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Established in 2004, and located in Washington, DC’s U Street Corridor, The African American Civil War Memorial, memorializes 209,145 soldiers on its “Wall of Honor.”  In the shadow of the 9 foot bronze “Spirit of Freedom” statue created by the artist Ed Hamilton of Louisville, KY its complex can be accessed at the eastern entrance of the U-Street Metro.  Their new museum is located directly across the street from the memorial and links online visitors to the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System which helps potential descendants find out if they could be related to any of the soldiers on the wall of the memorial.  The museum maintains a growing descendant’s registry that documents the family trees of these individuals.


Managed and maintained by the USGenWeb Special Collections Project, African American Griots online is hosted by Roots web and showcases special documents from very important periods in African American history.   Well-organized and packed with databases and message boards, it updates researchers on new projects and makes available space for researchers wanting to post queries.  You can adopt a state or submit data using its easy submission process.  Contributor-based and filled with surname queries.  It contains slavery-era probate and primary source material, gateway pages and online reference center.  


The African American Women online archive, located at the Duke University Library in Durham, NC allows researchers to retrieve manuscripts involving the historical accomplishments of African American women.  Part of the John Hope Franklin research center for African American History and culture, the African American online archive is a great place to find the best materials and documents to assist you in your search for clues on how to find your female ancestor.


The African Atlantic Genealogical Society sponsors lectures and workshops in the New York City/Long Island area.  Started in 2006, it is a member of the Long Island Federation of Genealogical Societies abd teaches African American Genealogy courses at libraries throughout the area.  

Portals to Africans Liberated from Transatlantic Slave Vessels

African Origins is an online information repository giving information on the migration histories of countless Africans forcibly carried on slave ships across the Atlantic.  It relies on the detailed information gathered by The Courts of Mixed Commission on 9,453 Africans illegally enslaved that were liberated by appointed Navy Officials from both Great Britain and the United States.  This website presents geographic, ethnic and linguistic data connected to African names that researchers can then use to find the place of origin of each liberated African.  Maintained by Emory University, the website’s content can sometimes include very detailed information as well.  

The African Origins Project, started in 2009, is a scholar-public collaborative whose goal is to use the names of Africans to identify their ethno-linguistic origins and migration histories within the diaspora.  As an offshoot of the African Names Database the voyages contained here are preserved in digitized format.

Nova Scotia

Formed in 1983 by Deborah Dixon-Jones, Brenda Steed-Ross and Linda Matley, The Africville Society, was created to capture the memories of Canada's Black Loyalist communities.  First called The Campbell Road Settlement, the community of Africville was known as "the place where the colored folks live."  A community of Seamen, Pullman porters and domestic servants, the community’s first land transaction won't take place until 1848, long after its recorded date of settlement.  Only fourteen residents living in Africville, would ever hold clear title to the land.  Supported by the Heritage Canada's Gateway Fund, the Africville Society's Educational Project is headquartered in the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Afriquest is a repository for records relating to African American genealogy and history.  You can view its many featured documents and you have the option of sharing your own.  Its database is easily searchable and its layout makes further navigation throughout a breeze.  

Share your documents and family stories with other genealogists.  Referred to by its owner, Sharon Leslie Morgan, as the People’s Archive, Afriquest is a valuable resource for genealogists, historians and educators.

An added bonus…

Every document, story or image you upload to Afriquest will be preserved and remain free for generations to come.


The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (HGS) is a Washington, D.C. based organization which pursues scholarly and educational work in the realm of African American History and Genealogy.  Founded in May of 1977, it currently serves 18 state chapters and a National Chapter for the District of Columbia.  It is a member of The Society of the Federation of Genealogical Societies and publishes a scholastic journal on its members' work in the field of African-American genealogy.  It also operates the amazing website AfriGeneas (derived from African American Genealogy Buddies) genealogy web community that will be mentioned in our next volume and membership is 10 per year.  

The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society is a group to which membership includes a semi-annual journal and an annual conference.  

Members will share their knowledge and discoveries with other researchers by conducting workshops and promoting scholarly research in the areas of African American Historical and Genealogical Studies.

