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AFRICAN AMERICAN COAL MINER INFORMATION CENTER. Provides brief history of the African American coal-mining experience in America, with identification of associated coal towns and camps, database of individual miners, links to related sites, and listings of related offline material.

AFRICAN AMERICAN FUNERAL PROGRAMS- VIRGINIA  1935-2009  Images and index of funeral programs from the Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society of Virginia (MPAAGHS). Programs were donated to MPAAGHS by various individuals within the community. Images are loosely arranged alphabetically by the names of persons collecting and donating the programs and not alphabetically by the names of those in the programs. Some obituaries are included.

African American History at the Maryland State Archives


African American Registry provides more than black history, but important African American dates in history. Very informative. Including a page where you can plug in your birthday to find interesting historical facts!


Afrigeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. 

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1718-1820- Database of Slave Inventories and records.

A History of Jefferson, 1836-1936 Marion County, Texas    And as told by individuals who once lived in Jefferson and by many who are now living and those who lived in Jefferson during her palmy days

District of Columbia Court and Emancipation Records, 1820-1863

Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-1863

Digital Library on American Slavery

African-American Families Database: The AAFD project is hosted by the Central Virginia History Researchers, a partnership among local historians, anthropologists, genealogists, and community residents.


Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1719-1820 

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries   


Black Loyalist 

Black Virginians, white lenses: Images from the Cook Photograph Collection   

In 2000, VCU Libraries in collaboration with the Valentine selected and digitized this group of 250 images, primarily of African Americans, from the George and Huestis Cook Photograph Collection held by the Valentine. These images are scans of the original prints produced from glass-plate or film negatives. George S. Cook (1819-1902) and Huestis P. Cook (1868-1951) captured these images primarily in the Richmond and Central Virginia area during the late-19th and early-20th century.

Most of these photographs, like others from this era, were posed or staged. They provide some insight into both Black life and white racist perceptions of that existence.

Civil War Washington Great resource site with lots of links.  Including a Brick Wall Posting area for those hard to find names.  Lots of free resources.

Culpeper County, Virginia: 
Family History & Genealogy, Census, Birth, Marriage, Death Vital Records & More

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Websites-African American  Loads of links

Discovering Yesterday    research tips and tools, and thoughts on genealogy research, as well as, interesting local history. (DC/Metro)

DC USGenWeb Archives were developed to provide free online data for genealogical research. These archives are dependent on volunteers, people just like you, donating their time by transcribing public domain records or other non-copyrighted primary sources. Your file contributions help build this repository for all researchers to come. The USGenWeb Archives Project has guaranteed your information will remain free to all researchers.


English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records 

Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade  With the help of scholars, educators, and family historians, Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade ( is rapidly expanding in 2021, building a robust, open-source architecture to discover, connect, and visualize 600,000 (and growing) people records and 5 million data points. From archival fragments and spreadsheet entries, we see the lives of the enslaved in richer detail. Explore the data and life stories on and read articles on data-driven research about the lives of the enslaved in the Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation.

Executions in the U.S. 1608-2002: The Espy File  The "Espy File" is a database of executions in the United States and the earlier colonies from 1608 to 2002. This list of 15,269 executions was compiled by M. Watt Espy and John Ortiz Smykla, and was made available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Note: This is the latest version of the Espy File. Previously, this web page contained "The Espy File: 1608-1987."

Fayette County Kentucky Links 

Footsteps from North Brentwood: From Reconstruction to the Post WWII years

Book by Frank Harold Wilson about the first incorporated Black town in Prince Georges County MD

Fredericksburg Historic Court Records   'The information presented by Historic Court Records are primarily extracts of "loose papers" - the paper trail behind Court Order Book entries. Fortunately, it appears that most "loose papers" survived the turmoil of the Civil War even though Fredericksburg changed hands a number of times and was decimated during the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg. The history behind Fredericksburg's "loose papers" is complicated since a number of different courts sat in the Fredericksburg Courthouse over the years and those courts served many jurisdictions, not just Fredericksburg...

