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Research at the National Archives and Beyond!



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African American Homesteaders of the Great Plains with Jacob K. Friefeld

This project seeks to learn, preserve, and disseminate the story of African Americans who homesteaded in the Great Plains. The project is a collaborative effort with Nicodemus National Historic Site and the Homestead National Monument of America. It is partially funded by the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The project is producing a general survey of black homesteaders in eight plains states. The...


The Virtue of Cain with Kevin Cherry, Sr. and Linda Cherry, PhD

This show will focus on the short but extraordinary life of Reconstruction era Senator Lawrence Cain of Edgefield, South Carolina. He was considered an honorable and virtuous man and helped shape South Carolina politics between 1865 and 1877 as one of the leaders of the Radical Republican movement. He rose above numerous obstacles to go from slave to state senator. Over 150 years ago he was at the epicenter of social injustice and racism in South Carolina and became a major leader who...


DNA Company Marketing to the African American Consumer - A Panel Discussion

Tune in to hear genealogists Luke Alexander, Lisa Fanning, Tyrone Goodwyn and Andre Kearns discuss and share their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities DNA test companies face in marketing to the African American consumer. Andre Kearns is a genealogist, public speaker, commentator and writer. He regularly shares his research findings at his website He also blogs on race, culture, history and genealogy at Lisa Ann Fanning is...


Freedmen of the Frontier with Angela Walton-Raji

Angela Walton is a descendant of Choctaw Freedmen--former people enslaved in the Choctaw Nation, by Choctaw Indians. Since discovering her family records in 1991 at the National Archives, she has devoted herself over the years to research Freedmen from all of the former slave-holding tribes of Oklahoma. These are Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Nations. She is the only nationally known genealogist who has this specialty, and she had developed a unique perspective of...


They Had Names: Documenting the Enslaved in Liberty County, Georgia - Stacy Cole

In 2017, an enslaver's descendant found his 1841 will naming eleven enslaved African Americans. She started trying to research them, and quickly found the difficulties confronting those seeking their African-American ancestors' stories. When she realized she had access to information they would have trouble finding, she created a website -- -- to document the many African-American names found in antebellum Liberty County records. More than 5,000 names from wills, estate...


Big Family Search Project with Pamela Bailey

Pamela Bailey is a nationally published author, a singer-songwriter, and a self-described Carolina Daughter. She is descended from enslaved people from the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Pamela earned her MFA Degree in Non-fiction Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina, and her undergraduate degree in Business Marketing from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina Pamela has created a project called the Big Family Search, and she is...


Tracing Their Steps: A Memoir -Bernice Alexander Bennett and Angela Walton-Raji

Join author Bernice Alexander Bennett and Angela Walton-Raji for a conversation about Tracing Their Steps- A Memoir. Bernice will discuss her journey to verify her grandmother MaBecky’s story about a lot of land her grandfather Peter Clark, owned in Maurepas, La. Using the bits and pieces shared by MaBecky and conducting painstaking research through an array of obstacles, Bennett identified the land her 2x great grandfather acquired under the Homestead Act of 1862. But, he was not alone:...


Early Federal Census Worksheet with Donna Cox Baker

The Early Federal Census Worksheet is a genealogy spreadsheet application for Microsoft Excel that allows the easy capture of the decennial U.S. federal census data from 1790 to 1860. Lining up data over time, it creates a visual comparison of the changing composition and geographical locations of families, including white, free nonwhite, and enslaved members of any given U.S. household. Donna Cox Baker is editor-in-chief of Alabama Heritage magazine, headquartered at the University of...


Images of America: African Americans in Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes

Join Author Dr. Antoinette Harrell for a discussion of her new publication - Images of America: African Americans in Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes. Leonard Smith III, wrote the foreword for this publication. Dr. Harrell will discuss how she encouraged and mobilized the community to donate photos for this first ever publication in Tangipahoa and St. Helena Parishes. The Images in this series celebrates and documents the priceless images of African American people in the two Louisiana...


The Midwest African American Genealogy Institute

Join Angela Walton-Raji, Dr. Shelley Murphy, Janis Forte and Bernice Bennett for a discussion of the Tracks offered through MAAGI. The Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI) is a place where attendees learn, research, and gain the tools needed to become a stellar genealogists and family history researchers. MAAGI is the only African American focused event offering a total of 78 classes over 3 days with evening lectures, and guided personalized instruction. In 2018, attendees...


