African American Resources for Utah

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

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)
  • Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

    History[edit | edit source]

    Time line of African Americans in Utah

    1847: Green Flake, Oscar Crosby and Hark Lay are part of the 1847 Pioneer Companies

    1850: Census reports 50 African Americans and 24 listed as free 26 listed slaves.

    1852: Utah Territorial legislature passes a law recognizing legality of owning slaves

    1862: Congress passes legislation abolishing slavery in the territories.

    1865: 13th Amendment

    1869: Two Black military units the 9th Cavalry and the 24th infantry patrol in Utah

    1890's: Black newspapers published in Utah: The Democratic Headlight, Tri-City Oracle, Broad Ax and Utah Plain Dealer

    1890-1940 The railroads are the largest employer of blacks in Utah.

    1890 - First Black Church in Utah Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City Utah

    1892 - Black Church Calvary Missionary Baptist is established in Salt Lake City Utah

    1898: anti-miscegenation law; prohibit issuance of marriage license to mixed-race couples.

    1899: the 24th infantry stationed at Fort Douglas

    1902: Harlem Renaissance writer Wallace Thurman is born in Salt Lake City and lives in Utah until age 20. his novels: The Blacker the Berry, Infants in the Spring, and The Interne.

    1916 - Ogden's first black church was Wall Avenue Baptist Church was established

    1921- Mignon Richmond is 1st black to graduate from college in Utah.

    1925 - D. H. Oliver becomes Utah's first black attorney.

    1942 - Ralph Price breached the color barrier to become the first twentieth century black to purchase a home and settle in Davis County; Layton City with his wife Ruby J. Price

    1945: World War II brings many blacks to Hill Air Force Base in Ogden (Weber county) and Dougway Proving Ground in Tooele County

    1950 - Ruby J. Price becomes the first black schoolteacher in Utah- at the Inter-mountain Indian School, Brigham City.

    1960 - Ruby J. Price of Layton is the first black educator hired in Davis County

    1963: The Legislature rescinds anti-miscegenation law of 1898

    1964: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in voting, education, employment and public facilities.

    1967: Dr. Charles James Nabors becomes the first black faculty member at the University of Utah Medical School

    1968 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is killed in Memphis, Tennessee

    1976 Rev. Robert Harris is elected Utah's first black state legislator

    1977 Ruby J. Price of Layton Utah was selected Utah Mother of the Year, she was the first black woman to be selected as Utah mother of the Year

    1984 Tyron Medley, Utah's first black judge 3rd Circuit Court appointed by Gov. Scott Matheson

    Carter, Katre B. The Story of the Negro Pioneer. 84 p. . Daughters of Utah Pioneers C. 1965. (Green Flake, Hark Lay, Oscar Crosby, Jane Manning James, Faithful John. Elijah Abel,Toby, Uncle Phil, Liz Flake Roan, Bankhead Families, Perkins Family,Crosby Family,Grice Family, Hannah Smith, Knelt and Henderson, Thomas Bedford Graham, Hooper, Williams and Johnson, Camp and Greer, Judge Drummond's Negro, Dennis family, Gobo Fango, Leggroan Family, Samuel Chambers, Dan Brockman, William Granstaff, Len Hope,George Keller,David H. Oliver, and Chaplain Allensworth)FHL Book 979.2 F2ck Digital Version WorldCat

    • Coleman, Ronald Gerald. A History of Blacks in Utah, 1825–1910. 1980. Reprint, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International, 1990. (Family History Library book 979.2 F2c.) This addresses differing occupations, from trappers to African-American soldiers. In the appendix, a census summary is found and a study on occupations.WorldCat
    • Carter, Kate B. The Story of the Negro Pioneer. Daughters of Utah Pioneers. c 1965. FHL book 979.2 F2ck WorldCat Digital version
    • Carter, Kate B.The Story of the Negro Pioneer. C. 1965. Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Davis, Lenwood G. Blacks in the State of Utah: A Working Bibliography Lenwood G. Davis; Mary Vance, editor. - Monticello, Ill.: Council of Planning Librarians, 1974.

    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]

    Genealogies[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property[edit | edit source]

    Plantation[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:

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

    School Records[edit | edit source]

    Slavery Records[edit | edit source]

    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]

    Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

    African American in Utah at Archives Digital Collection - Genealogy related information for various States and Provinces is available from a variety of servers which may be official government services, genealogy society efforts, or maintained by interested individuals. A digital archive of materials related to African American in the Utah.

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

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