African American Resources for Alabama

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P.O. Box 300100 / 624 Washington Ave.<br>Montgomery, AL 36130<br>(334) 242-4435  
 
P.O. Box 300100 / 624 Washington Ave.<br>Montgomery, AL 36130<br>(334) 242-4435  
  
[http://library.samford.edu/ Samford University Library]
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[http://library.samford.edu/ Samford University Library]  
  
Samford University | 800 Lakeshore Drive | Birmingham, AL 35229<br>Questions or Comments: 205-726-2748
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Samford University | 800 Lakeshore Drive | Birmingham, AL 35229<br>Questions or Comments: 205-726-2748  
  
[http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/ Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)]
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[http://www4.samford.edu/schools/ighr/ Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)]  
  
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<br>
  
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[http://www.birminghamarchives.org/SubjectGuideSuggestedReadin.htm Birmingham Public Library: Collections and Research]
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Birmingham Public Library<br>Department of Archives &amp; Manuscripts<br>2100 Park Place<br>Birmingham, Alabama USA 35203 &nbsp;Phone:&nbsp;(205) 226-3631<br>E-mail: jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us
  
 
=== Pre-Civil War records  ===
 
=== Pre-Civil War records  ===
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slave importation declarations, plantation records, emancipation records, apprenticeship bonds for freedmen, Alabama hiring practices, census records, plantation owners’ family records, church and cemetery records, military records, and Alabama court records.  
 
slave importation declarations, plantation records, emancipation records, apprenticeship bonds for freedmen, Alabama hiring practices, census records, plantation owners’ family records, church and cemetery records, military records, and Alabama court records.  
  
===== Plantation records =====
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===== Plantation records =====
 
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Some plantation records mention slaves. The Family History Library has many plantation records on microfilm. These records are described in a series of booklets by Kenneth M. Stampp. Guides for Series A–M are available at the Family History Library:
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Some plantation records mention slaves. The Family History Library has many plantation records on microfilm. These records are described in a series of booklets by Kenneth M. Stampp. Guides for Series A–M are available at the Family History Library:
  
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<br>
  
 
*Stampp, Kenneth M., ed.''A Guide to Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War: Series A–M,'' ''Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library.'' Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986. ( Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/search/index/library_catalog#searchType=catalog&filtered=true&collectionId=&fed=false&page=1&catSearchType=call_number&searchCriteria=975+H2sm&author_givenName=&author_surname= book 975 H2sm.]) The Family History Library has microfilms of most of the records described in the guide. Alabama plantation records are scattered throughout.
 
*Stampp, Kenneth M., ed.''A Guide to Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War: Series A–M,'' ''Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library.'' Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986. ( Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/search/index/library_catalog#searchType=catalog&filtered=true&collectionId=&fed=false&page=1&catSearchType=call_number&searchCriteria=975+H2sm&author_givenName=&author_surname= book 975 H2sm.]) The Family History Library has microfilms of most of the records described in the guide. Alabama plantation records are scattered throughout.
  
<br>For example, the booklet for Series F describes records of many plantations in Alabama and other states of the Deep South. The records were microfilmed at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. They are:
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<br>For example, the booklet for Series F describes records of many plantations in Alabama and other states of the Deep South. The records were microfilmed at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. They are:  
 
+
  
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<br>
  
 
*''Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War: Series F, Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library.'' Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986–1987. (On 84 Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F564185&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D films beginning with 1549774].)
 
*''Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War: Series F, Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library.'' Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986–1987. (On 84 Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F564185&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D films beginning with 1549774].)
  
For a history of slavery in Alabama, see:<br>Sellers, James Benson. Slavery in Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1950, 1994. (Family History Librarybook [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F706908&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D 976.1 F2s].) This 426 page book includes a bibliography, on pages 399–409.
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For a history of slavery in Alabama, see:<br>Sellers, James Benson. Slavery in Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1950, 1994. (Family History Librarybook [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F706908&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D 976.1 F2s].) This 426 page book includes a bibliography, on pages 399–409.  
  
