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Family History Month Day 17 – Visit AfriGeneas

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AfriGeneas OnGenealogy Family History Month

On Day 17 of Family History Month 2017, visit AfriGeneas and see what they have to offer!

AfriGeneas is a free website for anyone with African ancestry to help them find the resources they need for their family history research. Many of the collections are uploaded by volunteers and you’ll need to register with AfriGeneas if you want to volunteer and upload files. AfriGeneas also has message boards/forums for exchanging information.

Some collections you can explore at AfriGeneas include:

AfriGeneas Slave Data

 

AfriGeneas Searchable Surnames

State Resources at AfriGeneas

Country resources at AfriGeneas

And don’t forget to follow AfriGeneas on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Best in your searches whether they’re fee or free!

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October 16, 2017 |

#FamilyHistoryMonth – Visit BlackPast.org

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BlackPast Family History Month OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org is the largest free African American history website and includes genealogy resources and links. They have over 4,000 encyclopedia entries, 300 African American speech transcripts, 140 primary text documents, timelines, links to digital archives, museums, research and genealogical sites, and many more resources for African American research.

BlackPast home page OnGenealogy

 

BlackPast.org has three major divisions: 

“African American History (AAH)
 –All sections in this division focus on the historical experiences of African Americans, that is, persons of African ancestry in the United States.”

African American History in the West (AAW)–This division brings together all of the information on the website related to African Americans who have lived in the nineteen states that straddle or are west of the 100th meridian.  See the map to the right.”

Global African History (GAH)–All sections in this division address the history of people of African ancestry who live outside the United States and its territories.”

“Each division has similar information that appears as a list in the left column of every page (except the opening page).  For example, all have BibliographiesOnline Encyclopedia, Major Speeches, Timelines, and Primary Documents that are relevant to their divisions.  They also have a section called Research Guides and Websites that link to relevant sources off the website. Some features, however, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are specific to AAH and AAW.  The feature called Perspectives allows scholars from around the world to explore topics of interest to the BlackPast.org audience.”

“BlackPast.org also has Special Features found only on the opening page.  They include BlackPast.org By the Numbers101 African American FirstsMajor Black Officeholders Since 1641the Barack Obama Page, and the BlackPast.org Blog Roll.”

BlackPast.org also has a specific Genealogy Page with the following resources/links:

October 15, 2017 |

Fee or Free African American Newspapers

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African American newspapers are one place to look for news about black communities that wasn’t always reported in the popular press. It’s possible to find names, marriages, and births and deaths in these collections. (And for African American research you won’t want to limit yourself to strictly African American newspapers, just don’t overlook them.)

I’m easily distracted in newspaper research and find myself just reading random articles which isn’t a very efficient use of time, but I have one relative I could only trace through newspapers. He was in the theater circuit and moved from city to city and lied about his age. I found his family by following him through newspapers. They’re a valuable resource but it’s easy to get sidetracked and just soak up the historical context. That’s my disclaimer if you lose a day or more in newspapers.

Fee or Free African American newspapers

 
 

Fee/Subscription African American Newspapers

Accessible Archives

Accessible Archives has 9 African American newspapers ranging from 1827 to 1909. “The collection also provides a great number of early biographies, vital statistics, essays and editorials, poetry and prose, and advertisements all of which embody the African-American experience.”

Ancestry

Ancestry.com has a collection called US, African American Newspapers, 1829-1947 with over 200 African American newspapers.

Genealogy Bank

Genealogy Bank touts itself as being the “largest newspaper archive for genealogy research.” I’ve used their site before and it was a fast and efficient way to get newspaper search results.  From what I remember, I paid for limited access, so only a certain number of searches/month but they have an unlimited access subscription price of $35.00 for 6 months which seems very reasonable. “Search our expansive collection of African American newspapers to discover the details about the daily lives of millions of Black Americans from 1827-1999.”

ProQuest

ProQuest used to be the company for digitized papers and they have a collection called ProQuest Historical Newspapers – Black Newspapers. “Each of the nine Historical Black Newspapers provides researchers with unprecedented access to perspectives and information that was excluded or marginalized in mainstream sources. And, all are cross-searchable with all other ProQuest Historical Newspapers–including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times–allowing researchers to evaluate history from multiple points of view. …The ProQuest platform offers powerful and easy-to-use tools, including: full-page and article images in easily downloadable PDF format, complete newspaper runs, and the ability to search 21 different article types.”

 

Free African American Newspapers

The Ancestor Hunt

TheAncestorHunt.com summarizes African American newspaper collections by state and has online tutorials for newspaper research. This site will list both fee and free collections.

BlackPast.org

BlackPast.org links to current Black/African American newspapers and says some of these papers have online archives. “Listed below are links to major African American newspapers, magazines and journals.  In some instances these links also include the archives of these media sources.”

Chronicling America

Chronicling America is the US Library of Congress’ website with free, digitized collections. They have a list of all known African American newspapers and where they can possibly be found (over 2,000 exist but most won’t be online). Or a list of 55 African American newspapers digitized and online at Chronicling America. There’s a new free app, OldNews USA, currently only for Android phones, which aids in searching newspapers at Chronicling America. OldNews USA won the 2017 RootsTech Innovator Showdown so it’s worth checking out if you want to search these papers on a handheld device. (Be sure to search all the papers at Chronicling America, not just the African American ones I linked to above.)

OnGenealogy

I’ve added smaller collections as I’ve found them including runaway slave advertisements from newspapers, and collections related to slaves (not newspapers and not necessarily African American), and also some general African American collections, not just newspapers. My site is a bit slow to search so my apologies in advance-site speed is on my to-do list.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a good article on African American newspapers as well as a couple of books that are recommended as “essential starting points for understanding the early history of African American newspapers.” This article also includes the names of some African American newspapers, not nearly as complete as the one found at Chronicling America.

 

I’ve had my best newspaper successes with subscription sites, because they do the work for me and return the specific newspaper page I need to see, so it’s harder to just browse the paper. But, some of these papers and free sites will have search engines that may yield similar results. Again, I almost hate to recommend newspaper research because it’s so easy to lose track of time, but if you’re learning the history and culture of the area where your ancestors lived, I guess that’s time put to good use. Best in your searches, whether they’re fee or free!

 

 

March 13, 2017 |
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