Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy have changed. We think you'll like them better this way.

  • 00:10

    Live from Rootstech with Wendy Jyang

    in History

    Join my special guest Wendy Jyang from Frienship Improvement Sharing Hands Development and Commerce.

  • 01:24

    Civil War Pension File Reveals Valuable Family Information with Alvin Blakes

    in History

    The Civil War Pension Files of Philip McQuerter of Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi provides revealing information about the family.


    Alvin Blakes is a lifelong organizer and community worker who has been researching African history since he was a teenager, and has travelled to Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and all over the United States to pursue his studies. He has researched his family’s history from Woodville, Mississippi back to the late 1700s in the Eastern US. He is a member of the Dallas Genealogical Society’s African American Genealogy Interest Group. He graduated with a Bachelors and Masters of Mechanical Engineering degree from Howard University’s School of Engineering.  Currently, he is the Manager of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Agency’s Bus Fleet Engineering Group.

  • 01:11

    When Wills Don't Go As Planned with David Paterson

    in History

     


    This show will examine various case examples of when "wills" don't go as planned such as protests to wills, residual estates and guardianships. In addition, this show will review the records of probate for a typical slave-holding estate.


    Public historian David E. Paterson studies people who lived in nineteenth-century Upson County, Georgia, especially those who experienced slavery and Reconstruction. A civilian employee of the US Navy by day, he spends his leisure hours researching and writing local history.  David has helped manage the Slave Research Forum at AfriGeneas.com since about 2001.  David emigrated to the U.S. in 1958 from Scotland and was granted U.S. citizenship in 1975.  He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.



    Link to diagram of “Typical Actions in Probate of a Slaveholding Estate Probate Process”:
    http://www.afrigeneas.com/library/Probate%20actions_color.pdf

    Companion link to an explanation of the diagram, “Records of Probate for a Typical Slave-holding Estate”:
    http://www.afrigeneas.com/library/Probate_Records.pdf
     


     

  • 00:57

    Discovering the Connection with William Neal with Marcellaus A. Joiner

    in History

    Marcellaus A. Joiner: Supervisor of the Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library and the Archivist for the High Point Museum in High Point, North Carolina. Marcellaus has a B.A.in History from North Carolina A&T State University and a Masters of Library Science from North Carolina Central University. He has proudly worked in the Archives and Library field for over the past 8 years. He is also a member of the Kappa Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc.


    Marcellaus A. Joiner will discuss his research on his Neal family’s past as well as discuss how his career played a large part in his family research findings. In addition, this discussion will focus on how Marcellaus linked his family to William Neal the slave owner of Greene County, Georgia.  This fascinating story and research will explore how he discovered that his third great grandmother Zilphy Ann Neal was owned by William Neal and that they had seven children together. His 2nd great grandfather John Neal was the only child that he could find in his research that moved away from Georgia in the early 20’s. One of Marcellaus major reasons for doing this research is to help reestablish these family lines.


     

  • 01:04

    The Buffalo Soldier - Thomas Elzey Polk, Sr. with Erwin Polk

    in History

    History has always been a favorite subject for Erwin, and his genealogy research made it possible for him to be interviewed live by Bryant Gumble on the Friday July 3, 1993 “Today Show.”  He has been featured in the Wilmington News Journal in 1996, regarding the history of his family and a memorial service for his great grandfather Thomas Elzey Polk Sr. a 9th Cavalry Regiment soldier (a Buffalo Soldier). He has been interviewed for another News Journal Article for the Sunday August 16, 2009 edition regarding a celebration of 200 years of Freedom in the United States by his Polk Ancestors. 


    Erwin Polk is constantly working on genealogy projects and in 1997 made a break through in discovering the ancestors of a childhood friend and neighbor also named Polk.  His findings which started from the name of a Northwestern Pennsylvania town and the name of one person has taken the research back to 1825 Delaware and numerous stories about the Underground Railroad and escapes from slavery. 


    Erwin’s genealogy and historical research projects have included many states such as: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois.  He has also researched information from England, Trinidad, Canada, Grenada, Poland and Germany at various times. 


    Thomas Elzey Polk, Sr. the oldest son of Morris and Rebecca Black Polk, served in the United States 9th Cavalry Regiment Company C, from 1882 until 1892.  He was a Buffalo Soldier in the Indian Territory of the West and earned the rank of sergeant during both of his enlistments.  Thomas Polk earned a pension for his ten years of service in the Indian Territories.   

  • 00:59

    The "Todd's" Telling our Story from Virginia to Kentucky with Phyllis Grimes

    in History

     


    The Todd’s telling our Story from Virginia to Kentucky.


    Underwood vs Underwood’s Executor, 1830, Federal Records, United States Circuit Court Records, 5th Circuit Court, obtained from the Library of Virginia’s Manuscripts Collection in Richmond.


    The library is a wealth of knowledge and you can find books, periodicals, reference material and if you look real hard, you will find your ancestors hanging out in the library collections just waiting to be discovered.  Starting 20 April 1826 and ending 19 December 1830, there was a lawsuit brought by the heirs of Jane Pollard Dandridge Underwood against James Underwood, her estate executor. This lawsuit was filed by the heirs to recover the slaves and the income they had produced from James Underwood.  As a descendant of enslaved ancestors, you can only research so far before you hit a brick wall.  However, it is possible to go beyond that brick wall and find incredible information about your family’s past. 


