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AfriGeneas Helpdesk
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© 1999-2009
by AfriGeneas.
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Your Interactive Guide: Essential Steps for Beginners

Each of these steps has a link for further assistance. Follow the links, download them, print them out and file them in a three ring binder with subject dividers. This notebook will be your own personal resource guidebook, something that every genealogist needs throughout the duration of a research project.

Finding Guidebooks

Your best investment is to plan to purchase several general guidebooks. The following is a suggested list. You can order most of these books through your local African American bookstore or various online book companies, but do support your local African American bookstore.

Guidebooks Specific to African Americans in the United States

  • Byers, Paula K. African American Genealogical Sourcebook. Detroit: Gale Research, 1995.

  • Redford, Dorothy Spruill. Somerset Homecoming: Recovering A Lost Heritage. New York: Doubleday, 1988. (Not a guidebook as such, but very instructive on what the search is like.)

  • Woodtor, Dee Parmer. Finding A Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity. New York: Random House,1999.

  • Young, Tommie M. Afro-American Genealogy Sourcebook. New York: Garland, 1987.

Sources Specific to Caribbean Ancestry

Sources for Canadian Research

Guides Specific to American Genealogy and Basic Techniques

These will be needed to understand specific techniques of research such as courthouse research, land searches etc.

  • Everton, George. The Handybook for Genealogists. Logan, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 1992.

  • Szucs, Loretto D. & Sandra H. Lubking (eds). The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 1996.

Guides For Your State of Research

In addition to these guides, you will need a guide for doing research in each state where your ancestors lived. Most state archives have also published pamphlets to help African American researchers. When you visit the webpage under state of research below, you will find these listed.


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