African American Research

From FamilySearch Wiki

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=== Did you know?<br> ===
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*The first African settlers in the U.S. were indentured servants in Jamestown, Va., in 1619 (before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock) and freed after 7 years.
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*African American is the most common ancestry in: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
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*The Freedman's Bank and the Freedmen's Bureau were separate organizations, from different federal departments, in separate National Archives record groups.
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*Ten percent of the African American population was free before the Civil War.
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*Only 15 percent of freed slaves used the family name of a former owner.
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*From 1865 to 1875 many African Americans changed their family name.
  
 
=== The key to success in African American genealogy research  ===
 
=== The key to success in African American genealogy research  ===
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In the beginning, you may use the same type of genealogical records other groups use to identify ancestors. &nbsp;For this reason there is no need to duplicate state resources here. &nbsp;Consult the state and county articles on the FamilySearch Wiki first until you exhaust them. &nbsp;See [http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/US/AfricanAmerican.pdf Finding Records for Your Ancestors, Part A-African American 1870 to Present].&nbsp;You will find records become somewhat scarce as you move back in time.<br>  
 
In the beginning, you may use the same type of genealogical records other groups use to identify ancestors. &nbsp;For this reason there is no need to duplicate state resources here. &nbsp;Consult the state and county articles on the FamilySearch Wiki first until you exhaust them. &nbsp;See [http://net.lib.byu.edu/fslab/researchoutlines/US/AfricanAmerican.pdf Finding Records for Your Ancestors, Part A-African American 1870 to Present].&nbsp;You will find records become somewhat scarce as you move back in time.<br>  
  
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. &nbsp;  
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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. &nbsp;
  
=== Did you know?  ===
 
  
*The first African settlers 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: [http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-35.pdf Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana].
 
*The [[African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records|Freedman's Bank]] and the [[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records|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.
 
 
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=== Key Internet Links  ===
 
=== Key Internet Links  ===

Revision as of 23:06, 31 October 2011

African American Topics

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  African American Research

[[Image:Template:TVAworker]]

Welcome to the African American Research page

Its most unique genealogical features:
  • many family name changes after Civil War
  • slavery research is usually challenging
  • Freedman's Bank & Freedmen's Bureau

African American pages are available for these states

African American Genealogy

[[Image:Template:LargestAncestry]]

Did you know?

  • The first African settlers 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.

The key to success in African American genealogy research

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


Things you can do

In order to make this wiki a better research tool, we need your help! Many tasks need to be done. You can help by:

If you are interested in being the moderator for these African American Research pages, Please contact the Support Team.

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

An online collection containing this record is located in  FamilySearch.org.

A wiki article describing this collection is found at: