African Roots Podcast Episode #289 October 17, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!


I hope you have had a great week and those of you who attended those annual conferences, last week, I hope that you have recovered from all of the exciting presentations that you attended and made it home safely. Now that the conferences are over, only a few more weeks remain before we wind down and move into the holiday mode. This is a great down time when we can make plans for the new  year. Time to get those calendars out and planners and look ahead to 2015 and things that lie ahead.

Keep in mind that next year is a critical milestone year—150 years of freedom, and so many things to commemorate. So this is time to determine how you will celebrate it. And the holidays, including Thanksgiving which is a great time to be with family and loved ones, such  a beautiful holiday. And the season of giving during the holiday season.

Also as we nestle down for the winter this is a great time to plan really nice family time!


As we move towards the end of the year—what a great time to participate in the Indexing project for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This is in partnership with Family Search that is working hard to digitize the Freedman’s Bureau records. Since we are winding down in terms of travel–what a great time to participate in this indexing effort! Your participation in this effort is so important. New states are being added by Family Search and placed online. The sooner they are online and the sooner they are indexed, the greater chance of learning more about those critical years between 1865 and 1870, that first census year in which former slaves were finally enumerated by name.


I hope you caught last night’s rebroadcast of Bernice Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives & Beyond. I was honored to be the featured guest. I spoke about the records pertaining to Native American Research.

I spoke about on that program the various ways to look at the possibility of researching Native American ancestry.

Dawes Rolls, Guion Miller Rolls, Federal Census records and examples of the data captured and so much more. It was a re-broadcast that you can capture on was able to discuss also some of the pitfalls in genealogical research, especially with Native American research—and hopefully was able to provide some suggestions to prevent researchers from derailing themselves from the task at hand. And as you know Ms Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm Eastern time on Blog Talk Radio.


Join the Chatters as we watch Finding Your Roots, in the Afrigeneas Chat Center.

The many television genealogy programs are all underway. Have you been also following the CNN series of genealogy of anchor people. It has been interesting to see that in some of their segments some additional data presented more details about the ancestry of journalist Anderson Cooper. Some of us meet online and watch the program together and chat on the AfriGeneas Chat center.
Be a Part of the Genealogy Roadshow Taping

Here is an opportunity to be extra in the filming of the Genealogy Roadshow. They are looking for extras to put in the crowd scenes and are paying $75 were assignment for people to be there. The dates are October 25 and 26th in Philadelphia. They are looking for people between 35-55 of all ethnicities. The task is simply to stand at tables that have displays and to appear interested in the goings on.The African American Genealogy Jamboree Jubilee Roadshow. Could be fun and to see how the various programs are actually made.  If you are interested, go to the link


This was shared with me, last Friday: 

The African American Genealogy Jamboree Jubilee Roadshow.

 Well, that’s a mouthful to say. This is apparently a two part lecture series. So it is not a conference, but an event presenting lectures of various topics. It is sponsored by the Joseph Simeon Flipper Library of Allen University in Columbia SC. Some of their topics are interesting and would be of interest to African American genealogists. But other topics are not genealogical at all, but they are also part of the lecture series. But for your information here is a link for you.  It is described as a two part series because there are the lectures and special exhibits as well. The event will occur in February of 2015 and will be free to the public. This is also a chance to obtain some continuing education credit from Allen University with some of the lectures. More can be found HERE.  


National Museum of African American History & Culture Sponsors Preservation Event

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will co-host a daylong program to help DC-area residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in the attics, closets and basements of their homes. This is a great time to pull out those old family artifacts, and have a professional to evaluate them and to provide good suggestions on what to do keep them intact. This is presented in collaboration with the DC Historical Society, the event will feature presentations, hands-on activities and preservation tips.

The program will take place on Saturday, November 8th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 9th, 2014 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Historical Society of Washington, DC., located at 801 K St. NW, Washington, DC. Free and open to the public, the event is the part of this critical museum’s signature program “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation.” Become a participant and take advantage of this chance to have professionals give some critical advice to you. More information: 


A Descendant’s Parade and a New Reenactors Group Being Formed

I mentioned earlier that 2015 is a critical milestone year. Well here are two events for May 2015. Both of them pertain to the rich history of the United States Colored Troops. One is the Grand Review parade for descendants of the US Colored Troops to honor their ancestors. This promises to be an exciting event in the National’s Capital on May 17th, 2015.

