Friday, August 25, 2017
Many who are active in the genealogy community are quite familiar with the weekly program hosted by genealogist and author Bernice Alexander Bennett. On August 31, her show will feature 4 genealogists who will speak on their genealogical experience as descendants of Oklahoma Freedmen. The Freedmen were those men, women and children once enslaved by citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes. The panelists will share the genealogical process and the documents they used to uncover their family history.
Nicka Sewell-Smith, will speak about her experience documenting her ancestors from the Cherokee Nation. Terry Ligon, will speak about documenting his ancestors who were Chickasaw Freedmen. Ron Graham will share his experiences documenting his family history from the Creek Nation, and yours truly-Angela Walton-Raji will speak about documenting the Walton and Perry ancestors from the Choctaw Nation.
Ms. Smith is a direct descendant of Ike Rogers, the well known US Deputy Marshall who served Indian Territory under Judge Isaac C. Parker. Her family from Vinita, Fort Gibson and other places in the Cherokee Nation is well documented. She shares much of her research on her website Who is Nicka Smith Nicka Smith is also the host of Black Pro Gen, a bi-weekly Google hangout where professional genealogists discuss methods and strategies in a live on camera gathering. She is also a professional photo journalist and documentarian, and serves as a member of the faculty of MAAGI, the Midwest African-American Genealogy Institute.
Terry Ligon's story is fascinating when he shares the amazing genealogical data that he uncovered and learned about his ancestor Bettie Ligon, who was chief litigant in a complex legal case involving over 2000 freedmen. He hosts the blog The Black and Red Journal and also a group on Facebook, called The Indian Territory Reader. He has taught numerous genealogy classes, and was a major instructor in the Choctaw-Chickasaw Freedmen conference several years ago in Oklahoma City. Mr. Ligon has also produced a number of videos on YouTube reflecting not only his history, but many aspects of the complex history of Oklahoma Freedmen.
Ron Graham is active in many aspects of genealogy of Oklahoma Freedmen. With strong family ties to the Muskogee Creek Nation, Mr. Graham served for several years as president of the Muscogee Creek Freedman Band, a group whose mission is to preserve, and teach history and genealogy of Creek Freedmen. He has conducted genealogy classes and worked with clients seeking assistance with the enrollment process. He continues to be active with the Descendants of Freedmen Association of Oklahoma. He continues to teach throughout Oklahoma and most recently taught a class at the Cherokee Ancestry conference in Talequah Oklahoma.
Angela Walton-Raji hosts the African-Native American Genealogy Blog, the African-Native American genealogy website, and she hosts the longest running message board focusing on researching Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, on AfriGeneas. Author of Black Indian Genealogy Research, the first and only book devoted to researching the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, Ms. Walton-Raji continues to devote time and energy to teaching and writing in many arenas. She has the longest ongoing genealogy podcast devoted to African American genealogy, with over 400 episodes available free online. Ms. Walton-Raji is also a founding member and faculty member of MAAGI and coordinates the Writer's Track at the Institute. She has spoken nationally at AAHGS, FGS, Roots Tech, SCGS, and the International Black Genealogy Summit.
Bernice Bennett, host of the weekly program "Research at the National Archives & Beyond" on Blog Talk Radio, is well known for her efforts to feature genealogists, writers and scholars who share a compassion for telling the African American family story. Next week's show will be the first program of its kind featuring the topic of genealogical resources for descendants of the Oklahoma Freedmen.
The show will air at 9pm (eastern time) on Blog Talk Radio. To hear the program simply go to: www.blogtalkradio.com/bernicebennett. Click on the episode's name to hear the live broadcast. To join the live online chat room, log in by creating a free account, or log in through Facebook or Twitter.