I Received this press release from Ancestry.com today ~
Ancestry.com Marks Black History Month with 250,000 New African American Records
Nearly 35 Million Americans Can Find an Ancestor in the World’s Largest Online Collection of African American Family History Records
PROVO, UTAH (February 1, 2011) – In honor of Black History Month, Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today launched more than 250,000 new historical records documenting early African American family history. The five new collections span more than a century and contain important details about the lives of African Americans who bravely fought in the U.S. Civil War, document the transportation of slaves to and from the prominent slave ports of New Orleans and Savannah, GA, and include poignant first-person accounts from former slaves.
Ancestry.com’s historical record collection now contains more than 3.2 million African American slave records. As 88 percent of the United States’ black population in 1850 was comprised of slaves, when extrapolated to its current population, nearly 35 million Americans may find a slave ancestor in Ancestry.com’s African American collections.
The Ancestry.com African American Historical Record Collection includes thousands of poignant stories that bring this part of American history to life. One story outlines how Solomon Northup was lured from New York to Washington, D.C with the promise of a job in a circus. Instead he was kidnapped, put on a boat to New Orleans and sold into slavery. His liberation in 1853 prompted him to write “Twelve Years a Slave, 1841-1853,” which became both a popular seller at the time and an important historical document. The ship record of his transfer to New Orleans, which also lists most of the cast of characters from his book, can be found in Ancestry.com’s Slave Ship Manifests from New Orleans, 1807-1860. (original record images available)
The five new collections form part of the 60 million records already included in Ancestry.com’s African American Historical Record collection—the largest online collection of African American family history records available. These new collections are:
US Colored Troops Service Records, 1861-1867: Approximately 178,000 African American troops served the Union in the final two years of the US Civil War. Their compiled service records include enlistment papers, casualty sheets, death reports and correspondence.
Slave Ship Manifests from Savannah, 1789-1859: Although the transatlantic slave trade was banned in 1807, the internal transportation of slaves remained, especially as the tobacco industry diminished in the North while the cotton industry boomed in the South. These port records document the arrival and departure of more than 10,000 slaves through the port of Savannah, GA.
Slave Ship Manifests from New Orleans, 1807-1860: Another important Southern port, this collection includes records for more than 100,000 slaves who arrived or departed through the port of New Orleans.
Freedmen’s Bureau Records, 1865-1878: The Freedmen’s Bureau was formed after the Civil War to aid in Reconstruction efforts. This collection contains hundreds of thousands of records relating to former slaves the Bureau helped find work, to establish schools, negotiate contracts, seek medical care, legalize marriages and more.
Slave Narratives, 1936-1938 (updated): In the early 1930s, an effort began to document the life stories of 3,500 former slaves. The result is a series of moving, individual accounts of their lives, as told in their own words.
With collections such as these now online and searchable for the first time, exploring African American roots is becoming increasingly accessible and popular. For example, leading African American actress and singer Vanessa Williams’ own family journey will be showcased during the second-season premiere of the hit NBC series “Who Do You Think You Are?”on Friday, February 4. Ancestry.com is the official sponsor for the NBC series and worked closely with the producers to provide the family history research for those celebrities featured. Lionel Richie’s family history will also be showcased this season, building on the compelling African American stories of Spike Lee and Emmitt Smith, who were featured last season.
“As we continue to expand our collection of African American family history records, more Americans than ever can make exciting breakthroughs when researching their early heritage,” said Josh Hanna, Head of Global Marketing at Ancestry.com. “According to independent statistical analysis, one in nine Americans has early African roots and so may have ancestors just waiting to be discovered in our collections.”
These inspiring collections can help millions of African Americans uncover their own family stories. To search the African American Historical Record Collection, visit www.ancestry.com/aahistory. For further stories and updates related to African American family history research, you can also follow Ancestry.com on Facebook and Twitter.
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with nearly 1.4 million paying subscribers. More than 6 billion records have been added to the site in the past 14 years. Ancestry users have created more than 20 million family trees containing over 2 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries that help people discover, preserve and share their family history, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.
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Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!
I finally took time yesterday to do something I have been wanting to do for awhile now. It has been several years since I started genealogy and blogging. Many cousins have been found. But, how many? Who? I have not kept any kind of system to log these cousin contacts. I was past due, do I even remember all of them? Well, that was the goal here. I started a spreadsheet of "Cousins Found." I titled columns with things like, phone number, address, email address, surname, how/where we made contact, and if I have met them. I am all about meeting my living cousins and their family members, it does my heart good, plus you never know how long they will be with us. Of course, they may also have information to help us in our genealogy research. I started listing the cousins names I remembered making contact with, those were cousins I generally keep in contact with anyway, so that was easy. Then, sporadically, I would remember someone contacting me on one e-mail address w
I am following Tonia's Roots as she brings several GeneaBloggers through 31 weeks of working towards a better blog, prompts written by Darren Rowse. Here is this weeks challenge adapted from Darren Rowse's daily challenges which Tonia is doing as weekly challenges: Ever run out of things to write about on your blog? If your answer is yes – you’re not alone. This weeks's task is to do an exercise that will identify a range of post ideas that you can use when stuck for an idea in future. The key with this process is not to put yourself under pressure to come up with completely new and out of the blue ideas for every post you write. Instead – this process taps into what you’ve recently written on your blog and helps you to identify ways to extend those ideas. Here’s the mind mapping method that I’ve used (note: I’ve talked about this previously so it could be familiar to some). 1. The Set Up Get a whiteboard, piece of paper, note book, tablet pc or someth