Inspired By Courage with Regina Mason, Susi Ryan, Vera Williams and Rob Brown

The Descendants of the Slave Narratives—are uniquely positioned, if not obligated, to carry forward the largely forgotten work of our ancestors. At this moment in time, in the 400th year of the first ship landing of Africans in British Colonial America, there is no better time to trumpet awareness about this watershed in our history and to encourage the entire nation to, reflect, reclaim and honor, the history of a people who have contributed greatly to the American story. Regina E. Mason,...


The Lost Empire: Black Freemasonry in the Old West 1867-1906 - James Morgan Ill

With The Lost Empire: Black Freemasonry in the Old West (1867-1906), James R. Morgan III artfully transports readers to the period when western outlaws ruled the territories and brings them face to face with the black men who brought enlightenment, guidance and protection to the formerly enslaved through organization. At the vanguard was Captain William Dominick Matthews--Freemason, Civil War officer and abolitionist--who became one of the most illustrious and controversial figures of his...


Falling Through the Ceiling with Audrey R. Jones and Larry A.Jones, MD

Falling Through the Ceiling: Our ADHDFamily Memoir, is a poignant book about the challenges encountered by both parents and children as they cope with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The authors, Audrey and Larry Jones, provide a sensitive, knowlegdeable, and often humorous account of the obstacles inherent in raising children with ADHD. They describe their personal journey, from dating to marraige to parenthood and grandparenthood. As the authors tell their family’s...


2019 DNA Genealogy Updates with Shannon Christmas

Shannon Christmas will provide an update on the latest tools and changes available from the various DNA Testing companies to assist you with analyzing your DNA matches. Through The Trees Blog is authored by Shannon Christmas, an experienced genealogist specializing in genetic, colonial American, and African American genealogy in Virginia and the Carolinas. He serves as a 23andme Ancestry Ambassador, administrator of the Captain Thomas Graves of Jamestown Autosomal DNA Project, and as a...


400 Years of African American History with Ric Murphy

Ric Murphy will explore the history of the 20 and odd African captives that arrived in Virginia around 1619 and planted the seeds of the American slave trade. This is the first group of Africans to go on record to be sold as involuntary laborers. A Boston native, Ric Murphy is an educator, historian, and award-winning author of several books and historical publications. Long before he started writing, Murphy had always heard about his rich family background, which led him to begin as a...


Searching for Cato and Tack(Slaves) with Keme Nzerem and Sam Rinehart

Keme Nzerem and Sam Rinehart are descendants of slave owner John Rinehart of Edgefield, South Carolina. They are interested in finding descendants of slaves owned by their family. Keme Nzerem is a British Journalist with a Nigerian father and German American mother. He has discovered that his mother's family - the Rineharts of Edgefield owned slaves.


The Emancipation of Sage with Dorris Keeven-Franke

The enslaved of the Keithly Plantation were buried on a small one acre known today as Sage Chapel Cemetery. The owner of the adjoining land was a German emigrant and abolitionist Arnold Krekel who came to America in 1832. On January 11, 1865, Krekel would be the President of Missouri’s Constitutional Convention who would sign the Missouri Emancipation Proclamation that freed the enslaved that were buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery and across the entire State of Missouri. Today, this beautiful...


Hit the Genealogy Reset Button with Bernice Bennett and Genie Friends

Happy 2019! Join Bernice Bennett and her Genie Friends tonight for an open mic discussion on what your goals are for 2019. Joining me are Shannon Christmas, Janice Lovelace, Ph.D., Angela Walton-Raji, Antoinette Harrell, Shelley Murphy, Nicka Sewell- Smith, Leonard Smith and many more. We will discuss DNA, documentation, resources, history, leaving a legacy and much more. The call in number is 646-200-0491 and press 1 to speak to the host. Music by AK Alexander Productions


Telling My Story with Nicka Sewell Smith

Nicka Smith will share how she discovered that James Alexander Ventress, the namesake of Ventress Hall on the University of Mississippi’s campus was also a slave owner and owned her family. Nicka Smith is a professional photographer, speaker, host, and documentarian with more than 19 years of experience as a genealogist. She has extensive experience in African /ancestored genealogy, reverse genealogy, and family reunion planning and execution. She is also an expert in genealogical research...


Census Department of the South with Yvonne C. Emanuel

During the closing days of the American Civil War, a little-remembered document, a census of the Federal Military Districts, was created. The document entitled, Census Department of the South – November 1864: For Jacksonville, Fernandina and St. Augustine, Florida – Ordered by the Department of the South, Hilton Head, South Carolina, proved to be an effective tool in augmenting genealogical research. That research led Yvonne Emanuel to the ultimate discovery of some unknown and formerly...