Black History Month Highlights;
February is officially recognized as Black History Month in the U.S.
In celebration, Ancestry.com celebrates Black History Month by providing free access during this month to historical records detailing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African Americans. Some of the records available include:
--Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874, which show depositors'
names and sometimes other personal information such as age, place of
birth, and occupation.
--Slave Narratives -- A collection of one-on-one interviews with more
than 3,500 former slaves collected over a 10-year period from 1929 to
1939. The interviews, written exactly as they were dictated to preserve the spoken dialect of the former slave, are very rich in family history data and often identify ages, places of residence and birth, and names of spouses, children, siblings, and parents.
--Slave Schedules -- Slaves were counted separately during the 1850 and 1860 U.S. censuses. In most instances the names of only the owners were recorded; individual slaves were not named but were simply numbered and can be distinguished only by age, sex, and color.
--1870 U.S. Federal Census -- This is the first federal census to list
African Americans by name.
--World War I Draft Registration Cards -- In 1917 and 1918,
approximately 24 million men, close to 25% of the total population of
the United States, completed a World War I draft registration card. The cards contain more than just names and dates: they contain significant genealogical information such as birthplace, citizenship status, and information on the individual's nearest relative. If a person was of African descent, the bottom left corner was cut off of the registration card to make that distinction.