Research Black Family History State by State

Local archives and libraries are great resources for African-American genealogy research.



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University of Delaware Library: African American Resources in Special Collections. Records: “Printed Collections, Visual Materials, Oral Histories, Postcards, and Manuscript and Archival Collections.” While interesting historically, it may not be as helpful for genealogy research.


The Black Experience: A Guide to African American Resources in the State Library and Archives of Florida. Records: State and local government records; manuscripts (nongovernment records and papers); Florida Photographic Collection; films and videos; the State Archives holdings of selected National Archives Microfilm Publications; sources in the Florida Collection of the State Library of Florida; sources in other repositories. 


Georgia Archives: African American Resources page. Records: Reconstruction Registration Oath Books; Apprenticeship/Indenture Registers, 1800-1930, which document freedmen and some whites; Records of Slave Trials for six counties; and Cemeteries and Churches. 


Illinois State Archives. Records: Click on “Search our online databases” for vital records; click on “Genealogical Research” to access “Genealogical Research Series Pamphlet 6: African-American Records.”  


Indiana Commission on Public Records: African American Family History Resources. Records: Census records, including Negro Registers; county records, including School Registers (colored), Enumerations of White and Colored Males over the age of 21, Court Dockets, Jail Registers and Insane Records; and military records, including Civil War Records (Indiana’s 28th U.S. Colored Troops and other units), Veterans’ Enrollments (of 1886, 1890 and 1894), Spanish-American War Records and World War I. 


Kansas Historical Society: State Archives and Library in Topeka. Records: Links to state records for genealogical research; databases and indexes; vital records in Kansas; and African-American newspapers on microfilm (available on interlibrary loan).


Maryland State Archives Presents: The Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland. Records: Links to “African Americans in Maryland” and “African American Resources.”

Archives of Maryland Online and Guide to Government Records. "Online access enables users to research such topics as Maryland’s constitutions and constitutional conventions’ proceedings, session laws, proceedings of the General Assembly, governors’ papers, and military records.” Records: Click on “Slavery Commission” for “completed and in-progress volumes” for Prince George’s, Dorchester, Montgomery, Howard, Caroline and Anne Arundel counties. To obtain a user name and password so that you can access the records, send an email request to