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Dauphin County, PA 1850 Census

The Afrolumens Project has just finished transcribing the names of all African American residents of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania enumerated in the 1850 census. Data is sorted first by location (town or township) and then alphabetically. It is now possible to locate any African American individual, child or adult, and read the data that was recorded about them in this census year.

This project is important to Harrisburg, state and national history because it records all those African Americans who lived in the county in the months before the infamous Federal Fugitive Slave Act was passed. That act forced many African Americans to move further north, many to New York and Canada, for fear of being captured by slave catchers and kidnappers. A comparison of these names with those recorded in the 1860 census (not yet transcribed) reveal a dramatic change in the local African American community. Many of the families shown here in 1850 were not here ten years later.

This database joins our other lists of historical data on the African American community in Central Pennsylvania, including:
+complete lists of slaves and slaveholders
+burial lists and headstone transcriptions from the two oldest African burial grounds in the Harrisburg area, Lincoln and Midland
+African Americans in the 1880 census, Dauphin County (not family sorted)
+African Americans in Steelton, 1920 (records names of the African American population near the end of the Great Migration)
+other historical articles, newspaper clippings, genealogies, etc.

The website main page is at See the link below for the 1850 index page.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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