African American Resources for Texas
|Texas Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Online Resources
- 3 Research Strategy
- 4 History
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Biographies
- 5.2 Cemeteries
- 5.3 Census Records
- 5.4 Church Records
- 5.5 Emancipation Records
- 5.6 Funeral Homes
- 5.7 Genealogies
- 5.8 Land and Property
- 5.9 Oral Histories
- 5.10 Other Records
- 5.11 Military Records
- 5.12 Newspapers
- 5.13 Probate Records
- 5.14 Reconstruction Records
- 5.15 School Records
- 5.16 Slavery Records
- 5.17 Vital Records
- 5.18 Voting Registers
- 6 Archives and Libraries
- 7 Societies
- 8 References
A list of resources for African American research of ancestors who lived in Texas.
- Discover Freedmen - this site searches all of the Freedmen's Bureau record collections on FamilySearch altogether (and redirects there)
- Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874
- The Handbook of Texas Search for information on slaves, slave owners, plantations, local history, churches, historical events, etc.
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
Land and Property
- Texas Slave Narratives
- Oral Histories Recorded at the Gregory School
- Houston Area Digital Public Library
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:
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. 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:
- DiscoverFreedmen - the search on this site will utilize all of the Freedmen's Bureau records on FamilySearch, including:
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Claim Records,1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Hospital and Medical Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contracts, Indenture and Apprenticeship Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Marriages, 1861-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Ration Records,1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of Persons and Articles Hired, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Freedmen's Court Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Land and Property Records, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen's Complaints, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education, 1865-1872
Other FamilySearch collections not included:
- United States Freedmen's Bureau Miscellaneous Records,1865-1872
- United States Freedmen's Bureau, Records of Freedmen, 1865-1872
- United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Assistant Commissioner, 1865-1872 Images only. These reports primarily contain statistical and historical information.
- 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.
The Gregory School Historical collections at The Gregory School include:
• Access to Houston Public Library databases and indexes
• Oral history recordings
• Newspapers and clippings
• Personal family archives and
• Ephemera documenting Houston’s African American History and culture.
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
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:
- Place of residence
- 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
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
Phone: (214) 565-9026
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
- "African American Records: Freedmen's Bureau," "African American Heritage," National Archives, accessed 11 May 2018.