<br>Records of African-Americans may be listed as "colored" in birth, marriage and death records. See [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Birth,_Marriage,_and_Death_Records Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records] for those records
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<br>Records of African-Americans may be listed as "colored" in birth, marriage and death records. See [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Birth,_Marriage,_and_Death_Records Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records] for those records  
  
 
=== Civil War Records  ===
 
=== Civil War Records  ===
  
A record was made of men of African descent who served in the Confederate Army:<br>Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Negroes in the Confederate Army, 1860–1907. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F522854&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 1653243 item 4].) This source lists the name of the soldier and his duty. It may indicate the name of the slave owner, the date of pay, master’s place of residence, where the soldier served in the military, and his military expenses.
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A record was made of men of African descent who served in the Confederate Army:<br>Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Negroes in the Confederate Army, 1860–1907. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F522854&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 1653243 item 4].) This source lists the name of the soldier and his duty. It may indicate the name of the slave owner, the date of pay, master’s place of residence, where the soldier served in the military, and his military expenses.  
  
 
=== Post-Civil War  ===
 
=== Post-Civil War  ===
  
===== Freedman's Records =====
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===== Freedman's Records =====
  
 
An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company. 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.<br>  
 
An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company. 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.<br>  
  
Alabama had a branch of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company in Huntsville and Mobile. In each city depositors are listed by account number. The records are in:
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Alabama had a branch of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company in Huntsville and Mobile. In each city depositors are listed by account number. The records are in:  
  
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<br>
  
 
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*Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Huntsville, Alabama), Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1865–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F709429&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 928571].)  
*Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Huntsville, Alabama), Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1865–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F709429&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 928571].)
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*Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Mobile, Alabama). Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1867–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/search/index/library_catalog#searchType=catalog&filtered=true&fed=false&collectionId=&catSearchType=film_number&searchCriteria=928572&author_givenName=&author_surname= film 928572 ].)
 
*Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Mobile, Alabama). Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1867–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/search/index/library_catalog#searchType=catalog&filtered=true&fed=false&collectionId=&catSearchType=film_number&searchCriteria=928572&author_givenName=&author_surname= film 928572 ].)
  
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<br>
  
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===== Freedman’s Bureau  =====
  
===== Freedman’s Bureau =====
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United States:''Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Records of the Assistant Commissioner for Alabama, 1865–1869.'' National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0809. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F362692&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D films 1612338–60].) These reports primarily contain statistical and historical information. For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F362692&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 1612358]&nbsp;) 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.
  
United States:''Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Records of the Assistant Commissioner for Alabama, 1865–1869.'' National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0809. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F362692&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D films 1612338–60].) These reports primarily contain statistical and historical information. For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F362692&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D film 1612358]&nbsp;) 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.
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<br>The separate Freedman’s Bureau records do not usually name relatives or give genealogical information. They can be found in the Family History Library Catalog Subject Search under:  
  
<br>The separate Freedman’s Bureau records do not usually name relatives or give genealogical information. They can be found in the Family History Library Catalog Subject Search under:
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<br>'''FREEDMEN - ALABAMA'''
  
<br>'''FREEDMEN - ALABAMA'''
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<br>Slaves are sometimes mentioned in deeds (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Land_and_Property Land and Property]"), wills (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Probate_Records Probate Records]"), tax records (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Taxation Taxation]"), and court order books (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Court_Records Court Records]") under their owner’s name. A few parish registers (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Church_Records Church Records]") list slaves who attended church with their masters.<br>  
 
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<br>Slaves are sometimes mentioned in deeds (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Land_and_Property Land and Property]"), wills (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Probate_Records Probate Records]"), tax records (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Taxation Taxation]"), and court order books (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Court_Records Court Records]") under their owner’s name. A few parish registers (see "[https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Church_Records Church Records]") list slaves who attended church with their masters.<br>
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=== Reconstruction Era (1868-1878)  ===
 
=== Reconstruction Era (1868-1878)  ===
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Reconstruction in Alabama: [http://www.alabamamoments.state.al.us/sec24.html A Quick Summary]  
 