FREE AFRICAN AMERICANS OF VIRGINIA,  NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, MARYLAND AND DELAWARE  The history of the free African American community as told through the family history of most African Americans who were free in the Southeast during the colonial period

Free Black Families of Colonial Delmarva  

This source, abstracted from original records by Paul Heinegg, compiles the histories of free Black families that lived on the Delmarva Peninsula during the Colonial Era. Many of these families descended through children of unmarried white women, which court and church records recorded as "illegitimate." For this compilation, Heinegg relied on his abstractions of the 1800, 1810, and 1820 censuses, in addition to county court records. Some of the records referenced by Heinegg are captured in sources he helped transcribe, including the 1800-1820 censuses. Abbreviations commonly used in the source include:

DB Deed Book DW Deeds, Wills L.P. Loose papers at the county courthouse MD:, DE:, Federal census records for the state. Page number is for the printed version of the census in 1790 and the microfilm of the original for all other years. MdHR Maryland Hall of Records MSA Maryland State Archives M804, M805 Microfilm copies of the Revolutionary War Pension files at the National Archives Orders Order book for the county court of pleas and quarter sessions OW Orders, Wills W&cO Wills, etc. Orders

Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, VIRGINIA 1865-1872

Free Negro Owners of Slaves from the Journal of Negro History a downloadable PDF

Freedman's Bureau Marriage Register Hanover County PDF


HathiTrust Digital Library HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.

Howard University Yearbooks  During the period 1914-1922, individual yearbooks were produced by university Departments. Extant yearbooks are available from the Academy, College Department, and Teachers College. There are no yearbooks for 1921.

Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation
The Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation is a digital academic journal that publishes datasets and accompanying data articles about the lives of enslaved Africans and their descendants from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries. The Journal of Slavery and Data Preservation builds from and expands upon the pioneering digital scholarship on the transatlantic slave trade. As such, the journal elevates curated data to a first-class publication status, providing scholarly review, recognition, and credit to those who undertake the intellectual work involved in generating, cleaning, contextualizing, and describing digital records relating to bondage and freedom in Africa and the diaspora.


LARGE SLAVEHOLDERS OF 1860 and AFRICAN AMERICAN SURNAME MATCHES FROM 1870 information on Slave owners, Featuring the big 16 slave owners. Tom Blake's transcription names from the 1870 census and matching slaves with slave owners. This site was in the original back2past links page. 

Legacy of Slavery in Maryland   The Beneath the Underground database features entries of over 300,000 individuals including, white and black, slave owners, enslaved and free individuals from primarily the years of 1830 through 1880 to review


List of Free Negroes ... District of Fredericksburg, in the County of Spotsylvania, 1858
A list of Free Negroes over twelve years of age, made for the Auditor of public accounts in accordance with Chapter 107 of the Code of Virginia by Robert W. Hart Commissioner of the Revenue for the District of Fredericksburg, in the County of Spotsylvania 1858

Louisa County, VA -Slaves listed by owner


Loudoun County, Virginia Black History 

LSU: Louisiana State University 
  Natchez Mississippi research

Old Churches, Ministers and families of Virginia


Virginia Untold: The African American Narrative

The Library of Virginia’s collections are rich with records documenting the lives of African Americans in Virginia. However, access to those materials dating from before the American Civil War is limited at best. These limitations are the result of period perspectives on the identities of enslaved and disenfranchised populations, as well as sheer volume. Due to this, the individual stories form a narrative of a people that has not been fully told.

The Library’s African American Narrative project aims to provide greater accessibility to pre-1865 African American history and genealogy found in the rich primary sources in its holdings. Traditional description, indexing, transcription, and digitization are major parts of this effort. However, and perhaps more importantly, this project seeks to encourage conversation and engagement around the records, providing opportunities for a more grassroots and diverse narrative of the history of Virginia’s African American people.

African American Poll Books, 1867

In the summer of 1866, Congress passed the 14th Amendment guaranteeing the rights of freedmen and preventing former Confederate officials from holding office. Virginia, failing to ratify the amendment, was placed under military rule as a result of the passage of the first Reconstruction Act on March 2, 1867. Under the provisions of the Reconstruction Acts, it was necessary for the states of the old Confederacy to call conventions to draft new state constitutions. As directed, the Commander of the Military District in Virginia registered all male citizens 21 years of age or older and supervised an election held October 22, 1867. This election would determine whether or not Virginia would hold a constitutional convention, and would also elect delegates to the convention, if held. This election was especially significant because it was the first election to include African American participation. For more information, please see the finding aid for this collection. 

Pre-1820 Virginia Manumissions manumissions of individuals drawn from the extant deed and will books of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Chesterfield, Charles City, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry, and Sussex Counties

Prince William County Virginia Obituaries Obits from 1900-1930 by Ronald Ray Turner is a searchable pdf document.

The Genealogy Center presents African American Gateway 



Mary Ball Washington Museum and Library 

MDGenWeb African American Resources Special Topic Site   Maryland Links


Monticello Plantation Database 

National Archives Genealogy Page  Lots of info for the beginner to the advanced researcher.


National Archives and Records Administration 


Race and Slavery Petitions Project  The Project offers a searchable database of detailed personal information about slaves, slaveholders, and free people of color. Designed as a tool for scholars, historians, teachers, students, genealogists, and interested citizens, the site provides access to information gathered and analyzed over an eighteen-year period from petitions to southern legislatures and country courts filed between 1775 and 1867 in the fifteen slaveholding states in the United States and the District of Columbia.

Register of Colored Persons of Caroline County, State of Virginia, cohabitating together and husband and wife on 27th February, 1866.


Register of Children of Colored Persons in Caroline County, State of Virginia, whose Parents had ceased to cohabit on 27th February 1866, which the Father recognizes to be his.

Roots in Prince William This is a pdf is a guide research in Prince William County, VA that you can download with lots of research links.

Sexual Abuse of Slaves from the Slave NarrativesOn Slaveholders’ Sexual Abuse of Slaves „ Selections from 19th- & 20th-century Slave Narratives


Slave Biographies: The Atlantic Database Network open access data repository of information on the identities of enslaved people in the Atlantic World. It includes the names, ethnicities, skills, occupations, and illnesses of individual slaves. Phase one of a multi-phase project is presented here. Users of the website can access three data sets: one about slaves in Maranhão, Brazil, one about slaves in colonial Louisiana, and another about freed slaves in Antebellum Louisiana.

Slave Narratives


Slavery Era Insurance Policies Registry   From the State of Illinois' database, formatted  sorted them according to state,  county, and Slave Holder Name. Genealogy Trails has links through their page regarding an Act in 2004. "Pursuant to Public Act 93-0333, effective January 1, 2004, every licensed insurer was required to report to the Director information regarding policies issued to slaveholders for death or damage of their slaves that it wrote either directly or through a predecessor corporation during the slavery era." 

Slaves and the Courts 1740-1860 

The African-Native American History & Genealogy Website

The Afro Black History Archives The AFRO American Newspapers, in cooperation with Google, are proud to present an extensive collection of digitally archived issues spanning over 100 years of history. The AFRO Archives feature various AFROeditions covering an impressive span of change, division and progress in African American History.

The Colored American  ..."The Colored American began publishing in 1893 (Washington, D.C.) under the ownership of Edward Elder Cooper, who had distinguished himself as the founder of the Indianapolis Freeman, the first illustrated African American newspaper. The Colored American operated its presses at 459 C Street in Washington's northwest quadrant. The weekly publication promoted itself as a national Negro newspaper and it carried lengthy feature stories on the achievements of African Americans across the country. Publisher Cooper relied on contributions from such prominent black journalists such as John E. Bruce and Richard W. Thompson to sustain the national scope of his paper, which readers could obtain for a $2.00 annual subscription..." The National Archives

The Geography of Slavery  The Geography of Slavery in Virginia is a digital collection of advertisements for runaway and captured slaves and servants in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia newspapers. Building on the rich descriptions of individual slaves and servants in the ads, the project offers a personal, geographical and documentary context for the study of slavery in Virginia, from colonial times to the Civil War.


