Angela Y. Walton-Raji on June 5th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Hello everyone! Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast! You can reach me at


Well I am delighted to say that I am coming to you from Burbank California. I am here on the west coast to participate in the African American track at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree! This is the first time that there has been an African American track and I am so delighted to be a participant again this year. I am providing a link for you to explore and examine the offerings here. This is one of the largest genealogy gatherings in the country and what a delight to be here!

AATracl Jamboree
SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 


The Arabella Chapman Project

I had an interesting project shared with me. The Arabella Chapman Project is an interesting one, based on the efforts of a group in Michigan to learn details about an African American family that can be gleaned from a photo album. A beautiful family photo album was located, and the entire family has remarkable images from the late 1800s and early 1900s. This project came from a group of students who were studying African American Women’s History. The website which is still being developed looks at the images of the family, the photographer, and has been able to construct a few details about their lives. In fact I love the fact that they have also used other resources from census to city directories to contract facts about her life.  Of course as a genealogist, this is exactly the kind of thing that we should all do when we want to reconstruct the details about the lives of our ancestors.



An interesting story was shared on social media this week about an African American family who believes that she is related to the Laroche family that was the only family of color on the Titanic. The story is about a photo that was share about the Laroche family and their voyage on the fateful ship. The woman is Marjorie Alberts and hers is a fascinating story about her journey to determine whether or not she is related to this family. I was delighted to read this an appreciate that is was shared on social media via Facebook.

Some webinars about African American genealogy and also about Native American genealogy. The African American webinar is late June and the Native American webinar is next week. When I get more information I shall share them with you. And by the way, the Freedom Series is still going on at Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Coming soon in July is one of my favorite presenter, Melvin Collier, who will talk about a family reunited after 150 Years.

MAAGI Banner Framed
Well we are a month out now from MAAGI. Yes, just a month to go and we are busy in preparation mode. We have merged a few things including having a new writing track, and of course don’t forget Dr. Murphy’s rules about the “So What” concept.  There is still time to register. Click HERE for more information.


A quick shout out to everyone who is in New York and attending the Global Family Reunion tomorrow in New York City. This is the brainchild of A. J. Jacobs. Looks like lots of activities, chances for learning and networking will be going on.


Angela Y. Walton-Raji on May 29th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


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


Well we started off this week with a holiday, and I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day holiday and that you were able to honor your loved ones, and those men and women who have served our nation. Taking time to honor those who have served the nation, and honoring all of those who have gone ahead of us. This is the time of the year when we do honor those who have paved the way for us and some who lost their lives for us, and I hope that you were able to be reflective and appreciate their efforts.

Bernice's Logo

Speaking of those who served the nation, last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show on Blog radio was timely. It was a rebroadcast of a show with two guests who spoke about the history of the 371st Infantry from World War I. Her guest was Sonya Hodges who is an authority on this all black WWI, regiment. Her second guest was Douglas Culbreth. Both were informative and provided little known details about this unit that wasa as distinguished as the Harlem Hellfighters. Most of the men in that unit came from South Carolina and they showed remarkable bravery and performed so nobly in France at that time. I urge you to listen and to hear about this often forgotten portion of history from the early 20th century. Her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm Eastern time.



Next week, I shall be coming to you from Southern California. I will be attending the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree! I am honored to be speaking in an African American Track for the first time. The conference will start Friday and end on Sunday. I am excited to be in  a circle of amazing speakers, Nicka Smith, Bernice Bennett, Michael Henderson, Judy Russell, Crista Cowen and Anita Coach. I am speaking about Black Women in the Civil War, and then I have the honor of joining my other colleagues on two different panels as well. So if you are in southern California, let’s connect!! I would love to have a chance to meet friends in California, and I hope that many of you will make it to the  Marriott in Burbank next weekend.

Then after that I am on the way to Alabama for the Institute of Genealogical Research held at Samford University. I am excited that I will be speaking in the Five Civilized Tribes Track this year. Also as many know that next year will be the last year that IGHR will take place on the Samford University campus, so this is one of those traditions that has come to an end and we all look forward to the annoucement when IGHR finds a new home.



Later in June a big announcement will be coming forth from Family Search. They have digitized the genealogically significant records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. The call for action will unfold from Family Search, requesting that all persons become involved in the effort to digitize these critical records. This is actually a collaboration between Family Search, The Smithsonian, and AAHGS, to get all parties involved in the digitization of these records. The big announcement will be made on Juneteenth, which is, of course a very significant day in our history. As you know the 19th of June is Juneteenth, and this year will be the 150th anniversary of General Granger sailing into Galveston Harbor and reading the announcement that those in bondage, were no longer to be held in that state. Oh the joy and oh the celebrations! So stay tuned for that announcement forthcoming.



A friend and colleague shared a great website with me and I have to share it with you. For those researching Louisiana, and free people of color in particular from that state. The site was funded by NEH to created an amazing database, from a multiple sources. Business recods, public records, and family public records and so much more. This is great because so many of the records are spread throughout the entire state in various repositories. So scholars, genealogists, teachers can all utilize this amazing database.  Free People of Color in Louisiana is the name of this digital collection.



The fall schedule for the AAHGS Conference in Richmond Virginia is about to be placed online. I know that any day now we can expect it. Virginia is of course one of those states, where it all began and the conference in Richmond promises to ge an exciting event.

So my calendar if full and I know many of you have family reunions, and the institutes will be unfolding in the summer, and of course research time gets scheduled in as well. And I hope to be able to slow down after MAAGI, and take some time to work on writing projects. So summer is here, and I know you are equally as busy. I hope that our paths cross and that your summer events will unfold smoothly.

In the meantime, have a great week, and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!