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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Name changes for Freed Slaves
In Response To: Name changes for Freed Slaves ()

Also in trying to find out more info about your enslaved ancestor, check with the local libraries that might have historical collections for the families in the area that your ancestor lived. Many times the descendants of those slaveowners donated their families papers to those libraries, and they would become part of the libraries historical collections. It's best if you can locate a larger library in the area, those are the most likely places, but try going online to some of the libraries in the area (Google for their names if you don't know the local libraries) and see if there is something like that included. In North Carolina, for instance, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a complete series of historical works under their "Documenting the American South Collections", as well as their Manuscripts Depts. which have searchable databases for locating their collections. I'm pretty sure that other States have similiar Collections, most likely at their larger libraries. Finding records that were donated to a library by some of the slaveholding families is one of the best places to see actual copies of papers such as letters, account books, inventories, bills of sales, any kind of old records that might have been kept by the owners; one has to remember that slaves were considered property, and slaveowners valued their property, so they kept records of their activity concerning that "property". Finding an old Slave Account Book in one of those collections was a goldmine to me, I found out almost everything I wanted to know about my ggrandfather and his family, something I never really believed I could do in a million years.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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