African American Resources for Arizona

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The FamilySearch moderator for Arizona is James Tanner.

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Research Strategy


The first person, most likely, of African heritage who came to the Arizona area was a member of a Spanish expedition. Esteban was originally from Morocco and was a slave to a Spaniard. He first arrived in the New World in 1528. See Esteban, a 16th Century Explorer.

Resources to learn more about African Americans in Arizona history:



In The Steps Of Esteban: Biographies and Oral Histories - contains biographies from African American pioneers, educators, military officials, and more.


Census Records

Church Records

African Americans are represented mainly in five categories: Baptist, Methodist, Church of God in Christ, Church of Christ, and Apostolic.

Phoenix: Tanner Chapel AME Church, 1887 - History

Tucson: Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 1900 - History

Emancipation Records

Funeral Homes


Land and Property


Oral Histories

Other Records

Military Records


Probate Records

Reconstruction Records

Freedman’s Bank

Freedmen's Bureau

School Records

Slavery Records

Vital Records


The Arizona, Birth Records, 1881-1948 ($) collection contains birth records between 1881 and 1948 for most counties in Arizona. Information often includes name, birth date, sex, father, mother's maiden name, race or color, parents' birth places, condition at birth, and remarks.



The Arizona, County Coroner and Death Records, 1881-1971 ($) collection contains death records between 1881 and 1971 for most counties in Arizona. Information often includes name, age, sex, informant, and death date/place.

The Arizona, Death Records, 1887-1960 collection contains death records between 1887 and 1960 for every county in Arizona. Information usually contains name, gender, race, marital status, birth date and place, death date and place, burial date and place, age, occupation, parents and their birth places, and medical information.


Voting Registers

Archives and Libraries

Sabio Library
The University of Arizona Libraries
1510 E. University Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
Phone: 520-621-6406
Website: University Libraries

Pioneer Museum (Flagstaff)
2340 N. Fort Valley Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Phone: 928-774-6272
The Pioneer Museum has a few collections documenting African American pioneers. See Black Genesis for reference to Beppie Culin Papers (1850-1900) on page 64 which contain 324 bills of sale for slaves.
Website: Pioneer Museum

African American Multicultural Museum
617 North Scottsdale Road, Suite A
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Phone: 480-314-4400


Black Family Genealogy & Historical Society
P. O. Box 90683
Phoenix, Arizona 85066-0683
Website: Black Family Genealogy & Historical Society