As we honor the memory and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., visit the loc.gov Wise Guide to learn more about the 20th century U.S. civil rights movement and Dr. King’s leadership.
If you are tracing your African-American ancestry, here are ten free websites to help with your research:
1. African-American Civil War Museum – This organization is building a database of African-American Civil War soldiers
2. The Freedmen’s Bureau – Making the jump back before the Civil War if you think your ancestor was enslaved can be difficult. The Freedmen’s Bureau records might break down that brick wall for you.
3. Might you have a Revolutionary War ancestor? The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution has published Forgotten Patriots Research Guide, identifying African-American and Native American patriots of that war. It’s free and in PDF format.
4. African-American Genealogy in the FamilySearch wiki has a large list of links to help genealogists.
5. The International African-American Museum has a Center for Family History with many free online links to get you started and help move your research along through stumbling blocks.
6. Afri-Geneas – a website devoted to African-American genealogy
7. American Slave Narratives – The Works Progress Administration (WPA) recorded the stories and memories of 2,300 former slaves throughout the South. Their narratives are online.
8. The U.S. National Archives (NARA) on African-American Heritage has information and links to a wide variety of resources relating to African-American history and research.
9. Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware contains many links telling the story and locating records of free African-Americans and their lives during the colonial period and pre-Civil War era.
10. Last, but definitely not least, I’d like to recommend Roberta Estes’s blog, DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy, as she has a tremendous research toolbox of articles and links explaining everything anyone would want or need to know about DNA and genealogy, plus some!