Angela Y. Walton-Raji on February 27th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!  You can reach me HERE. It is great to be back home in Maryland! I was in Atlanta this time last week, and two weeks ago, I was in beautiful Salt Lake City, for Roots Tech.  I had a great experience in both cities, but coming home is always a nice thing.



A serious winter is still roaring away and I hope that you are all keeping safe and warm. We are at the end of February, and just two more days to take advantage of free access to Fold3 and the African American collections on that site. So if you are not already a subscriber, take advantage and look at the Civil War service records, also items reflecting Civil Rights years, slavery, emancipation and so much more.

Still time to also submit a proposal for presenting at the annual national conference for AAHGS, that will occur in October in Richmond Virginia. If you are thinking of submitting, go on and get that proposal in right now.



A special thank you to all who are visiting the new mapping site, Mapping The Freedmen’s Bureau. Perhaps you had an ancestor who used the services of the Freedmen’s Bureau, or who was a patient at a post civil war hospital, or who attended a freedmen’s school. Well I am excited to mention that there is now another new mapping site. The African American Geography of the Civil War in Tennessee. This is a wonderful site that is also interactive, and it is a GIS application that has over 150 sites. Also Union Army recruitment sites that recruited black soldiers from Tennessee. You might find some additional records that might reflect your ancestors and help to tell more of the story.  So take a look at this new mapping site. What a thrill to see some new colleagues in the mapping world.

TennMapAfrAmCWLandscape of Liberation Map

I was fascinated by one of the documents that I discovered through this site was one pertaining to the Colored Orphan’s Asylum in Memphis when many children were left homeless and parent-less during the Civil War.

Orphans Asylum Memphis Harper’s Weekly, May 1866



Tune in to last night’s episode of Bernice Bennett’s show, if you missed it.  Her guests were two people whom she had as guests before. Sharon Morgan and Thomas DeWolfe were her guests who shared elements of their lives since the book Coming to the Table was published. This was an interesting show and provided listeners to get another version of the same story. What happened after the book was published and after they have traveled across the country together sharing their  story of the life after the publication. Ms. Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.


MAAGI 2015 SaveThe Date

Keep your eyes open for updates on the MAAGI website. Registration will open up this weekend. This might be a great time to enhance you genealogy skills and take classes at the Institute.

And speaking of classes those who are halfway through the History of the Slave South offered through University of Pennsylvania. Keep at it, what a wonderful accomplishment to complete this amazing course.

Upcoming Events


March 21st 2015 at Enoch Pratt Free Library at the Southeastern branch, I shall be giving an all day presentation on methods of researching Native American Ancestry. This will go from 10 am to 4L30 pm.


April 18th, Old State House Museum in Little Rock Arkansas, I am honored to participate in a special event called “Let Freedom Ring”. This is in celebration of freedom and how the enslaved population coped and fared in those years as the war ended. I hope to see many in Arkansas for that event.  This will be free and open to the public.


How does one balance—perhaps this is the time to invest in a good calendar or planner to keep up with things. Also I use not only a planner, but also a journal, and during this sesquicentenniel of the end of the Civil War, of slavery, establishment of schools, or hospitals. There are so many unwritten stories, and many are buried in collections such as Record Group 105. As we plan our reunions, I hope that many will incorporate the year of freedom into the family story. In many cases, those whose families were free people—they too had endured separation. In some cases one portion of the family was manumitted, but others remained enslaved. They too were now able to reunite with loved ones, because movement was no longer restricted.

Also take note of the wonderful online celebrations of Black History from the wonderful exhibits that have been shared online. Some photo galleries and amazing images. Yes, every month is Black History Month for myself and so many others, there are some special online exhibits that have been shared. Also I am thrilled to see that people are still sharing events and photos from Roots Tech and I urge you to catch the live video streams from that event. Also note–Bernice Bennett has compiled all of the videos made by African Americans at Roots Tech on one YouTube Video channel.


Don’t forget to tell your own stories including your version of this winter’s amazing story. I hope you are also writing and journaling to share you own story. Yes, I love journaling, and believe in recording events in one’s life.


Well time to wind down. Thank you all for taking time to listen to this week’s podcast! Thank you all for being there.

Have a wonderful week everyone, and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and remember to keep sharing what you find!

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Angela Y. Walton-Raji on February 20th, 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!