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African American Genealogy Research

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Sometimes it’s easy to become spoiled. In researching my (white) ancestors, it is easily forgotten how much more challenging genealogy research might be if my ancestors were from Africa and not Europe. Of course, race divided our country very early on and in some ways it’s as clear in visiting Charleston’s old Slave Market as anywhere in the country. That much said, African American ancestry research can be very rewarding. Here’s a great example…

From the Burlington, NC Times News about a man that has traced his “literary roots”. Here’s probably the key nugget of the piece…

But it was holding onto one of those pictures that set him on a quest to uncover his roots, which in-clude two of the most illustrious black authors in American history: Langston Hughes and Charles Waddell Chesnutt.

There are a number of good online resources to get started on your African American Family History research. There are of course, many general genealogy sites, but tops among these specialized sites is probably Afrigeneas. For instance, they have a good collated list of African American Census schedules online. Distant cousin also has a good list of African American Resources as well as Cyndi’s list. All of these are good starting places.

One of the other things I hope to do with this site is to start organizing a good listing of South Carolina specific resources for the research of African American Ancestry as well.

Where there is greater challenge there is usually greater reward and this is no exception.

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