Wonder Where Your Ancestors Came From, and How They Arrived?

Two Black-oriented guides can help research your family tree and its branches.

Posted: 07/08/2011 09:16 AM EDT


(Photo: The Washington Times /Landov)

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors are from, and been stymied in beginning the research? Genealogical Publishing has two new African-American-oriented four-page, laminated aids that will bring clarity to your efforts, whether you trace your forebears back centuries in the United States, or if they are members of the African Diaspora that arrived since the beginning of the 20th century.


The quick-reference guides are part of Genealogy at a Glance, published by the same company.


African-American Genealogy Research provides the usual must-do three-step process for every family history researcher. First, interview members of your family for names, places and dates; second, check records of birth, marriage, and death, which are generally part of the public record; and third, check federal census records.


With that foundation, you can dive into the guide's sections. These include Reconstruction-era records, Civil War record sources, and information on free Blacks, as well as tips on researching enslaved ancestors and a variety of online resources and books to use for research.


A key research tool for a family history search is the 1870 census. It was the first U.S. census to include data on former slaves.


A second guide that will be useful to African-Americans descended from immigrants who arrived of their own accord is Ellis Island Research. While the vast majority of immigrants who landed at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1957 were white, there were also Blacks among them that came from Europe, central and South America, independent Liberia and former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean.


This guide, which focuses on New York immigration, contains troubleshooting tips if you plan to use two of the most popular databases, EllisIsland.org and Ancestry.com. There is also a section on the passenger lists from the ships that landed at Ellis Island.


Each guide costs $7.95 plus $4.50 postage, unless ordered together.

Are you interested in researching your family tree?