African American Resources for Texas

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

A list of resources for African American research of ancestors who lived in Texas.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

  • 1865-1874 Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874 at FamilySearch
  • African American Digital Bookshelf - a growing list of digital books on FamilySearch and other websites
  • Discover Freedmen - this site searches all of the Freedmen's Bureau record collections on FamilySearch altogether (and redirects there)
  • The Handbook of Texas Search for information on slaves, slave owners, plantations, local history, churches, historical events, etc.
  • Texas Slavery Project
  • Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

    History[edit | edit source]

  • Bullock Museum: African Americans
  • George Washington Carver Museum and Genealogy Center
  • Texas State Historical Association: African Americans
  • Freedmen Towns After slavery, African Americans went on to establish towns in Texas.

  • Africa (Shelby County)
  • Barrett (Harris County)
  • Capote (Guadalupe County)
  • Clarksville (Austin)
  • Cologne (Goliad County)
  • Cuney (Cherokee County)
  • Deep Ellum (Dallas)
  • Downsville (McLennan County)
  • Fifth Ward (Houston)
  • Fourth Ward (Houston)
  • Good Hope (Lavaca County)
  • Grant's Colony (Walker County)
  • Hufsmith (Harris County)
  • Kincheonville (Austin)
  • Jakes Colony (Guadalupe County)
  • Jones Colony (Lee County)
  • Lincolnville (Coryell County)
  • Masontown (Austin)
  • Mission Valley (Medina County)
  • Mount Gillion (Shelby County)
  • Nigton (Trinity County)
  • Peyton (Blanco County)
  • Quakertown (Denton)
  • The Ridge (Gregg County)
  • Shankleville (Newton County)
  • Shiloh (Gregg County)
  • Wheatville (Austin)
  • Officials and Employees Brewer, John Mason. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: a history of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfanchisement. FHL976.4F2bjm 1970 University of Texas (San Antonio). Institute of Texas Cultures. Residents of Texas, 1782-1836. 3 Vol. Vol 3 contains contains mostly translated summaries documenting the Black experience in Texas. Included are land grant requests, wills, and testaments, letters of freedom and contracts of the sale of slaves. FHL976.4 D2rte Vol 1-3. Tyler, Ronnie C. and Lawrence R. Murphy. The Slave Narratives of Texas. Austin: Encino Press, 1974. FHL 976.4 D3sl

    Resources[edit | edit source]

    Biographies[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Census Records[edit | edit source]

    Church Records[edit | edit source]

    Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]

    Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

    • The McGowan Funeral Home Records, 1956-1995
      An online index of the McGowan Funeral Home records. The funeral home operated in South Dallas, Texas between 1956 and 1995. The collection is held in the administrative area of the Genealogy section of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Branch of the Dallas Public Library. The physical records of the collection are not accessible to the general public without prior arrangement.

    Genealogies[edit | edit source]

    The Southern Migration of the Keeton and Chafer Family

    Land and Property[edit | edit source]

    Plantation[edit | edit source]

    Law and Legislation[edit | edit source]

    Oral Histories[edit | edit source]

    Other Records[edit | edit source]

    Military Records[edit | edit source]

    Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

    Reconstruction Records[edit | edit source]

    Freedman’s Bank[edit | edit source]

    An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (visit the African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records page to learn more). This company was created to assist African American soldiers of the Civil War and freed slaves. Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company signature cards or registers from 3 March 1865 to 25 July 1874 may list the name of the depositor, date of entry, age, birthplace, residence, complexion, name of employer or occupation, wife or husband’s name, death information, children’s names, name of father and mother, brothers’ and sisters’ names, remarks, and signature. Early books sometimes contained the name of the former master or mistress and the name of the plantation. Copies of death certificates were sometimes attached to the entries. The collection is organized alphabetically by state, then city where the bank was located, then date the account was established, then account number.

    Online collections of Freedman's Bank records:

    Freedmen's Bureau[edit | edit source]

    The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by the US government in 1865 until 1872 to assist former slaves in the southern United States. The Bureau created a wide variety of records extremely valuable to genealogists. Such documents include censuses, marriage records, and medical records. These records often include full names, former masters and plantations, and current residences.[1] For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands includes the names of the owners of the plantations or homes that were abandoned, confiscated, or leased. It gives the county and location, a description of the house, the number of acres owned, and the number of cabins of former slaves. These films do not appear to contain the names of former slaves. To find Freedmen's Bureau records:

    • More collections are available in the FamilySearch Catalog. Search for "FREEDMEN - TEXAS" in the Subjects search bar to find.

    Visit the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records page to learn more about utilizing these records.

    School Records[edit | edit source]

    The Gregory School Historical collections at The Gregory School include:

    • Access to Houston Public Library databases and indexes
    • Books
    • Pamphlets
    • Periodicals
    • Photographs
    • Oral history recordings
    • Manuscripts
    • Newspapers and clippings
    • Personal family archives and
    • Ephemera documenting Houston’s African American History and culture.

    Slavery Records[edit | edit source]

    Slavery in Early Texas. I
    Lester G. Bugbee
    Political Science Quarterly
    Vol. 13, No. 3 (Sep., 1898) (pp. 389-412)
    Page Count: 24

    Texas Runaway Slave Project. East Texas Research Center

    Vital Records[edit | edit source]

    Birth[edit | edit source]

    Marriage[edit | edit source]

    Death[edit | edit source]

    Divorce[edit | edit source]

    Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

    Voter's Registrations of 1867

    The 1867 Voter Registration includes names of voters who registered in the period between 1867 and 1869. In cases where African Americans registered, their race is specified as "colored." Voter's registrations are among the few records which document African American males prior to 1870. The following information is included:

    • Name
    • Place of residence
    • Precinct
    • Length of residence (in state, in county, in precinct)
    • Native country or state
    • If naturalized, how, when, and where
    • General Remarks--race is noted when the registrant was "colored"

    The records are categorized by county. When searching, pay close attention to other individuals with the same surname. They may be related. In some cases, whites with the same name may be members of the former slave holding family.
    Voters' Registrations of 1867 are available on microfilm at the Texas State Archives.

    Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

    The African American Library at the Gregory School
    Houston's first colored public school, located in historic Freedmen's Town, serves as a resource and repository to preserve, promote and celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans in Houston, the surrounding region and the African Diaspora.

    African American Museum, Dallas
    3536 Grand Avenue
    Dallas, TX
    Phone: (214) 565-9026

    African American Community Archives Program

    Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

    810 Guadalupe

    Austin, Texas, 78701

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.
    Willie Lee Gay - H-Town Chapter
    11100 Braesridge, Suite 2202
    Houston, Texas 77071

    Houston Museum of African American Culture
    4807 Caroline
    Houston, Texas 77004

    African American Genealogical Interest Group
    A Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Dallas Genealogical Society

    Dallas Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 12446
    Dallas, Texas 75225-0446

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. "African American Records: Freedmen's Bureau," "African American Heritage," National Archives, accessed 11 May 2018.