February is Black History Month in the United States. If you have Black American ancestry, you might want to begin tracing your family tree this month while many museums and archives have special exhibits to mark the month. Here are a few of the Web sites that I have found which provide resources for the beginning black genealogist:
* The Britannica Guide to Black History:
* AFRO-Americ@'s Black History Museum:
* The Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture:
* "African American Family Research," an excellent article by Roseann Reinemuth Hogan, Ph.D.:
* "The Challenge of African American Research" by Curt B. Witcher, another excellent article:
* African American Lifelines:
* African-American Genealogy Research Resources:
* Afrigeneas, probably the best-known Black American genealogy site:
Links at Ancestry.com
- Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American
Tony Burroughs has a new book. I say "new" because I don't think the ink is dry yet. The book is "Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree." It is published by the Fireside Division of Simon & Schuster and has ISBN number 0-684- 84704-3. It sells for $16.00.
I haven't seen this new book yet, but you can obtain information about it and a sample chapter at Simon & Schuster's Web site: simonsay.com . You an also find information about it at tonyburroughs.com
In addition, you can meet the author and have him sign your copy of the book at the following book signings:
* Afrocentric Bookstore, Chicago, Illinois, February 7, 12:00 noon * Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, Feb 8, 6-8:00 PM * Afro-American Genealogical & Historical Society of Chicago - Feb 11, 1:30pm
* Barnes & Noble in Evanston, Illinois - February 13, 7:00pm * Chicago State University, February 27, 5-7:00pm
* Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis - February 10, 1:00pm * Atlanta, Georgia Public Library - February 17, 10:00am (workshop and signing)
* Reprint Books, Washington, DC - February 21, 12:30pm
* Enoc Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Maryland - February 21, 6:30pm
* National Archives, Washington, DC - February 22, 12:00 noon
* Oxon Hill Library. Oxon, Maryland - February 22, 7:00pm
* Flint, Michigan Public Library - March 10th (all day workshop & book signing)
The following is a press release from MyFamily.com that discusses
African-American genealogy resources:
For millions of people with African-American family histories, the search for their ancestors has often been both difficult and time consuming. But now, tracing familial lineages, locating key information and accessing newly digitized records can all be done from home or your local library.Contact the web master of this web site at firstname.lastname@example.org
"There has never been a better time to research your African American ancestors," says Loretto Dennis Szucs, noted family history author and vice president of Ancestry.com. "Although the search for African American ancestry prior to the Civil War is still challenging, the difficulties are not nearly as insurmountable."
The same advances in technology that have created a boom in the exchange of information have made it possible for a family historian to cover great distances and conduct in-depth investigation for a fraction of the cost of a traditional research trip. Census schedules, plantation records, and military records, among other resources, are at one's fingertips in the form of online databases, CD-ROMs, and individual Web sites all of which can be accessed from homes or many libraries.
Szucs recommends reading "Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide" by David T. Thackery, to those who are interested in learning more about available resources. Included in this work is David Thackery's extensive chapter from the leading genealogy reference "The Source," as well as his "Guide to African American Research at The Newberry Library." Together with case studies, a thorough bibliography of sources and a guide to African American Internet sources, the book makes an indispensable guide to connecting and directing your search into an oft-times difficult area of family history research.
Another top resource is "Slave Narratives," a CD-ROM that lets users experience American slavery through the words of African Americans who lived it. The disc contains moving stories narrated by more than 2,300 men and women who endured the slavery era in the United States. Compiled under the direction of the Works Progress Administration from 1936-1938 and narrated to researchers in 26 states, these accounts connect Black Americans to their heroic forebears and open the eyes of anyone seeking to better understand the complexities of the unique American culture.
"The search for who we are and what we will become is intimately linked to those who came before us," comments Szucs. "For many African-Americans, part of that connection to the past includes the lives of a people who were brought to this continent against their will and went through many difficult experiences while seeking to preserve their history and heritage in the midst of slavery."
"Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide" by David T. Thackery retails for $12.95. The "Slave Narratives" CD-ROM may be purchased for $35.95. Both family history resources are available for purchase at http://shops.ancestry.com or by telephoning 800-ANCESTRY (262-3787). For more information, please visit http://www.ancestry.com, the leading online resource for tracing family history.