African Roots Podcast Episode #295 November 28, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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



Well I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and loved ones. I hope that this was a time to be reflective of the special time with family. I hope that peace will come to families in Missouri as this has been a difficult week for so many.  And I also pray that peace and solace will come to the Brown family that lost a loved one, and that all who have lost loved ones will also find peace as well. I also hope that the time that you spent with loved ones was special and that you got hold many close to you, and appreciate them.


Now that the holiday is over, this is the time to talk and to listen, as today is the National Day of Listening. I hope that you may start to make this a part of your holiday tradition. I also hope that you are able to do some special things with family to capture the family story. I was happy to see that some people have ordered DNA kits to have elders who are visiting to take DNA tests. Perhaps a DNA test kit might be an interesting Christmas gift to give to a loved one. It is a way to bring the distant past to the present by making some facts known. Also take photos, record this time of special fellowship with loved ones. So pull out the cameras and digital recorders to capture those moments. This a great time, as there is no expectation of purchasing anything, or giving anything other than time.

So pay it forward for future generations to grow and learn.






As I said, this is the National Day of Listening. I was asked  by Toni Carrier of LowCountry Africana, to share why I think this day is important. Well I shared 5 points or 5 reasons to participate in this oral history project. I came up with five points and list them here:

  • Share stories before they are forgotten.
  • Learn the meaning of family traditions
  • Share wisdom with future generations.
  • Share personal beliefs with future generations.
  • Preserve history for generations to come.

You can read the expanded article that I wrote HERE. 

I hope that many of your will make some time to share a meaningful conversation with a loved one and capture some of the stories before they are forgotten. We are the ancestors that the generations yet to come will want to know about, and so we have a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward to them.

In the meantime, I hope that the holiday spirit continues. We have so much to be thankful for today. I am particularly thankful to be a part of the genealogy community and hope to continue to grow and to thrive within it. I learn so much from so many of you, and many things that you teach, write and speak about have inspired me many times. And I am particularly thankful that many of you listen and take time to tune in to me as well. I have been so blessed and I wish many blessings upon all of you as well.

So have continue to enjoy this special weekend, and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find!




African Roots Podcast Episode #294 November 21, 2014

This Week's Pod Cast


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

Hello everyone—wow in less than a week Thanksgiving will be here! I hope that you will have a safe and wonderful holiday with family and friends. But first let’s remember the people in Buffalo who have had an incredible storm and there have already been roof collapses and more is coming their way. Their safety should be among our many prayers for this time.



And we are in a holiday mode and a time to wind down our activities in the genealogy community. Though some holiday parties are planned, many events are slowing down for the next two to three events. But this is good time to slow down, review our work, look at the many things that we treasure as researchers. Time to preserve what we have. This is a good time to digitize old  photos and back up paper copies that we have. Plus maybe it is also time to declutter and downsize all of the paper that we have collected over the years.

But while events have ended, the online world is quite busy. Next week there is a free webinar offered by Lisa Alzo. She and Thomas Macentee have been pooling their talents in recent months and I think you may want to explore their boot camps. This one is free and will occur on November 29th, which is next Saturday. Time to sharpen our skills since we will be closer to home over the next few months. Also if you are wondering what other webinars are being offered, then take a look at GeneaWebinars to see what is occurring.



This is a great time to catch up on your reading. Many books are available online and so many are free! Sample titles, “Colonial Records of Virginia” for those of you with colonial ancestors. Do you have Homesteaders in the family? The book “Homestead, A Family History” might interest you. It is about a family and is a family history, and though your family is not reflected it provides a glimpse of what life was like for homesteaders carving out a new life on new land. Need a useful guidebook for genealogy, then the book “Introduction to Family History. A Student Manual,” is available for free and might interest you. “Pioneers of the Old South”. This provides a chance to learn about some of the old land owning families that might be useful. Have an interest in Native American history? “History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan” and again this title is free. There are many titles that are useful at the link that I am providing. Take a look and download some of these titles. Remember that genealogy cannot be practiced in a vacuum, and crosses many disciplines.


Interested in Volunteering? Genealogy Trails is looking for volunteers. I hope that you will revisit USGenweb, Find a Grave, and please don’t forget the Indexing project for the Freedmans’ Bureau, Record Group 105.  Many things occur when the community gets together to put data out there for the larger community.

As you become involved in volunteering, sometimes you develop a strong interest in a special area. I heard from a gentleman in Oregon who has been studying Arkansas Union soldiers. He was unaware of Black Union soldiers and he began to research the topic. He landed on one of my websites and he and I have been exchanging data in the past few days. I know that friends in St. Louis have been studying the history of soldiers of the 56th US Colored Troops, who were buried in a mass grave. They have in the past 2 years honored the soldiers in a moving ceremony at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and have had a plaque installed with the names of the soldiers. From that has grown an admirable interest in getting more information about the unit. The point is that you are encouraged to explore the topic or special area that interests you and I hope that you develop a website or blog so that others can learn from what you have learned as well.


FGSRootsTechJOINT Conferences

Next year—Roots Tech and the Federation of Genealogical Societies will be hosting a joint event in Salt Lake City Utah. This promises to be the largest genealogy conference in history and this looks like it will be fantastic. And if you can’t travel, plan to catch those live video streams. And Missouri friends are planning for the NGS conference in St. Charles coming up in May. So plan for next year



Bernice Bennett’s Show 

Don’t forget to tune in to last night’s episode of Research At The National Archives and Beyond. Ms. Bennet’s guest was Dr. Sam Lemon who discussed his family history and his historical novel, “Go Stand Upon the Rock” which chronicles his family history and their escape to freedom from Virginia. You can always catch Bernice Bennett’s show every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Talk Radio.



I know that Thanksgiving is next week and I want to thank you all for taking time from your very busy schedule to spend some time, with me. Make some memories and have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, and please remember to keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.