African American Genealogy
|African American Genealogy Wiki Topics|
|Welcome to the African American Research page|
Its most unique genealogical features:
State African American Pages[edit | edit source]
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- State Slavery Statutes. 354 microfiche. Bethesda, Maryland:University Publications of America, 1989. FHL fiche 6118902-6118916.
National Archives[edit | edit source]
- Federal Records that Identify Former Slaves and Slave Owners
- American Slavery, Civil Records.
- American Slavery, Congressional Records
- American Slavery, Military Records.
- American Slavery, Judicial Records
How to do African American Genealogy Research[edit | edit source]
- Quick Guide to African American Records
- Search for resources in the FamilySearch Learning Center
- How to start African American Research
- African American Online Genealogy Records
Did you know?[edit | edit source]
- The first Africans in the U.S. were indentured servants in Jamestown, Va., in 1619 (before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock) and freed after 7 years.
- African American is the most common ancestry in: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
- The Freedman's Bank and the Freedmen's Bureau were separate organizations, from different federal departments, in separate National Archives record groups.
- Ten percent of the African American population was free before the Civil War.
- Only 15 percent of freed slaves used the family name of a former owner.
- From 1865 to 1875 many African Americans changed their family name.
- Over 3,600 Free African Americans owned slaves in 1830. 
Keys to success in African American research[edit | edit source]
You will find the most success researching African American ancestors if you begin with yourself, and follow oral history as well as historical records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates to document the previous generations.
Use the US Census to research your family groups. Many times, you may have difficulty in documenting an ancestor.If you research the collateral lines (aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins), you will discover more about your common ancestor and have a wealth of resources to explore.See United States Basic Search Strategies.
In the beginning, you may use the same type of genealogical records other groups use to identify ancestors. For this reason there is no need to duplicate state resources here. Consult the state and county articles on the FamilySearch Wiki first until you exhaust them. See Finding Records for Your Ancestors, Part A-African American 1870 to Present. You will find records become somewhat scarce as you move back in time.
Once you notice you are no longer able to find your ancestors on the records most commonly used by others, return here and choose the state above where your ancestor lived to discover records not commonly used in genealogy research.
Key Internet Links[edit | edit source]
Wiki articles describing online collection are found at:[edit | edit source]
- United States Freedman's Bank Registers 1865-1874 - FamilySearch Historical Records
- United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters - FamilySearch Historical Records
- United States Freedmen's Bureau Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records
References[edit | edit source]
- Dee Parmer Woodtor. Finding a Place Called Home. A guide to African-American Genealogical and Historical Identity. New York:Random House, 1999. FHL 973 F2wd
- Tony Burroughs. Black roots : a beginners guide to tracing the African American family tree.New York, New York : Simon & Schuster, 2001. FHL973 D27bt 2001
- Not Quite Free The Free Negro Before the Civil War by Lowell H. Harrison. American History Illustrated FHL 973 B2ahi vol.9 June 1974 pg 12.