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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[Nationwide] State by State ~ Black Research

Local archives and libraries are great resources for African-American genealogy research.
By: Karin D. Berry | Posted: January 6, 2012 at 12:20 AM

ThinkstockState archives and libraries are the go-to genealogical source for records relating to births, deaths, marriages, the military, courts, land, maps, taxes, state institutions, agencies, state censuses, naturalization, family histories and historical collections.

Several state archives' websites have sections dedicated to African-American and slave research, either showing how to research African Americans in that state or providing direct access to state records of blacks.

You can visit a state archive yourself or hire a researcher to do your legwork out of state. If you are researching out of state, you may be able to order copies of records online, usually for a fee. Some archive websites allow you to download research-request forms, make research requests and ask questions or search online records.

If you live in-state, you may be able to order copies of records for free. You can also use archives' sites to plan a research trip -- taking note of operating hours, fees and records available to the public. Search any online records by subject, using the keywords "African American," "slave," "Negro," "colored" and the surnames of the slaves, freedmen and slave owners you are researching to find available books, microfilms and collections. Print out the list to prepare for your visit.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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