African Roots Podcast Episode #307 February 20, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast

Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!

I am coming to you today from Atlanta Georgia, and I am still in a post Roots-Tech high. I went, I saw, and I was truly wowed! I can’t imagine planning that event–12,000 plus people, and then Saturday, there were 20,000 people, on Family Day! What an experience, and I started with a VIP tour and was then escorted to the reserved seating section for the opening session.


I met some of the local people. Tamu Smith and Thom Reed were very gracious and made us feel a part of the activities. And it was a great place to also run into old friends from the genealogy community as well. And interestingly so many of them were there!

AYW and MyrtPat Richley-Erickson and myself in the media hub.

I was also simply dazzled by the enormity of the place with two adjoining expo halls. There was also an interesting media booth, for participants to go in , make small videos and share their insights. I was interviewed by Bernice Bennett who also interviewed Kenyatta Berry, of the Genealogy Roadshow. I then had a chance to interview faculty members and coordinators of the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute. If you can attend, I urge you to do so.

I was pleased to see a true interest in seeing presenters from diverse communities, so when the call for papers emerges, you are encouraged to submit a proposal. I did get a chance to spend time at the Family History Center. I am still working on my project reflecting Freedmen schools in the Choctaw Nation. All the time while there, the weather was beautiful, almost spring like with temperatures in the sixties! I was truly thrilled and believe it or not, I am thinking about 2016. Overall it was a wonderful experience. Also, I urge you to watch some of the taped video streamed presentations.

Shifting gears to a few announcements:
In March, the Greater Sacramento California a Family History seminar with focus on African American family history. Some interesting exhibits will be shared and this will be the 10th year of this seminar. To be guaranteed to get a syllabus, one should pre-register by March 7th. The featured speaker is Tony Burroughs, and they have some amazing instructors as well as a wide variety of topics to be covered, from DNA to Native American genealogy. The seminar will be a full day from 8am to 4pm.




Road Show Casting

Are you interested in being on the Genealogy Roadshow for next season? I am putting a link to the casting process for the roadshow.


Last Night Bernice Bennett featured Char McCargo Bah, who has taken community research to a new level. She has truly become a Living Legend because of her work on the Freedmen community in Alexandria.  She was a guest last night on Bernice’s show, Research At the National Archives & Beyond, which airs every Thursday at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.

I received a nice letter from a person who attended my workshop on using newspapers to extract the African American story. He decided to see if he could find anything published on his 3rd great grandfather. He was inspired to do some additional letter about his ancestor. He wanted to see if family oral history was correct. It turns out that this ancestor was the first Black Asst. Lighthouse keeper at the Craighill Lighthouse. He decided to google this information and found several things in print about. He found him listed in 4 different publications. I was thrilled to see that someone followed a suggestion and had some success.

Top Online Resources
The Family Search Blog mentioned a number of African American Social Media Resources to follow. I was honored to be among those mentioned. Congratulations also to all of those mentioned. AfriGeneas was listed, as was Melvin Collier and his blog, Roots Revealed, Kristin Cleage Williams hosts Finding Eliza, LowCountry Africana, Our Black Ancestry which a large group of more than 20,000 members on social media received this honor as well. And yes, the African Roots Podcast was also mentioned. What an honor, and thank you Family Search for mentioning this site as a resource.

Well, I am here in Atlanta and have a webinar on Family Tree Webinars, entitled, Researching Your Ancestors in the Era of Freedom. I also have a presentation tonight and tomorrow. I shall be participating at the National Archives branch in Atlanta Georgia.

Well I am preparing for today and tomorrow’s event, so I shall wind things down. Thank you all, and do stay warm. I appreciate you for taking time out to tun in to this weekly podcast! Also this is Black History month and many societies are having events. Best wishes to friends in St. Louis who are having an event tomorrow. Have  a great week of research, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!


African Roots Podcast Episode #306 February 13, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello and welcome to the African Roots Podcast. You can always reach me AfricanRootsPodcast.


Today, I am coming to you from beautiful Salt Lake Utah! I am attending Roots Tech, and all I can say  is that this is an exciting experience! And it has been more than expected! I arrived on Tuesday and on Wednesday I spent time researching at the Family History Center. At first, I did not see hundreds or thousands of people as were predicted. But then Thursday, that changed!! Over 12,000 people are here at present. The opening session was so exciting–and after a wonderful VIP tour, I  got to sit in the special reserved section and was truly amazed! I was near the main stage, and got to see so much of it, all.

Since being here, I have met Facebook friends, whom I have met, plus people from Family Search. The energy being shown has been amazing. And they are talking about making this event even larger for next year. For those who are not here, I urge as many as possible to go to Roots Tech website, and watch the live video streams.

I have to admit–I thought that this would be a one-time experience. But I might consider coming back again for Roots Tech 2016.


This is a chance to be exposed to the cutting edge of technology. I have been impressed with the energy level of energy shown and hats off to the folks at Family Search.  I have been able to catch some good sessions, and one of the sessions that I sat in on was a session on self-publishing. Lots of good tips and ideas were shared by presenters Thomas Macentee and Lisa Alzo. I learned a lot and hope to try to apply some of the ideas that they shared. Being around those who are creative,  makes me want to create as well.


An announcement was shared this week about an historical exhibit underway. The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, announces an African American Postal exhibit. Black America from Civil War to  Civil Rights. This is the very first postal exhibit devoted to an all African American theme. This exhibition will go on a full year and will end in February 2016. It will chronicle slave-transported mail, plus some of the original artwork from the African American heritage series. Civil War patriotic items are also going to be shared. I was excited to hear this as I am a collector. This is an exhibition that is truly unique.
******************************************************************************************Next week I will be coming to you from Atlanta Georgia. I will be speaking about the time that Freedom came and methods of documenting those days.  I will be speaking also at a local library in Atlanta, and on Friday, a webinar will be offered through Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Researching Ancestors in the Era of Freedom.

ShelleyDr. Shelley Murphy

My special guest today, is Dr. Shelley Viola Murphy who is sharing her feelings about the Roots Tech experiences. Listen to her observations and opinions about her experience here in Salt Lake City.

It has been a pleasure to be here in Salt Lake City as everyone has been hospitable and warm. It was also a pleasure to meet Tamu Smith, aka “Sister Beehive” on Blog Talk Radio. Meeting her was a delightful experience, and she has been a part of the community that has made several of us feel really welcomed here.
NewFriendsatRootsTechNew Friends at Roots Tech

So, I am winding down this week’s podcast from Salt Lake City! I  will be coming to you next week from Atlanta. In the meantime, please remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find!