder, but study the will of the neighbors of the slaveholder. Some of the slaves that you expected to see, are part of the estate of the slave holder.



Researcher Char McCargo Bah will be speaking in Alexandria again. She had given a two part session recently and she now has a two part series again starting next weekend. She will be teaching about the two 1880s censuses. The population census and also the non-population census schedules. The non-population census consists of Agricultural census, the Industrial Census and the Mortality Schedules.


Well time is running out for me this week—thank you so much for tuning in to listen, and thank you all for sharing things that you have posted and also emailed to me. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday weekend. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!