Telling The Story That They Will Want to Hear

June 14, 2022 6 – 7 PM


Everyone enjoys a good story!  Any story that catches your attention is a story that you are eager to share with others. But what makes a good story?  This workshop will examine methods of turning genealogical research into a story that many will enjoy hearing from you. The session will share what to avoid when writing that family book, and what to include. The session will also show various methods of sharing the family narrative to make it a story that others will want to read, and will want to continue to share.

About the Presenter:

Angela Walton-Raji, a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, is known nationally for her genealogical and historical research and work. Among her specialties are Oklahoma Native-American records, Arkansas Black history, and Civil War history on the western frontier. Her website “Arkansas Freedmen” documents the historical community of Fort Smith and the history of the Freedmen of the Five Tribes in nearby eastern Oklahoma.  She also documents Black Union soldiers and women workers, both black and white, in the Civil War.  

In addition to research, Ms. Walton-Raji is also a writer and author, storyteller and teacher.  She has served as the coordinator of a writer’s track at the Midwest African American Genealogy Institute and has also become known for sharing her stories and experiences from her genealogical work.  

Ms. Walton-Raji’s book “Black Indian Genealogy Research” was the first book of its kind focusing on the unique record set reflecting Freedmen found within the Dawes Records from eastern Oklahoma. Her latest work, “Freedmen of the Frontier” presents family profiles from Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Freedmen.

Ms. Walton-Raji has presented at numerous conferences nationwide including Roots Tech, the largest genealogical event in the world, and Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.  She has been a featured speaker at the Smithsonian Institution and she was the only genealogist in the nation to present regular genealogy lectures at the National Museum of the American Indian. In the 1990s, Ms. Walton-Raji was a founding member of and for 10 years has hosted “The African Roots Podcast.”  

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from St. Louis University and a Master of Education from Antioch University, and currently resides in Maryland.

This program is part of Seymour Library’s Personalizing History project and is funded through the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.