Angela Y. Walton-Raji on June 12th, 2015

This Week's Pod Cast



Well hello everyone, I am coming to you today from Birmingham, Alabama on the lovely Samford University  campus to attend the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research. And last week I was in Burbank California where I attended and presented at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree California. I had the honor to speak at both events. Here in Alabama I have taught in the Five Civilized Tribes track and it has been an wonderful experience.



I am looking forward for attending some workshops at the Juneteenth event in Prince George’s County MD. As you know Juneteenth, many places throughout the country are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Freedom. Were your ancestors freedom fighters, were they self-emancipators and make it to a contraband camp? And you may or may not know if they were. But this is a good time then, to use the new Freedmen’s Bureau mapping site. Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau contains a good number of maps that go beyond the bureau field offices. They also include the Contraband camps. Take a look and see if your ancestors lived in one? That might reveal how freedom came to your family. This site was developed by Toni Carrier of LowCountry Africana, and myself. She is the real technical guru who was able to provide the technical structure to the map.  But I hope that you will do something next week to honor the ancestors.



Speaking of the Freedmen’s Bureau, I want to direct your attention to a site, “Discover Freedom”. Well next week in celebration of Juneteenth, there is a special initiative that will be announced, to index the Freedmen’s Bureau. The bureau officially known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. Next week coming from Los Angeles, will be a live video cast that will be live streamed from an event launching of the indexing project. The Freedmen’s Bureau Indexing project will begin with a call to action to get the records from the Field Offices of the Bureau, indexed. This is a wonderful record set and the more people involved, will make this record set available earlier, for researchers.


Bernice's Logo

Last nights episode on Bernice Bennett’s show, featured Dr. Allyson Hobbs who had written an interesting study of the occurrence of racial passing.  This was a good discussion about the effects that passing has on the family and the person who also passed.



Some webinars coming up. Melvin Collier will be speaking online in a Family Tree Webinar in July. He is a very focused speaker, and truly professional. Speaking of professionals, if you have thought about entering the genealogy arena as a professional, then institutes and classes will sharpen those skills. Also note that OBA is sponsoring a special Juneteenth webinar as well, next week. Webinars provide great opportunities to learn and sharpen skills and so do institutes. In fact note that there is still time to register for MAAGI and this is a great time to learn some new skills.


Have you been paying attention to all of the activity on social media? There are dozens of African American genealogy groups online! AfriGeneas has two places on FB–one is a community group and the other is a fan page. But the community group has over 8000 members and that is incredible. And then there is OBA, Our Black Ancestors a huge group created by Sharon Morgan. There is an African American DNA group with more than 10,000 members. So take a look at what those who are professionals are doing. They are writing, teaching and posting on social media and so much more.


The is a great newspaper site from Louisiana online. This is a site with African American newspapers. Well there are about 25 new titles added to that site and I think you will find it fascinating.

Well, I am winding things down as I am traveling later this afternoon, and am anxious to get back home and unwind from an amazing series of events.  Thank you for tuning in and listening again this week, and thanks for sharing your posts and bringing them to my attention.

In the meantime, keep researching, keep documenting, and keep sharing what you find.

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.