Reconstruction in Alabama: [http://www.alabamamoments.state.al.us/sec24.html A Quick Summary]  
  
=== Jim Crow Era ===
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=== Jim Crow Era (1859-1959) ===
  
<br>
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*[http://www.jimcrowhistory.org/scripts/jimcrow/insidesouth.cgi?state=Alabama Jim Crow Laws: &nbsp;Alabama]
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*[http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1248 Segregation (Jim Crow)], Encycopedia of Alabama
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*[http://www.archives.state.al.us/ahei/Jim_Crow_Lived_in_Alabama_in_the_late_1800s_Feb_2011.pdf Title of Lesson: Jim Crow Lived in Alabama in the late 1800s]
  
 
=== Biographies  ===
 
=== Biographies  ===
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Several biographical dictionaries, compendia, and histories may contain information you need, for example:  
 
Several biographical dictionaries, compendia, and histories may contain information you need, for example:  
  
''Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790–1950.'' Alexandria, Virginia: Chadwyck-Healy, 1980. (On 1070 Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche beginning with 6049870.]) This publication is sometimes referred to as "The Black Biography Project." Three of the sources included in this collection are:
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''Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790–1950.'' Alexandria, Virginia: Chadwyck-Healy, 1980. (On 1070 Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche beginning with 6049870.]) This publication is sometimes referred to as "The Black Biography Project." Three of the sources included in this collection are:  
  
<br>''Bothe, Charles Octavius. The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama: Their Leaders and Their Work.'' Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Alabama Publishing, 1895. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6078965]&nbsp;[set of 3].) This book contains biographies, birth dates, parents’ names, and sometimes pictures. It also provides information on associations and state conventions.
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<br>''Bothe, Charles Octavius. The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama: Their Leaders and Their Work.'' Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Alabama Publishing, 1895. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6078965]&nbsp;[set of 3].) This book contains biographies, birth dates, parents’ names, and sometimes pictures. It also provides information on associations and state conventions.  
  
<br>Mixon, Winfield Henri. ''History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Alabama, with Biographical Sketches''. Selma, Alabama: A.M.E. Church Sunday School Union, 1902. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6079113]&nbsp;[set of 3].) This book provides pictures, church minutes and history, and speeches. There is no index.
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<br>Mixon, Winfield Henri. ''History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Alabama, with Biographical Sketches''. Selma, Alabama: A.M.E. Church Sunday School Union, 1902. (Family History Library [https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6079113]&nbsp;[set of 3].) This book provides pictures, church minutes and history, and speeches. There is no index.  
  
<br>Moorman, Joseph H. and E. L. Barrett. ''Leaders of the Colored Race in Alabama.'' Mobile, Alabama: News Publishing, [198–?]. (Family History Library&nbsp;[https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6079115] [set of 2].) This source contains biographical sketches with birth dates, educational information, a history of each minister’s service, and a history of churches. It includes an index.
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<br>Moorman, Joseph H. and E. L. Barrett. ''Leaders of the Colored Race in Alabama.'' Mobile, Alabama: News Publishing, [198–?]. (Family History Library&nbsp;[https://www.familysearch.org/s/catalog/show?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcatalog.familysearch.org%3A8080%2Fwww-catalogapi-webservice%2Fitem%2F509200&hash=HloWXpZgU9zB10k5M56iYku8TUc%253D fiche 6079115] [set of 2].) This source contains biographical sketches with birth dates, educational information, a history of each minister’s service, and a history of churches. It includes an index.  
  
