Angela Y. Walton-Raji on October 30th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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

I hope that you are having a beautiful autumn season. Here in the mid-Atlantic area we are having a beautiful fall day, after a soggy and foggy week! But as October leaves us, I hope that you have been able to enjoy some of the beautiful colors brought by the season. We are at peak color right now and it is truly breathtaking!

NARA Image Blue

National Archives Branches Ending Saturday Hours

It has been a busy week and I can share with you some news from the National Archives! If you are from one of the many cities where there are branches of the Archives, then some sad news about the hours. Saturday hours are being terminated at the following branches: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Worth, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, Riverside, San Francisco and Seattle. The main facility in Washington DC is not affected, but it was announced earlier this week about the changes in hours.  I know this will be a disappointment to many. I used to frequent the Archives on Saturdays for many years, so this cut-back in hours is not a joy to share. So researchers will have to limit their days.


ISGS Webinar Calendar Unfolded

The Illinois State Genealogical Society has recently posted their 2016, Webinar schedule. This is a very busy and productive genealogical societies, and their webinar calendar is now up for next year. Also hats off to them as last week they had a successful annual conference which was also a collaboration with the Afro-American Genealogical & Historical Society of Chicago. Their conference was a big success and they continue to impress the genealogy community.


FairfaxRegister of Slaves

Register of Slaves From Fairfax County Virginia

Fairfax County Virginia has worked to produce an amazing register of slaves that came from the county. An effort was made to extract the names of every slave mentioned in will books, deed books and any other resources from the county. The result is a register of slaves which is a part of the initiative called “Found in the Archives.” The collection is now known as the Fairfax County Slave Index. This is something that should be a model for many of us to imitate. We often see lists of names of people enslaved where our ancestors lived. But if we don’t find our own families, we move on. But perhaps part of that story can actually be found right there, even in the page that doesn’t have our families. After all our ancestors did not live in a vacuum. And the act of extracting the names of those who come from the same community is still a valid one, as it is reflective of the larger community. We are often lost in micro-history because we only seek our own line. This sometimes leads us to missing the greater story that belongs to all of us. I salute the initiative of Fairfax County to record the names. The macro-history is part of our own micro-history, and hopefully this register will assist more Virginia researchers. Now to get more communities to do the same thing!


 American Antiquarian Society Offers Newspapers from Caribbean Countries

Caribbean Countries Map

Time for us to think more globally. How many of us are paying attention to the other communities and even countries for where we have ties? With DNA, many are finding matches from other counties, including African and the Americas. Countries like Jamaica, Haiti, as well as countries in Africa are showing up as connections to people who are pursuing DNA testing. 

Well, perhaps we need to look more closely at the histories in those countries as well trying to make the African connection. An announcement was shared recently. from the American Antiquarian Society that newspapers from Caribbean are now available. This is the largest online site where one can access a collection of newspapers from Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, and many more countries. As we strive to find our African Ancestors, many of us have ties to these countries as well, and as we expand our research inquiries, we may be helped when we look at other parts of the Americas as well.


Wacky Wednesday
Whacky Wednesday With Dear Myrtle

How many of you are familiar with DearMyrtle? If you are not, then you should be. This is a person who gives tirelessly to the genealogy community. I have known her for many years, and still to this day, she continues to inspire and to inspire! Well, I had an amazing experience this week! I was a guest on her weekly Google Hanout, and I truly loved the experience. She and Russ (aka Cousin Russ) were wonderful to talk to and I had the chance to talk about my favorite topic–US Colored Troops. I also got to talk quite a bit about Native American history and research.  The Wednesday program is called Whacky Wednesday and it is an information chat with genealogy friends on a number of topics. Myrtle  aka Pat Richley-Erickson is a person to know a person to follow and a person to call a friend. I want to personally thank her for her contribution to the genealogy community. She is one of those leaders from way back in the early days of the internet, and I had a great time as a guest on her weekly Google Hangout. Check out Pat’s work and her contributions to the genealogy community!


