Freedmen Bureau Project Indexing workshop. What Fun! (AND Introducing The Brothers of Stomp!)

September 2, 2015
 What a delightful evening I had presenting the Freedmen Bureau Project and indexing workshop through at  the  Reverend West’s Saint Luke Baptist Church and Rev. Calvino Muse’s True Love First Baptist Church Spencer, Oklahoma. This was our first round of presenting the FBP and indexing workshop, but I think everyone got what they needed. We’ll tweak it up to smooth it out before Thursday night, but overall, it was a fun experience for me. It is such a treat to feel the warm, welcoming, spirit of the Black community.

Three generations learning how to index the Freedmen Bureau records. Grandma’s in the middle.

Oops, how did this bearded man slip in? McCoey liked Grandpa’s birthday cake. 
Not to be outdone in cuteness factor, Little Lizzy is an adept crawler. She didn’t get any of Grandpa’s cake.
Dean Woolen is a former Bishop from the Midwest City ward. He’s explaining his excitement about learning that the Freedmen Bureau records existed. (I thought I looked skinnier in that dress. DARN!)

If you are part of the African American Community and would like to learn about the Freedmen Bureau Project and finding your own roots, comment on this post and I’ll get you to the right person to set it up. If you’re in Oklahoma, we’ll come to you, or you can come to us. is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s a free website. Always has been and always will be. Your personal data is completely protected and confidential. No information that concerns living people is visible to anybody else. You can download the program free on the your private computer by starting at

These five teens came with their Stomp coach. The cute little gal in the middle created a FamilySearch account and found five generations back during the workshop. I LOVE the excitment she’s showing in this picture.

The boys pictured above are in a Stomp performing group called “Stomp Brothers.” It is like “Whole-body tap dance, or a combination of dance and gymnastics with impressive unity and agility. It’s SUPER fun. They did an encore presentation so we could film it, but somehow, it’s not on the camera card today. I’m so disappointed. But it was kind of them to treat us to a show. WE LOVED IT! Check out their “older brothers”  youtube video from 2012 at the bottom of this post.

Three generations! 
Andre’ (above) and Jessilyn (below) Head are some of the best blessings that have come to me from getting involved in the FBP. They are the founders and co-CEO’s of the Coltrane Group, a Black Towns of OK advocacy group. They will soon start an African American Genealogy and Historical group in Oklahoma. I am eager to hear when the Black Towns of Oklahoma bus tour is scheduled. It’s gonna be fun and I’m going to write a travel piece for the Oklahoman about it.
 Jessilyn seems intent on figuring out instructions for indexing Freedmen Bureau records and Andre’ looks like he’s got a belly-ache. 

Jessilyn combines glamour and grace. She’s a talented organizer and applies her business savvy to her work as an AA advocate. 
Family History Center worker Sherri Furber helps “Coach” David Mosley start the Freedmen Bureau indexing. 

I spoke with David Mosley after the program. He’s the coach for The Brothers of Stomp. He’s one of those truly righteous people who spend their lives in the service of others. The kids in his stomp program are all “at risk” African American teen boys. He has been a miracle worker with 98% high school graduation rate. But the thing that struck me most was the deep affection that the boys expressed toward him. He’s teaching them to be good, strong men in the context of forming a team of rigorously practiced and performed Stomp routines. He’s far more a life mentor than a mere coach. May God bless David Mosley and The Brothers of Stomp from Star Spencer High School. If you want to help,  comment on this post and I’ll forward you his information.

The next Freedmen Bureau Project Presentation and Indexing workshop is Sept 3 2015 in OKC. This one is in the LDS Church building at 5020 NE 63rd St. It starts at 7:00 and the public is welcome. It is particularly for Black Americans who may have had slave ancestors. There will be a Freedmen Bureau Project presentation, an introduction to indexing the FB Project and a tour of the Family History Library that is contained in the LDS building. Please come!

Please share this post so that the Freedmen Bureau Project can get maximum exposure in the African American Community and some of these other great projects can have a little more exposure, too. 

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