African American Research

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  African American Research

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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

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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.

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.

United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)