Tales from the Genome – A Genealogy Conversation about DNA With Black Pro Gen

Speaking of DNA, did  you miss this week’s Google Hangout with members of Black Pro Gen? Earlier this week on Tuesday we had a great discussion about DNA and the impact that DNA has had on our genealogical process. It was entitled Tales from the Genome, In addition we discussed areas of responsibility that we have as researchers, in how we share our data, with family. Good discussion. In case you missed it, here is a link for you.



Families Separated by Slavery Revealed in Lost Friends Letters

If  you missed last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show then you need to tune in to it. Her guest was Dionne Ford, and her focus was her journey to find her own family. In the course of that discussion she shared information about the effort that former slaves had in re-connecting their families lost by slavery separation. There is a new database and it is an amazing resource that people need to start using! Lost Friends database consists of a searchable database to reveal many letters that were published in the Southwestern Christian Advocate, part of the Methodist Episcopal church.  These letters are heart-breaking and they truly reveal the pain in the lives of slaves and the aftermath of the heartbreak that families went through trying to connect with loved ones. This was an excellent show and you are urged to tune in if you missed last night’s show. Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

Well, wrapping up for this week. Thanks for listening and taking time from your very busy schedules to tune in, as you are appreciated. Do have a safe weekend and drive extra carefully as the children will be out Trick or Treating for Halloween! Have a wonderful week of research, and of course remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on October 23rd, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me HERE.
It is good to be back in Maryland again. Last week I came to you from Richmond Virginia where I attended the 36th Annual AAHGS Conference. It was very successful and everyone is now looking toward 2016 in Atlanta!


Archives Logo

Did you catch the NARA Virtual Genealogy Fair? I caught it and learned a lot about how to find records of WWI ancestors. I was quite excited to learn more about obtaining those records. Also I learned that records of the Gold Star Mothers are also available. Next time I get to St. Louis, I hope to spend time at NARA to get some research done. If you missed the Virtual Genealogy Fair, you can still watch the videos HERE.



Webinars for next year are now available with Family Tree Webinars. The schedule is now up for 2016 and it promises to be quite interesting. Take a look at their schedule HERE.


FultonHistory                                                                    Fulton History

Amazing Newspaper Site with over 30 million pages!

Fulton History is an amazing site. This is the work of a single man (Tim Tryniski) who has scanned millions of newspapers and has added so much to people in the public domain seeking information. I appreciate what individuals do who find their calling and go out there to be a leader in their field. This is truly amazing information. Some are deeply into cemetery preservation, like Robin Foster in South Carolina, Jack Robinson in North Carolina, and Etta Daniels in St. Louis Missouri. There is much to learn and like the man who has scanned millions of pages, these are good models to follow. Hear your calling and respond to it!


    Illinois State Genealogical Society Conference Unfolds This Weekend
    With the Afro American Genealogical and Historical Society of Chicago

Janis Minor Forte, Tony Burroughs, Thomas Macentee and others are among the many speakers this weekend in Illinois at the annual conference. ISGS and AAGNSC. For more information click HERE.


Black Pro Gen Hosts Google Hangout! Topic: DNAHangout ImageJoin the Google Hangout!


Bernice's Logo

Last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show featured Dr. Janice Lovelace of Seattle. She shared methods of how she documented an enslaved ancestor named Solomon. You can catch her show every Thursday evening at 9pm est on Blog Talk Radio.


Latest Blog Post: I was excited to updat a blog that I had not updated in several weeks and hope to get back on a better writing schedule, now that my travels are over for the season. This week’s blog update was about Civil War Era Ancestors Among Oklahoma Freedmen. See link below to read the post.


Are Your Civil War Era Ancestors Among your Freedmen Ancestors


Well, I am winding things down for this week! Thank you all for tuning in. Your time is important and I know how busy so many of you are. Thanks for listening and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and to keep sharing what you find!