=== <br>Military ===
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=== <br>Military ===
  
===== [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Military_Records Military records ]of Alabama<br> =====
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===== [https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Alabama_Military_Records Military records ]of Alabama<br> =====
  
===== Civil War<br> =====
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===== Civil War<br> =====
  
1862: Over 10,000 Alabama freedmen served as Union Soldiers
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1862: Over 10,000 Alabama freedmen served as Union Soldiers  
  
===== <br>World War II (1941-1945) =====
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===== <br>World War II (1941-1945) =====
  
*''Combat Connected Naval Causalities, World War II, by States''. Two Volumes. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946. (Family History Library .) This source is alphabetically arranged by state, then within the state by dead, missing, wounded, Prisoner of War (POW), died or killed while a POW, and POWs released.
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*''Combat Connected Naval Causalities, World War II, by States''. Two Volumes. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946. (Family History Library .) This source is alphabetically arranged by state, then within the state by dead, missing, wounded, Prisoner of War (POW), died or killed while a POW, and POWs released.  
*Tuskegee Airmen [http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/ tuskegeeairmen.org] An estimated 16,000 to 19,000 airmen including mechanics, parachute riggers and support staff were involved.
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*Tuskegee Airmen [http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/ tuskegeeairmen.org] An estimated 16,000 to 19,000 airmen including mechanics, parachute riggers and support staff were involved.  
 
*For photos of Tuskegee Airmen [http://www.americanprofile.com/tuskegee americanprofile.com/tuskegee]
 
*For photos of Tuskegee Airmen [http://www.americanprofile.com/tuskegee americanprofile.com/tuskegee]
  
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Taylor, Frazine K. Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama A Resource Guide.  
 
Taylor, Frazine K. Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama A Resource Guide.  
  
Montgomery, Alabama: New South Books. 2008.<br>[http://books.google.com/books?id=GhHb4IspnsgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=African-American+genealogy&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama] by Frazine K. Taylor (Google Books)<br><br><br><br>
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Montgomery, Alabama: New South Books. 2008.<br>[http://books.google.com/books?id=GhHb4IspnsgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=African-American+genealogy&lr=#v=onepage&q=&f=false Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama] by Frazine K. Taylor (Google Books)<br><br><br><br>  
  
=== Slave Narratives ===
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=== Slave Narratives ===
  
The African-American Mosaic: &nbsp;[http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam015.html Ex Slave Narratives<br>]
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The African-American Mosaic: &nbsp;[http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/african/afam015.html Ex Slave Narratives<br>]  
  
=== Websites ===
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=== Websites ===
  
 
Samford Univeristy: &nbsp;[http://samford.libguides.com/content.php?pid=48940&sid=360072 Primary Sources/Websites]<br>
 
Samford Univeristy: &nbsp;[http://samford.libguides.com/content.php?pid=48940&sid=360072 Primary Sources/Websites]<br>
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[[Category:Alabama]]
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[[Category:African Americans |Alabama]]

Revision as of 03:53, 23 December 2011

Contents

Archives and Libraries

Alabama Department of Archives and History

P.O. Box 300100 / 624 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-4435

Samford University Library

Samford University | 800 Lakeshore Drive | Birmingham, AL 35229
Questions or Comments: 205-726-2748

Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)


Birmingham Public Library: Collections and Research

Birmingham Public Library
Department of Archives & Manuscripts
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, Alabama USA 35203  Phone: (205) 226-3631
E-mail: jbaggett@bham.lib.al.us

Pre-Civil War records

slave importation declarations, plantation records, emancipation records, apprenticeship bonds for freedmen, Alabama hiring practices, census records, plantation owners’ family records, church and cemetery records, military records, and Alabama court records.

Plantation records

Some plantation records mention slaves. The Family History Library has many plantation records on microfilm. These records are described in a series of booklets by Kenneth M. Stampp. Guides for Series A–M are available at the Family History Library:


  • Stampp, Kenneth M., ed.A Guide to Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War: Series A–M, Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library. Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986. ( Family History Library book 975 H2sm.) The Family History Library has microfilms of most of the records described in the guide. Alabama plantation records are scattered throughout.


For example, the booklet for Series F describes records of many plantations in Alabama and other states of the Deep South. The records were microfilmed at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. They are:


  • Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War: Series F, Selections from the Manuscript Department, Duke University Library. Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1986–1987. (On 84 Family History Library films beginning with 1549774.)

