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Finding Sharecroppers in Deeds

Finding Sharecroppers in Deeds

As genealogists, it’s difficult to research people who were poor and marginalized. The lives of wealthier and more prominent people simply created more records. I’ve had many people say to me that they haven’t researched deed records because their ancestors did not own any land. However, in many cases, the types of agreements that sharecroppers […]

Freedmens Bureau Narrative Reports

Freedmens Bureau Narrative Reports

Want to know a great way to find out about the lives of your enslaved ancestors after the end of the War? The narrative reports of the Freedmens Bureau. I have discussed the Bureau records numerous times in this blog. They are a critical resource for the tumultuous five years between 1865 and 1870. Genealogists […]

Memorial to Lynching

Memorial to Lynching

I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. A memorial and museum dedicated to remembering the over 4,000 victims of lynching. The new museum is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and I was moved to tears when reading about the history of the memorial’s creation. Lynching is a history that most African-Americans know all too […]

The Long, Long Hold of Slavery

The Long, Long Hold of Slavery

After emancipation, the vast majority of the 4 million newly freed slaves remained living near their former owners, if not working directly for them. Some did leave the area of their enslavement. They left with the Union Army, migrated to nearby cities for work or left in search of loved ones who had been sold. […]

Freedmen’s Bureau Record Uncovers Likely

Freedmen’s Bureau Record Uncovers Likely Slaveowner

I made a big discovery recently courtesy of Familysearch’s newly indexed Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts. A Little Background Several years ago, I used cluster research to trace my Tennessee ancestor Mike Fendricks back to his Alabama roots. At a standstill with Mike, I traced the roots of Dee Suggs, a man Mike lived with in […]

The Ku Klux Klan Hearings

The Ku Klux Klan Hearings

In 1871, the U.S. Government held hearings on the rampant violence in the South by the Ku Klux Klan and other white terrorist organizations. The official name of these records is the “Report of the Joint Select Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States.” However, they are often referred […]

Perry Simpson Found in Freedmen’s Bureau

Perry Simpson Found in Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Finally- I found a needle in a haystack. I found my 4th great-grandfather, Perry Simpson, in Freedmen’s Bureau records! I have probably looked through thousands of pages of these records through the years and that is no exaggeration. I found his name in a Register of Letters Received in the Field Office Records for Maryland […]

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 […]

Slaves Search For Their Families in News...

Slaves Search For Their Families in Newspapers

After emancipation, former slaves placed thousands of ads in newspapers in search of sold-away spouses and children. These ads are just one more source that document the sale of millions of enslaved people. False Reasons Slaveowners conjured up many reasons to justify the buying and selling of people, especially when breaking up families. One was that […]

 
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