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Researching U.S. Colored Troops

Researching U.S. Colored Troops

For many years now, I’ve been interested in researching U.S. Colored Troops who served in Union forces from the communities where my family lived. Almost 200,000 black people, slaves and free blacks, served in the Union Army and Navy. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation began the process of large-scale recruitment of black men into the service as […]

Tips on Using World War Draft Registrati...

Tips on Using World War Draft Registrations

World War Draft Registrations (World War I and World War II) are some of the most valuable records in genealogy research. These records are especially helpful for researching men born in the late 1870s or 1880s. The lack of a 1890 census record makes that 20-year-gap hard to cross. Read the Details It’s important to […]

Freedmens Bureau Jewels: “They are a rat

Freedmens Bureau Jewels: “They are a rather worthless couple.”

Familysearch released three more sets of Freedmens Bureau Field Office records recently.Now, the Bureau field office records for all southern states  are online, free for viewing! Sign in at Familysearch.org, click on “Browse the records,” and then type “Freedmen” in the search box and the links for each state will appear. I cannot overemphasize how valuable […]

Freedmans Bank Records, Part 2

Freedmans Bank Records, Part 2

I’m continuing my tour through the voluminous information that can be discovered about our ancestors in Freedman’s Bank Records. Last week was the first post in this series. I encourage everyone to take another look by *browsing* through these records. I’ll show examples in this series of all the things we can find. By browsing, […]

Shaky Leaves and the Importance of Thoro...

Shaky Leaves and the Importance of Thoroughness

We’ve all seen those shaky leaves on Ancestry. For a long time, I never clicked on them. But last year I found some treasures hidden within the hints, so now I periodically investigate all those shaky leaves. Earlier this week, I found a leaf for Syvoid Holt, a collateral ancestor. The leaf linked to an […]

Community History in Newspapers

Community History in Newspapers

Newspapers provide details about communities that cannot be found anywhere else. Once a time consuming source to search, great strides have been made by providers,  including the Library of Congress, in their digitization. Chicago Defender: A Brief History The Chicago Defender was founded in 1905 by Robert Abbott and catered to an African-American population. It […]

The Definition of Black: Race and the Ce...

The Definition of Black: Race and the Census

Censuses provide the framework for much of the family history research that we do. Because of this, it is useful to consult the instructions that were given to census enumerators. They are online at the University of Minnesota’s website. The confusing and shifting definitions and “racial” categories are a reminder that race is a fiction […]

Martha Simpson: Right Under My Nose

Martha Simpson: Right Under My Nose

I am in a state of genealogic shock. I’ve found another family line of free blacks that no one knew about in our family. My ancestor Martha Simpson was the wife of Levi Prather. I’ve been working hard  to unravel the complicated slave relationships in the Prather family of Montgomery County, Maryland. So, I hadn’t yet […]

The Schomburg and Black Migrations

The Schomburg and Black Migrations

The Domestic Slave Trade transported over 1 million people to the Deep South and West. This internal trade separated families on an even larger scale than did the African Slave Trade a century earlier. We can learn more about this trade at the Schomburg’s Migrations website. It also includes information about all of the other migrations […]

 
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