Trace African-American Ancestors Online

By Family Tree Editors Premium

African-American Cemeteries Online
Online database of African-American cemeteries, categorized by state. Many include transcribed tombstones.

African-American Coal Miner Info Page
Information, links and a list of African-American miners taken from a variety of censuses and other records.

The African-American Mosaic
Selections from the Library of Congress’ resource guide for the study of black history and culture, covering colonization, abolition, migrations and the 1930s Works Progress Administration.

African-American Research
The National Archives’ guide to its records helpful in researching African-American ancestors, plus links to resources on other sites.

African Ancestry
Information and updates about a DNA-based test developed by Howard University researchers to help African-Americans trace their African ancestry.

African Voices
A lavishly designed, deep and interactive online exhibit by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Weave through the extensive set of streaming timelines, tour historical sites, meet individuals and see their works.

Finding data on African-Americans prior to the 1870 census (“The Wall,” as researchers call it) can be difficult, but this site proves it’s not impossible. Information within tax records, diaries, plantation records and data on runaway slaves that may be helpful is indexed by last name, state and year.

Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1719–1820
Prof. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall’s project to document slaves in Louisiana.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writer’s Project, 1936–1938

Christine’s Genealogy Website
Christine Charity’s site is an especially helpful one for researching African-American ancestors. She’s got good links and information about the post-Civil War Freedmen’s Bureau records, African genealogy and related articles and databases.

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
Search names and regimental stories of the Union Army’s African-American units, or link to other National Park sites that interpret Civil War history. 

Cyndi’s List—African-American

Cyndi’s 200-plus African-American genealogy links are listed by category.

Digital Library on American Slavery
The expanding list of projects here includes information on 150,000 individuals extracted from court and legislative petitions, runaway-slave advertisements, slave “deeds” and slavery-era insurance registries.

Documenting the American South: North American Slave Narratives
Digitized books and other documents discuss the North American slave narratives and the role of the church in Southern black communities.

The Encyclopedia Britannica Guide to Black History
Features 600 articles, along with historical film clips and audio recordings, hundreds of photographs and other images, related links and more.

Search here to find Freedman’s Bank records and Freedmens Bureau records from Virginia.

The Freedmen’s Bureau Online
Search records from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, established by the US War Department in 1865 to help freed slaves get on their feet. The bureau kept records on marriages, crimes and labor, as well as land abandoned by Confederate owners after the war. The site also points you to related Web sites with Freedmen’s Bureau information.

Genealogy Resources on the Internet—African-Ancestored Mailing Lists
Frequently updated compilation of African genealogy-related Internet mailing lists, along with descriptions and instructions on how to join each list.

The Geography of Slavery in Virginia
A digital collection of advertisements for runaway and captured slaves and servants in 18th- and 19th-century Virginia newspapers.

An Index to the Freedom Records of Prince George’s County Maryland, 1808–1869

Index to Parish Court Slave Emancipation Petitions, 1814–1843, Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Lowcountry Africana

Records of slaves and their descendants with roots in the historic rice-growing areas of South Carolina, Georgia and Northeastern Florida, home to the Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage.

Find your freed African-American ancestors in the aftermath of the Civil War with this nifty interactive map to field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.

Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
Guide to federal records of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the National Archives.

Texas Slavery Project
This site examines the spread of American slavery into the borderlands between the United States and Mexico from 1820 to 1850. A database has population statistics for slaves and slaveowners.

USF Africana Heritage Project
The University of Southern Florida’s project to discover and share records of slaves, freedpersons and their descendants.

This site examines the slave trade that forcibly transported 10 million Africans across the Atlantic between the 16th and 19th centuries. A database has information on slave ships that were captured and returned to Africa after importing slaves became illegal in North America.