For a history of slavery in Alabama, see:
Sellers, James Benson. Slavery in Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1950, 1994. (Family History Librarybook 976.1 F2s.) This 426 page book includes a bibliography, on pages 399–409.


Records of African-Americans may be listed as "colored" in birth, marriage and death records. See Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records for those records

Civil War Records

A record was made of men of African descent who served in the Confederate Army:
Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Negroes in the Confederate Army, 1860–1907. (Family History Library film 1653243 item 4.) This source lists the name of the soldier and his duty. It may indicate the name of the slave owner, the date of pay, master’s place of residence, where the soldier served in the military, and his military expenses.

Post-Civil War

Freedman's Records

An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company. 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.

Alabama had a branch of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company in Huntsville and Mobile. In each city depositors are listed by account number. The records are in:


  • Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Huntsville, Alabama), Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1865–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library film 928571.)
  • Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Mobile, Alabama). Registers of Signatures of Depositors, 1867–1874. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0816. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library film 928572 .)


Freedman’s Bureau

United States:Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Records of the Assistant Commissioner for Alabama, 1865–1869. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0809. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1969. (Family History Library films 1612338–60.) These reports primarily contain statistical and historical information. For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands (Family History Library film 1612358 ) 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.


The separate Freedman’s Bureau records do not usually name relatives or give genealogical information. They can be found in the Family History Library Catalog Subject Search under:


FREEDMEN - ALABAMA


Slaves are sometimes mentioned in deeds (see "Land and Property"), wills (see "Probate Records"), tax records (see "Taxation"), and court order books (see "Court Records") under their owner’s name. A few parish registers (see "Church Records") list slaves who attended church with their masters.

Reconstruction Era (1868-1878)

Reconstrucion in Alabama:  Alabama's First Lawmakers

Reconstruction in Alabama: A Quick Summary

Jim Crow Era (1859-1959)

Biographies

Several biographical dictionaries, compendia, and histories may contain information you need, for example:

Black Biographical Dictionaries, 1790–1950. Alexandria, Virginia: Chadwyck-Healy, 1980. (On 1070 Family History Library fiche beginning with 6049870.) This publication is sometimes referred to as "The Black Biography Project." Three of the sources included in this collection are:


Bothe, Charles Octavius. The Cyclopedia of the Colored Baptists of Alabama: Their Leaders and Their Work. Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Alabama Publishing, 1895. (Family History Library fiche 6078965 [set of 3].) This book contains biographies, birth dates, parents’ names, and sometimes pictures. It also provides information on associations and state conventions.


Mixon, Winfield Henri. History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Alabama, with Biographical Sketches. Selma, Alabama: A.M.E. Church Sunday School Union, 1902. (Family History Library fiche 6079113 [set of 3].) This book provides pictures, church minutes and history, and speeches. There is no index.


Moorman, Joseph H. and E. L. Barrett. Leaders of the Colored Race in Alabama. Mobile, Alabama: News Publishing, [198–?]. (Family History Library fiche 6079115 [set of 2].) This source contains biographical sketches with birth dates, educational information, a history of each minister’s service, and a history of churches. It includes an index.


Military

Military records of Alabama
Civil War

1862: Over 10,000 Alabama freedmen served as Union Soldiers


World War II (1941-1945)
  • Combat Connected Naval Causalities, World War II, by States. Two Volumes. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946. (Family History Library .) This source is alphabetically arranged by state, then within the state by dead, missing, wounded, Prisoner of War (POW), died or killed while a POW, and POWs released.
  • Tuskegee Airmen tuskegeeairmen.org An estimated 16,000 to 19,000 airmen including mechanics, parachute riggers and support staff were involved.
  • For photos of Tuskegee Airmen americanprofile.com/tuskegee


Bibliography

Taylor, Frazine K. Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama A Resource Guide.

Montgomery, Alabama: New South Books. 2008.
Researching African American Genealogy in Alabama by Frazine K. Taylor (Google Books)



Slave Narratives

The African-American Mosaic:  Ex Slave Narratives

Websites

Samford Univeristy:  Primary Sources/Websites