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AfriGeneas News & Announcements
March 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Black Roots Seekers Face Hurdles

By Richard Allen Greene
BBC News, Washington

Denise Oliver-Velez was, she says, "a nosy child".

When her mother showed her family pictures, she always wanted to know who everyone was - not simply that they were "cousins", but exactly how they were related to her.

Her father, on the other hand, had little or no contact with his extended family.

As Denise grew older, she learned the reason: she is an African-American, but her grandmother Mabel - her father's mother - was white.

Mabel Bodine had married a black man - an illegal act in her home state of Kansas in 1915 - prompting almost her entire family to cut off contact with her and forcing her to flee the state. The wedding took place in Wisconsin.

Denise's interest in her family history never waned, and eight or nine years ago, she says, she began tracing her genealogy in earnest.

She has become so expert at it that she now helps newcomers to AfriGeneas, a website devoted to helping African-Americans find their roots - an increasingly popular hobby for black people.

Read the rest of the story . . .

Source: BBC News

Posted by Staff on 3/23/07 at 1:11 am EST

Sub-Saharan African mtDNA Admixture in Several West Eurasian (Caucasoid) Populations

The recent article on Etruscan mtDNA contains a useful overview table of mtDNA haplogroups in several West Eurasian (Caucasoid) populations, collected from both this study as well as the literature. Extracted from this table is the following table of mtDNA L (Sub-Saharan African) sequences in the listed populations.

Read the rest of the article . . .

Source: Dienekes' Anthropoly Blog

Posted by Staff on 3/23/07 at 1:05 am EST

Monday, March 19, 2007 Terminates Free Access in Family History Centers

The Generations Network, Inc, the owner of,,,, and Family Tree Maker, has released a statement about recent negotiations with the Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In short, the company is now halting the practice of giving free access to to all Family History Centers. Thousands of genealogists have visited local Family History Centers in order to gain free access to services that normally cost $100 to $300 per year or more. Obviously, those people are going to be very disappointed with this news.

Here is the official announcement from The Generations Network, followed by my comments:


On March 16, 2007, a communication was sent to the Directors of Family History Centers from the Worldwide Support management of the Family History Department. wishes to clarify a number of points not addressed by this communication.

  • For the past seven years, has provided all Church family history centers free access to without a formal licensing agreement in place or any compensation from the Church.

  • Over the past several months, has been working actively to reach agreement with the Church on a formal licensing arrangement by which it could continue to make its service available to the public for free. Unfortunately, the two parties were unable to reach an agreement on this matter.

  • strongly desires to have a licensing arrangement with the Church that would allow it to continue to provide free access to the public in Family History Centers. The company said it still hopes to create an acceptable agreement with the Church. The Ancestry Library Edition is available free to the public in over 1400 public libraries in the U.S. and U.K. via a similar licensing arrangement.

  • and the Church have cooperated over the years on a number of projects to digitize and index some important online databases. The Generations Network values its relationship with the Church and is committed to working closely with the Church and all players in the genealogy world to advance interest in family history across the world.

  • Because of existing contractual agreements, a select number of databases will continue to be accessible inside LDS Church family history centers. These include the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses, full name indices for the British 1841-1891 censuses (England and Wales), World War I draft cards, and a few additional smaller databases.

Read the rest of the story . . .

Source: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Posted by Staff on 3/19/07 at 10:03 am EST

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cherokee Nation Votes to Remove Freedmen Descendants from Tribe

Cherokee Nation limits membership to Indian blood.

By Chad Previch and Sheila Stogsdill
Staff Writers

TAHLEQUAH - Cherokee Nation members Saturday overwhelmingly voted to remove descendants of freedmen from their tribe.

With a few precincts remaining, 76.6 percent voted to amend the nation's constitution. According to the tribe's Web site, 6,693 had voted for the amendment and 2,040 voted against it.

John Ketcher, the tribe's former deputy chief and organizer of the petition that got the amendment to a vote, said Saturday will go down as one of the biggest chapters in Cherokee history.

"I think it will be very important ... for our children and our grandchildren," he said. "Hopefully they won't have to face this problem again. Those with Cherokee blood are still welcome in our Cherokee Nation.

"I'm going to sleep good."

At issue was whether to remove descendants of freedmen, who were slaves adopted into the tribe after the Civil War, from the tribal roll.

Freedmen were made tribal citizens in 1866.

In 1975, Cherokees voted to exclude them and their descendants. But the tribe's highest court in March 2006 granted them rights.

Read the rest of the story . . .

Source: The Oklahoman

Posted by Staff on 3/04/07 at 11:31 pm EST

6 Jul 2003 | 09 Apr 2007
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