For more information on The Society’s New Journal or to download a Membership Application in PDF or Word Format goes to


Formed in 1817, The Anti-Slavery Society sent manumitted slaves and free persons of color to Africa as an alternative to emancipation. In March of 1825, the society began to publish and circulate a quarterly, called The African Repository and Colonial Journal.  Edited by Ralph Randolph Gurley, head of the society until 1844, the publication promoted above all else the complete and total colonization of America’s Blacks to Liberia.  The society kept regular records which included a list of donors and the names of the more than 13,000 emigrants society would eventually send to Liberia.  In 1913, the society donated the records to the Library of Congress.  Its letters contain enormous amounts of information on the organization’s efforts to manage, fundraise and recruit new settlers to the colony.  This information came in the form of news clippings, a Grimke letter including financial papers such as receipts, account books, ledgers and statements and covers all aspects of operations for the society.

For more information on the records of the American Colonization Society go to 


Ancestry Library Edition is the epic, undisputed champion of online Records.  With 5 Billion names, 4,000 collections, a partnership with and Proquest, its reputation in online indexing and records acquisition has been firmly established.  It is the LEADING resource today in genealogical research.  Now, millions worldwide can access international genealogical data and content from the comfort of their very own local library.  

Ten years ago researchers would have to fly to Barbados to view the Slave Registers BUT now thanks to Ancestry you can just click a button and voila…you can search the the records from the comfort of your own home.  Almost every library in America has a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition, and rightfully so. Having an Ancestry subscription brings two bonuses…accuracy and speed.  

Its remarkable how, what used to take a year now only takes an hour.  You can do research, isolate leads, network with others and source your information now only in a matter of minutes.  Ancestry Library Edition has the accounts of more than 2,300 slaves, narrated to interviewers in 26 states that were compiled by the Works Progress Administration from 1936-1938 and continues to build partnerships making rare collections available to the researcher public.  

The only Ancestry Library Edition drawback for users is that as a library patron, you will have to share access with others.  This can sometimes be frustrating especially when it takes a researcher time and minimal distractions to conduct a thorough search.  So, here it comes, I suggest you also subscribe at home.  

Fresh clues come; any time day or night, you never know when the next one will come.

For more information on Ancestry Library Edition or to try it for free 
go to

Foundation for the National Archives

Produced for the Foundation for the National Archives in partnership with Fable Vision Learning, Archive This is a training manual for Junior Archivists.  It is forty pages of cool stories, famous documents and funny checklists.  Kids learn what records to keep, how to build their very own archive and how to plan a trip to do research.  This book is a step by step guide on how to preserve documents, produced in comic book form.  Now, kids can learn how to build their very own archives starting from home.  

To purchase Archive This or to learn about what other great educational tools you can find for your little Archivist go to

By Thomas Wentworth Higginson

A Union colonel in charge of training black troops during the Civil War, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, was a Unitarian Minister, he was a fervent member of New England’s Abolitionist movement, and with his book gives a detailed report on the daily life of black soldiers.  An active participant in the Underground Railroad before the war, he would publish Army Life in a Black Regiment half a decade after the Civil War.  

From the Chapter, Colored Soldier Regiments in the Civil War, an excerpt:

“No officer in this regiment now doubts that the key to the successful prosecution of this war lies in the unlimited employment of black troops. Their superiority lies simply in the fact that they know the country, while white troops do not, and, moreover, that they have peculiarities of temperament, position, and motive which belong to them alone. Instead of leaving their homes and families to fight they are fighting for their homes and families, and they show the resolution and sagacity which a personal purpose gives. It would have been madness to attempt, with the bravest white troops what I have successfully accomplished with the black ones. Everything, even to the piloting of the vessels and the selection of the proper points for cannonading, was done by my own soldiers. -- Excerpt from February 1, 1863 report by Colonel T. W. Higginson, commander of the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers (Union) after the January 23 - February 1, 1863 Expedition from Beaufort South Carolina, up the Saint Mary's River in Georgia and Florida.”

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