Southern Exposure Toolkit

By David A. Fryxell Premium

On the bookshelf

The American South: A History by William J. Cooper Jr. and Thomas E. Terrill (McGraw-Hill)

Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs (Fireside)

The Dixie Frontier: A Social History by Everett Dick (University of Oklahoma Press)

Encyclopedia of Southern Culture edited by Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris (University of North Carolina Press)

Frontiers in Conflct: The Old Southwest, 1795-1830 by Thomas D. Clark and John D.W Guice (University of New Mexico Press, out of print)

In Search of Confederate Ancestors: The Guide by J.H. Segars (Southern Heritage Press)

National Genealogical Society research guides: Research in South Carolina by GeLee Corley Hendrix, Research in

Tennessee by Gale Williams Bamman, Research in Texas by Lloyd Bockstruck, Research in Virginia by Eric Grundset  (<>)

The Routledge Historical Atlas of the American South by Andrew K. Frank (Routledge)

Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies by David H. Streets (Heritage Books)

The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732 by Verner W. Crane (WW. Norton, out of print)

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor by Bertram Hawthorne Groene (Ballantine)

Unpuzzling Your Past by Emily Croom (Betterway Books) — many of the examples in this essential beginner’s guide are Southern; all but one in The Sleuth Book for Genealogists, also by Emily Croom (Betterway Books), are Southern.

Find it on the web

• AfriGeneas

<> African-American genealogy

• Carolina Cuzins


• The Freedmen’s Bureau Online

<> records of freed slaves

• Mid-Atlantic Roots Network

<> includes Virginia and North Carolina

• Southern Trails


• Traveller Southern Families


• National Archives Confederate Pension Records information



• Appalachianfamily

Appalachian roots. To subscribe, send an e-mail saying “subscribe” to

• Deep-South-Roots-L

Covers Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. To subscribe, send “SUB DEEP-SOUTH-ROOTS-L firstname lastname” to

• Early Families in Southern States

Focuses on colonial Maryland, Virginia and Carolinas. To subscribe, send “subscribe” to

• The-Road

Focuses on Scots and Germans along the “Philadelphia Road,” including Virginia and the Carolinas. Send “subscribe” to

Southern Trails

Focuses on Southern migration. Send “subscribe” to


Each Southern state has a genealogy society as well as a historical society. Regional and county groups can also help. Other organizations and centers of interest:

• Center for the Study of Southern Culture

University of Mississippi, Box 1848, University, MS 38677, (662) 915-5993, <>

• East Tennessee Historical Society

Box 1629, Knoxville, TN 37901, (865) 215-8824, <>

• International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry

Box 436937, Chicago, IL 60643, <>

• Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Birmingham, AL 35229, (205) 726-2198, <>: Weeklong intensive genealogy program each June, including an emphasis on the South.

• Sons of Confederate Veterans of the Civil War

Box 59, Columbia, TN 38402, (800) 380-1896, <>

• Southern Oral History Program

Campus Box 3195, 406 Hamilton Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, (919) 962-0455, <>

• United Daughters of the Confederacy

328 North Blvd., Richmond, VA 23220, (804) 355-1636, <>


Many Southern public and university libraries have helpful collections. Among the larger genealogy-focused collections:

• National Archives — Southeast Region

1557 St. Joseph Ave., East Point, GA 30344, (404) 763-7474: Regional records for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

• National Archives — Southwest Region

501 W. Felix St., Building 1, Box 6216, Fort Worth, TX 76115, (817) 334-5525: Regional records include Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.

• National Archives — Mid-Atlantic Region

900 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 597-3000: Regional records include Virginia.

• Birmingham Public Library

2100 Park Place, Birmingham, AL 35203, (205) 226-3600, <>: Strong Southern collection.

• Clayton Library

Center for Genealogical Research, 5300 Caroline, Houston, TX 77004, (713) 284-1999, <>: Major center for Southern materials.

• Confederate Research Center

Hill College, Harold B. Simpson History Complex, Box 619, Hillsboro, TX 76645, (254) 582-2555 ext. 258, <>

• Earl Gregg Swem Library

Reference Department, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187, (757) 221-3067, <>

• Library of Virginia

800 E. Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219, (804) 692-3500, <>

• United States Civil War Center

Louisiana State University Raphael Semmes Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70803, (225) 578-3151, <>


Barnette’s Family Tree Bookshop

1001 West Loop North, Houston, TX 77055, (888) 591-8733, <>

• Brent H. Holcomb

Box 21766, Columbia, SC 29221

• Byron Sistler & Associates

1712 Natchez Trace, Box 120934, Nashville, TN 37212, (800) 578-9475, <>

• Ericson Books

614 Redbud, Nacogdoches, TX 75961, (936) 564-3625, <>

• Georgia Genealogy Books

817 Dogwood Dr., Nashville, GA 31639, < Also Florida and South Carolina.

Hearthstone Bookshop


• J&W Enterprises


• Mountain Press

Box 400, Signal Mountain, TN 37377, (800) 856-4713, <>

• Pioneer Publishing

Box 408, Carrollton, MS 38917, (662) 237-6010, <>

Southern Footprints magazine

Box 16611, Hattiesburg, MS 39404, <>: $24/year

• Southern Heritage Press

4035 Emerald Dr., Murfreesboro, TN 37130 (615) 895-5642: publishes The Journal of Confederate History

• Southern Historical Press

375 West Broad St., Greenville, SC 29601, (800) 233-0152, (864) 233-2346


Guides to resources and links for each state:



• Cyndi’s List


• FamilySearch Research Outlines




• RootsWeb


• USGenWeb


Ancestry’s Red Book : American State, County and Town Sources edited by Alice Eichholz (Ancestry)

The Genealogist’s Companion & Sourcebook by Emily Croom (Betterway Books)

The Handybook for Genealogists, 9th edition (Everton Publishers)

The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Ancestry)

You’ll find message boards for each state (and in many cases individual counties within each state) at:



• GenConnect


• Gen Forum

From the August 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine