The Root Guide to Black Genealogy Blogs

Get inspired -- and pick up some tips -- by reading the personal stories of other African-American family researchers.

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Black genealogy blogs abound on the Internet. The sites range from modest -- limited to bloggers' personal tales about researching their great-grandma -- to extensive, with photos, documents and links that may help you advance your own research. You can dive into Genealogy Blog Finder's African American Genealogy Blogs page (on Facebook, go here) to search for blogs by subject, such as surname or topics.

The five genealogy blogs included here were chosen because they are broad and detailed enough to be useful for beginner, intermediate and advanced researchers.

Are you a Virginia researcher? Then check out the African-American Families Database. According to the site, "the African-American Families Database project is hosted by the Central Virginia History Researchers (CVHR), a unique partnership between local historians, anthropologists, database designers, and community residents. CVHR is developing an on-line database for connecting African-American families to their antebellum roots and tracing patterns of community formation in the post-bellum period."

The blog also gives information about meetings held by the CVHR group. Although the full title of the database project indicates that it is restricted to "Community Formation in Albemarle County, Virginia, 1850-1880," the group has a diverse list of speakers at its meetings and includes meeting topics about other Virginia counties. The blog archives date back to 2009.

The African-Native American Genealogy Blog -- "Reflecting the Lives of Blended Families From African & Native American Families" -- is the work of Angela Y. Walton-Raji, one of the Web's most prominent authorities on African-Native American genealogy. Much of the blog chronicles her research of the Five Civilized Tribes (the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole) and their African slaves. She attends conferences and workshops and blogs about her impressions and experiences afterward.

The blog isn't searchable, but there is an archive. It's a well-organized, clean site with uncluttered pages and compelling photos and documents. Her writing is also straightforward and interesting. Few black researchers are as authoritative in studying the ties between African-American freedmen and Native Americans.

Here is her thoughtful commentary from an Oct. 15, 2010, post, "Who Will Meet Me on the Cultural Bridge?" after she attended a September storytellers symposium in Muskogee, Okla.:

After attending the storytellers symposium in Muskogee Oklahoma last month, the concept of being met on the bridge was a wonderful metaphor that continuously comes to my mind.

I was glad to be there with colleagues from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen community, and with colleagues whose focus is to research, and document our own history. …

The fact is: We were there, because our ancestors were there. Period.