African American Resources for California

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African American Resources

Online Resources

Resources for researching African American ancestors who lived in California.

William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr. (October 23, 1810 – May 18, 1848), one of the earliest mixed-race U.S. citizens in California



African American in California at ArchivesDigital 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 Canada. .

A Research Strategy

Archives and Libraries

Click here to learn about African American Resources in Los Angeles.

Vital Records

Birth Records

Marriage Records

Death Records


  • Beasley, Delilah Leontium. The Negro Trail Blazers of California : a compilation of records from the California archives in the Bancroft Library at the University of California in Berkeley; and from the diaries, old papers, and conversations of old pioneers in the State of California. Los Angeles:[s.n.], - 317 p.: ill, ports F870.N38 B3 1919b FHL Collection   WorldCaDigital version
  • Goode, Kenneth F. California's Black Pioneers: A Brief Historical Survey. Santa Barbara, Calif.: McNally Loftin, 1974 [c1974].- xiii, 222p.:ill. E185.93 C2G66 1974
  • Lapp, Rudolph M. Blacks in Gold Rush California New Haven:Yale university Press, 1977 - xiv, 321 p., (Yale Western Americana Series; 29) E185.C2 L36
  • Vivian, Octavia B. The Story of the Negro in Los Angeles County. compiled by Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration under the supervision of Hugh Harlan. - [S.l.:s.n.], 1956. - 43 p. F868.L8 V5 1970
  • Los Angeles Negro Business Directory. - [Vol.1] 91952/53)- [Vol.2] (1953/54). - Los Angeles, 1953-1954 F869.L8 L82
  • History of Black American in Santa Clara Valley. [Prepared by the staff of the Garden City Women's Club]. - [Sunnyvale, Calif.: Lockheed Missiles & Space Co., c 1978]. - xxx, 220 p.:ill. F868.S25 G37 1978
  • Parker, Elizabeth L. and James Abajian. A Walking tour of the Black Presence in San Francisco during the nineteenth century: A Black history week event; - [San Francisco]: San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society 1974. - 23 p.: ill F869.S3 P22

Census Records

Church Records

Los Angeles

First African Methodisy Episcopal A.M.E. Churtch,(1872- ) History


St Andrews A.M.E. Church, (1850-) History

San Jose

Antioch Baptist Church, (1868-) History

Funeral Homes



African Americans in California is a helpful historical timeline that highlights people and events from the Spanish Era until 2003.


Military Records

Probate Records

School Records

Voting Registers

Other Sources

Online Resources

The California Underground Railroad, California State University, Sacramento

The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers Project

The Martin Luther King Project, Stanford University