Secondly, another event is actually forming and recruiting reenactors to commemorate the Battle of Palmetto Hill. They are hoping to recruit 60 people to participate in a group honoring the 67th US Colored Infantry. The Battle of Palmetto Hill took place after the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. This would be a great experience and a wonderful way to keep some history alive through Living History.


Well, thank you for listening to this week’s podcast, and know that I appreciate your time and your messages. In the mean time, have a great week and remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode #288 October 10, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Well a shout out to folks who are attending two major events—one in Pittsburgh— AAHGS the Afro American Genealogical and Historical Society is hosting the 35th Anniversary conference this weekend. Several photos have been shared from Pittsburgh and are being placed on social media.

Also to the midwest, the Afro-American Genealogy and Historical Society of Chicago is hosting their 32nd Annual conference as well. So shouts out to both groups.


Well, you have until midnight tonight to get in your proposal to present at the Southern California Genealogy Jamb0ree. The deadline was extended through today, the 10th and if you have considered submitting, you still have some time.

More information HERE.



Genealogy Event Scheduled for New York City

The Genealogy event in New York city is being scheduled for October 17th and 18th, which is just a week away. The Genealogy Event, in partnership with The National Archives at New York City (NARA at NYC) is taking place in New York City, October 17 & 18 at the Alexander Hamilton US Custom House, One Bowling Green. DNA Day, an added feature of The Genealogy Event is being held at India House, One Hanover Square on October 19. Across the three days attendees will benefit from over fifty genealogy and DNA focused talks, complimentary one on one consultations with genealogy experts, an exhibitor marketplace, a Friday night social event and research opportunities at the National Archives at New York City.


Virtual Genealogy Fair 2014

 Later this month–don’t forget the Virtual Genealogy Fair offered by the National Archives in Washington DC. Take a look at their schedule it is quite detailed. Regardless of background there are presentations that may be of interest to the genealogy community as a whole. Glad to see that this is back on their schedule of events.


So this time of the year brings us to the end of the official conference season, and we are about to wind down for the holidays and to get ready to plan our projects as we physically slow down for the fall and winter months. Hopefully you will now have the time to start on those personal genealogy projects, writing projects, research projects and more. Take the time to go through the many collections that you have amassed and start to see how to allow each project to unfold and to take shape. As we settle into the fall and winter–this is great time to analyze what we have and to determine how our work will be presented and shared.

Virginia Database Expands


Click HERE for database.

An update for those with Virginia ties! The database Unknown No Longer is a resource presented by a collaboration of many people from scholars, historians, genealogists, and the Virginia Historical society to present more and more information containing the records of people once enslaved. Many of us with ties to others states—Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, have ties to Virginia. Well how do we follow those lines and follow them back in time to Virginia? Hopefully databases such as this one will assist us in that effort. Feel free to explore what is there, and what has recently been shared.


We as genealogists have to appreciate the work of historians do and last night on Bernice Bennett’s show, Research at the National Archives and Beyond, her guest explored a unique community and told a story not explored enough. Dr. Amitra Chakrabarhi-Myers who discussed her work, Forging Freedom.

Listen to the show for the content. But then listen also with another ear, which involves the part that insires. For me the inspiration is to find an untold story–from the community of interest. I research Oklahoma among the many places that I study. But as she describe women who lived in pre-emancipation Charleston. I thought about my Oklahoma community and thought about the untold entities. There were free people who lived in the Territory before the Civil War. Not thousands, but several hundred nevertheless. I appreciated the encouragement to look at a region–and find what has not been told. Schools, churches, businesses–all of these are part of the larger historical story.

We have varied stories, from the Carolinas to the Great Plains from the cities to the frontier—but research it, document it, write about it. I was inspired. So tune in a listen to last night’s episode of Research at the National Archives and Beyond. It airs every Thursday night at 9pm.


I have come to realize the need to seriously look at the projects that we begin, and then abandon. When we collect all of this paper—what do we do with it? Do we collect and then finding ourselves then later slave to the clutter? Well clutter is a compilation of delayed decisions. We bring that Civil War pension file home, then put it aside. We collect the data from which we can extract a story. But we forget to complete the project. It might be a piece for our blog, or a chapter in our book, or the book itself. We have to learn how to finish the project as well.

As we look for stories—we must think about the many projects we have started. Each pile of data needs some structure–and then to put in order and then to complete the project.


Well, time as flown by–but thank you for taking time to listen and tune in, and thanks for your announcements. Again a shout out to the conferees at weekend events. Let’s get back to those projects, and lets remember to keep researching, keep documenting, and remember to keep sharing what you find.