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GeneaBloggers Radio – Show Notes for Friday, February 24, 2012


GeneaBloggers Radio Episode 57

African-American Genealogy Resources

Friday, February 24, 2012
9pm-10:30pm Eastern US
8-9:30pm Central US
7-8:30pm Mountain US
6-7:30pm Pacific US
2am London UK
1pm Saturday Sydney AUS

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African-American Genealogy Resources

This week our show is entitled African-American Genealogy Resources with this week’s co-host Robin Foster of Saving Stories. Our special guests will include: Tim Pinnick, Family Tree University instructor and a recognized specialist in Black newspaper research who’ll discuss where to find newspapers and how to use them for your research; Shelley Murphy of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Chapter of Central Virginia, whose current project is a book about the “free colored” families who homesteaded in Benzie and Manistee counties in Michigan; and Drusilla Pair, of the Find Your Folks blog, will update us on her recent “Sunday Crowns” presentation and the role of hats and churches in African-American genealogy.

Special Co-Host


Robin Foster
Robin Foster

Robin Foster  has been researching and helping people discover and share information about their ancestors since 1985. She has expert knowledge of historical documentation and current online technologies used in genealogical research to document ancestors who lived in Southern states and in other regions.

One of her research courses can be accessed for free in the FamilySearch Research Courses:  Most Overlooked Record Types in South Carolina.

Robin is also an expert in social media networking and in helping others develop an online presence. She has been publishing and designing Heritage Makers storybooks since 2007. Her storybook, “Brought Home By a Story,” was selected “Best of Heritage Past” in 2008.

With her expert research skills, Robin has been able to help many identify resources to document their ancestors, organize findings, and share findings with extended family.

Robin has served supporting FamilySearch products since 2007 and currently provides research support and is the Genealogy Research Community Advisory Council Chair for the FamilySearch Facebook communities.  She also supports genealogical societies and county libraries by providing presentations across SC.  She is also currently working to connect the folks in her ancestral home of Union, South Carolina with the latest and greatest in genealogical resources.  She is scheduled to present at the Union County Library (African American Resources) on March 10th and at the Union County Museum (How to Get Started) on March 15th.


  • Over Troubled Water


Shelley Murphy
Shelley Murphy

Shelley Murphy (aka: familytreegirl) a native of Michigan residing in Central Virginia, daughter to Calvin and Verna (Worden) Murphy, proud mother of two adult children and sister to four brothers.  Shelley has been an avid genealogist for nearly 25 years researching the Davis, Marsh, Goens/Goins/Goings, Roper, Boyer, Worden, Cureton, Murphy numerous other family lines. She still considers herself as a “newbie” as she continues to learn about conducting genealogical research on a daily basis. She holds a Masters in Organizational Management, and currently working as an Adjunct professor for Averett University in Virginia.

She presents Genealogy 101 workshops at the local community college, state and national genealogy conferences. Murphy is known for her inspiring and interactive “Getting Started” with genealogy research, “Time and File management” along with interesting problem-solving methodology lectures. Shelley currently has 15+ publications with Charlottesville Genealogy Examiner and the Central Virginia Heritage, a publication of the Central Virginia Genealogical Association.

Shelley attends local, state, and national conferences and currently works for a nonprofit as a Director of Program Services. She is a founding member and current President of the Afro-American Historical Genealogical Society Chapter of Central Virginia (AAHGS). Shelley holds memberships with local, national, state genealogy groups, various historical societies in the United States, including the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and Central Virginia History Researchers. She is presenting at 2012 NGS on the Davis and Marsh families, two free colored families who migrated to Michigan after stopping in Ohio. One migrated before the Civil War and one after.

Current project is a book about the “free colored” families who homesteaded in Benzie and Manistee counties in Michigan.  She just completed a book and plans on publishing it on Calvin Clark Davis called “I’m not done yet”.  This highlights Calvin’s experience in WW2, who passed as a white solider, served his country and was shot down during a bombing raid 30 Nov 1944. Shelley’s tagline is “Know your roots, they are long and strong.”

Some favorite books and websites:

  • Tony Burroughs: Black Roots, A beginner’s guide to researching African-American Family Tree.
  • Dr. Dee Palmer Woodtor: Finding a Place Called Home: A guide to African American Genealogy and Historical Identity.
  • Meghan Smolenyak: “Hey America Your Roots are Showing”
  • Barbara Howell-How to Trace Your African-American Roots: Discovering Your Unique History


Tim Pinnick
Tim Pinnick

Tim Pinnick is an author, article writer, national speaker, and researcher.  He has talked extensively on the subject of American coal miners, and is currently preparing a book on coal miner research for release in the next 12 months.  Tim is a recognized specialist in black newspaper research and the author of Finding and Using African American Newspapers, published in 2008, and is an associate instructor in the “Researching African American Ancestors” course at the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research.

As an independent scholar, Tim has presented five historical papers on African American related subjects. The most recent one, Reconstructing the African American Community of Thurber, Texas was given at the 2008 Western History Association Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Past papers were delivered at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Association for African American Historical Research and Preservation, and the Illinois History Conference.  In 2005 he received a Formby Research Fellowship to conduct research on African American coal miners at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University.

A former 1976 Illinois state high school track and field champion and 1980 Olympic Trials qualifier in the long jump, currently divides his time between his research passion and coaching the sprinters and jumpers of the Downers Grove South girls track team in the western suburbs of Chicago.


Drusilla Pair

Drusilla Pair

Drusilla Pair aka “Professor Dru” is a Genealogist, Technologist, Educator, and Lecturer who has been tracing her family history in Virginia and North Carolina since 1994. She is a native of Newport News, VA and is the author of several blogs including Professor Dru’s Blog,, Find Your Folks,, and Let Freedom Ring,  Her most recent genealogy accomplishments are a program entitled “Sunday Crowns” which focused on the legacy of church hats in her family and in African American churches and the development and teaching of the Back in the Day, a Faith-Based Institution Historical Research Program for youth in her community.


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Disclosure:  Please see Disclosure Statements for more information on my material connection with genealogy vendors and organizations.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee