Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 19th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, it’s mid August and we are in them middle of the last hurrah of summer. Hot days–the dog days are here, and I hope you are keeping cool. We are also looking ahead to new things that await us in the next few weeks.


Hampton Commemorative Commission

Virginia Commemorates 400 Years of the African Presence in America

Tomorrow in Ft. Monroe Virginia an exciting day will unfold! A 4 year program is being launched looking at the history of Virginia from 1619 to 2019. This is a 4 year journey looking at Virginia’s history from the arrival of Africans from Ndongo Angola in 1619. More than $11 million has been set aside to study the untold story of the impact that the arrival in 1619 has had on shaping the nation.

Tomorrow’s events will include the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, Virginia State Senator Thomas Norment Jr. and state delegate M. Kirkland Cox. Journalist Roland Martin will be the keynote speaker and an ambassador from Sierra Leone will also be in attendance. One of the goals is to educate the public on this time in history and on the contributions of African Americans, over the years. Thanks Sierra Brown for sharing this information.

PodCast Images Conf

We are all getting ready as we are two weeks away from IBGS in Arlington Virginia, September 1-3. This will be the first of three major events that will occur in the next 6 weeks in the greater Washington DC area. Of course in October we will attend AAHGS in Atlanta. And right between those two conferences will be a major event–the opening of the new Smithsonian Museum—the National Museum of African American History and Culture, on September 24th. I hope to see many of you at some of these events, as this is truly an exciting time.

There is still time to listen to the webinar given by Bernice Bennett last week on Family Tree Webinars.
Bernice Webinar


Special congratulations to Pamela Rigby who has completed a work begun by her mother Mrs. Vivian Rigby. Her mother purchased a photo album at an auction that contained amazing portraits of an African American family. Many of the persons were identified in the photo album, and Mrs. Rigby embarked on a journey to document their lives. The end result now is the book entitled, “Waiting to Be Found. The Lost Treasure of Fannie Keene”. The images shared on the website and the book cover are truly beautiful images, and can be enjoyed now by all.


Family Tree Cites 5 African American sites

Among the Top 101 Websites

FTM Best Websites2016FTM Best Websites

Five African American websites were noted by FTM Magazine as part of the Best 101 Websites for Genealogy.  The five sites were:

Africa Map a site from Harvard University with maps and data on the slave trade.

Digital Library on American Slavery A wonderful site with information about more than 150,000 people during the era of slavery

Lowcountry Africana An amazing repository of records on slaves, and also the 33rd US Colored Infantry and so much more. A must for researchers of SC/GA Lowcountry.

Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau This site is devoted to being a finding aid for researchers. If you need to know if your ancestors lived near the Freedmen’s Bureau, this is the website to provide that information.

Unknown No Longer This website is a project of the Virginia Historical Society. It contains data on those enslaved in the state of Virginia.You can click on maps to see documents such as slave sales and so much more.

Congratulations to all of these sites for providing great information on their websites and for getting on the list!

Well, wrapping things up for another week. I hope that you are still enjoying summer but also squeezing in some research time as well. In the meantime, remember to keep researching, keep documenting and always keep sharing what you find.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji on August 12th, 2016

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well, as summer is quickly coming to an end, I know that many of your have been busy following the summer Olympic games, just like me! It has been a joy to watch–the Simones took the gold, in swimming and gymnastics, and we all have to be proud of the young man from Baltimore Michael Phelps–a true legend.


This is a great time of the year, before the political campaigns begin–the Olympics captivate all of us.
As summer moves on, there are events going on here in the Mid-Atlantic area. The Family History Center in Essex MD is hosting their all day event tomorrow.
Essex Workshop

And in Columbia MD, one can listen to LaBrenda Nelson give a presentation on probate records. Margo Williams of AAHGS is speaking at the event in Essex MD on Native American and African American genealogy.
Speaking of events as we approach the events for the fall–the International Black Genealogy Summit and the AAHGS conference in Atlanta in October. But how do  you all use conferences? Are they events to learn new methods or do you find that they are opportunities mostly to fellowship with other researchers? They are lots of fun–but do you use them to your advantage to gain new strategies? Most importantly do they help you to tell the story better?

Bernice Webinar

Speaking of telling the story—-if you missed it–you will want to tune into Bernice Bennett’s webinar that occurred today on FamilyTreeWebinars. It was outstanding! Bernice told some amazing stories as she spoke about tracing her ancestors and their acquisition of land. Her focus was “Following the Witnesses” through the Homestead Act of 1862. Her session was good because of how she pointed out that our ancestors had relationships. Most witnesses were not strangers standing around the courthouse, in so many cases they had relationships with our ancestors. And we have learend that in so many cases it is all about land!! Land records–and the witnesses can reveal so much! And Homestead records were amazing and revealing. You can hear Bernice’s webinar free for a week, so check it out. It was truly outstanding! She is a wonderful story teller, and was captivating!

Well, there are lots of things going on, but I shall wind them down for the week. Have a great week–enjoy the Olympic games, and of course remember in the meantime to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!