    Phyllis Grimes is a graduate of Arizona State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies.  Phyllis held various positions working for the Maricopa County Superior Court System and is an employee for the State of Arizona as an Investigator.   Phyllis’ passion is researching her family history and she has been involved in genealogical research for over the past 20 years.  While researching her history, she has gained a greater appreciation for early American History.  She holds the position of the Family Historian/Genealogist for her family.


     


     

  • 01:15

    DNA and Communications Part II with Shannon Christmas

    in History

    Have you had your DNA tested and don't know what to do or say to your newly discovered relatives?


    Corresponding and conversing with unknown relatives found via DNA testing can present family members and genealogists with as many challenges as opportunities. Learn how to initiate a fruitful dialogue, double response rates, and clear a path to genealogical discovery with these tried-and-true communication techniques.


    Join Shannon  Christmas to discuss what you may need to say and do to take your DNA results to the next level.  Communications is key to getting the answers to many of your DNA question

  • 01:28

    Typical Actions in Probate of a Slaveholding Estate with David E. Paterson

    in History

     


    Public historian David E. Paterson studies people who lived in nineteenth-century Upson County, Georgia, especially those who experienced slavery and Reconstruction. A civilian employee of the US Navy by day, he spends his leisure hours researching and writing local history.  David has helped manage the Slave Research Forum at AfriGeneas.com since about 2001.  David emigrated to the U.S. in 1958 from Scotland and was granted U.S. citizenship in 1975.  He lives in Norfolk, Virginia.


    We will discuss the most fruitful probate records for slavery research in most states, for the period about 1800 to 1865.   The discussion may be less useful for the colonial period, or for the records of Louisiana or Spanish colonial Florida whose laws and processes derived from different legal traditions.  In addition, David will describe the process flow from one record to the next – the purpoe of each record – and what kinds of slavery-related information maybe found in the record. Particular attention will focus on records that are sometimes overlooked in guides or how-to books; especially annual returns and vouchers.  Researchers may find records of a deceased slaveholder separated by many years – in cases when a “life estate” came back under supervision of the court as a “residual estate.”  Finally we will show the connections and similarities between probate records and guardians’ records.

  • 01:17

    Forging Freedom with Amrita Chakarabarti Myers, Ph.D.

    in History

    Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston


    For black women in antebellum Charleston, freedom was not a static legal category but a fragile and contingent experience. A deeply researched social history, Forging Freedom reveals the ways in which black women in Charleston acquired, defined, and defended their own vision of freedom.


    Drawing on legislative and judicial materials, probate data, tax lists, church records, family papers, and more, Myers creates detailed portraits of individual women while exploring how black female Charlestonians sought to create a fuller freedom by improving their financial, social, and legal standing. Examining both those who were officially manumitted and those who lived as free persons but lacked official documentation, Myers reveals that free black women filed lawsuits and petitions, acquired property (including slaves), entered into contracts, paid taxes, earned wages, attended schools, and formed familial alliances with wealthy and powerful men, black and white--all in an effort to solidify and expand their freedom. Never fully free, black women had to depend on their skills of negotiation in a society dedicated to upholding both slavery and patriarchy. Forging Freedom thus examines the many ways in which Charleston's black women crafted a freedom of their own design instead of accepting the limited existence imagined for them by white Southerners.


    Amrita Chakrabarti Myers earned her doctorate in American History from Rutgers University. A historian of the black female experience, she is interested in race, gender, sexuality, rights, freedom, and citizenship and the ways in which these constructs intersect with one another in the lives of black women in the Old South. She is currently Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

  • 01:12

    Gina's Journey: The Story of William Grimes with Regina E. Mason

    in History

    Reclaiming Grimes: Author of the First Fugitive Slave Narrative

    Oakland, California native, REGINA E. MASON, has spent fifteen years authenticating the pioneering narrative of her direct ancestor William Grimes—author of the first fugitive slave narrative in American history.  

    Not only is she the gate-keeper of her family’s history, she is also coeditor of the new edition of her forefather’s book Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave. In recognition of her work, the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society presented her the 2009 Herndon Lecturer award. She is currently working on the documentary Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes.


    https://vimeo.com/119890622

  • 01:00

    Finding Josephine with Dionne Ford

    in History

     


    Dionne's search for her family history began at age 12, when she asked a simple question: Grandpa, are you white?  Her grandfather’s answer sent her on a lifelong journey to piece together a family story and reveal a not uncommon but often untold part of American history.  His  grandparents were a slave named Tempy Burton and her master, Col. W. R. Stuart. Three decades after she first learned of this interracial, Civil War-era duo, she found another one of their descendants. Dionne's family’s history includes masters and slaves, Confederates and Senators, preachers and entertainers.  


    Dionne Ford is a freelance writer and M.F.A. candidate at New York University. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, More, Ebony and other publications. Her essay for MORE on her family’s history won two magazine awards. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters and blogs about her family's history at FindingJosephine.com.