The Newberry Library  collections, programs, and exhibitions are a portal to more than six centuries of human history, from the 15th century to the present.

The Slavery Inventory Database 

This database tool enables you to search for - and identify - enslaved African American ancestors who lived in the Northern Virginia region.

The sources of the information used to compile this database are “Will and Deed’ books. Many dedicated hours have been invested reading, recording, and cross-referencing from these historical, handwritten records, which can be like searching for a needle in a haystack as African American historical records and ancestry continue to remain hidden in plain sight.

The Washington Bee   (Washington, D.C.) "The first issue of the Bee was printed on June 3, 1882. William C. Chase, a lawyer, local politician, businessman, and native Washingtonian took over as the paper’s principal editor by the end of the first year of publication, and his superb editorial skills eventually turned the Bee into one of the most influential African American newspapers in the country. The Washington Bee focused much of its attention on the activities of the city’s African Americans, and its society page paid special attention to events at local black churches. The paper also covered national issues; by the turn of the 20th century it was publishing articles about events across the country by its own correspondents as well as from wire services. Like most publications of the day, there was also an extensive array of advertising, much from white-owned businesses. The remaining space included the typical filler content purchased from various sources."  The Library of Congress.

United States, Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874 Name index and images of registers for 67,000 people who opened accounts in the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. This NARA microfilm publication M816 Registers of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company.

United States Historical Census Data Browser   The data presented here describe the population and economy of U.S. states and counties from 1790 to 1960. To begin using the data, click on a year from the list to the left.


Valley of the Shadow:   Details life in 2 American Communities, one Northern and one Southern.

Virginia, African-American funeral programs, 1920-present 

This has over 2,000 obituaries. 

Virginia Cohabitation Records 
he Cohabitation Records, offically titled, "Register of Colored Persons, Augusta County, State of Virginia, Cohabiting Together as Husband and Wife," are a record of free African American families living in Virginia immediately after the end of the Civil War. The records were created by the Freedmen's Bureau in an effort to document the marriages of formerly enslaved men and women that were legally recognized by an act of the Virginia Assembly in February 1866


Virginia Emigrants to Liberia  Between 1820 and 1865, about 3,700 African Americans sailed from Virginia to make a new home on the West Coast of Africa. Many died of tropical diseases; others struggled for survival. Some thrived and became leaders of Liberia, the first independent republic in Africa. The American Colonization Society sponsored this migration nationally, although they were chronically short of the funds needed to pay for emigrants' passage and resettlement. 

Virginia Memory Chancery Records  The Chancery Records Index (CRI) is a result of archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia (LVA) and funded, in part, by the Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP). Each of Virginia's circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War.  


Virginia Historical Society  (Note: From Web Archive)

Virginia, Slave Birth Index, 1853-1866 (


#Petitions for Re-Enslavement

This collection contains petitions of free Black individuals choosing to be re-enslaved. An act passed by the Virginia General Assembly in 1806 required formerly enslaved people to leave the commonwealth within twelve months of being granted their freedom. Individuals were forced to leave behind family, friends, and community that remained enslaved. In addition, many emancipated people did not have the financial means or social support to move to a free state. One option to preserve family and relationships was to return to slavery. In 1856, the Virginia legislature passed an act allowing free Black individuals who desired to remain in the commonwealth to petition for re-­enslavement. Only a small number of free Black Virginians petitioned the courts to re-enslave themselves to an enslaver of choice, and an even smaller percentage succeeded. Many petitioners chose enslavers they knew well or who owned a spouse or family member. These petitions include the petitioner’s name, previous enslaver, means of emancipation, and new desired enslaver.







Virtual Jamestown


Waterways to Freedom


Virginia African American Heritage Program


Woodfork Genealogy  The goal of this website is to provide tools, tips and resources for researching and preserving family and local history.

Washington, DC Genealogy Research, Resources,and Records This website is dedicated to organizing the research options, resources, and records for our ancestors, cousins, and friends in Washington, DC. As part of accomplishing this goal, this website serves both the US GenWeb and Trails to the Past networks. 

Research Links


Petitions for Re-enslavgement

in Excel formatted 

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