Online Resources

Ancestry is a very large, fee-based repository; Can be accessed for free through your local library system.

African American Resource Guide (PDF file)
This is’s Research Guide: African American Family Research.

Chronicling America
This is the LOC’s repository of America’s historic newspapers from 1789-1963.

Discover Freedmen – The Freedmen’s Bureau Project
This search engine will search’s extensive database of more than 5 billion searchable names in historical records.

FamilySearch’s Online African American Records
This is FamilySearch’s collection of links to African American Online databases.

Find A Grave
This is one of the largest grave-site collections.

Library of Congress
The LOC houses many records, photographs, etc. to explore.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) – Resources for Genealogists
NARA is the nation’s official repository of federal records.
This is the largest online newspaper archives.

Overview to Beginning African American Genealogy
LaJoy Mosby’s presentation provides the strategies needed to start the research of your family and to uncover your ancestors’ stories.

Military Records
This is a large repository of military records; Southern Claims Commission records can be accessed here.

National Archives – Research in Military Records
The National Archives holds Federal military service records from the Revolutionary War to 1912 in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.

National Park Service Soldiers & Sailors Database
This is the Civil War Soldier Database.

Research Tools

Genealogy Research Checklist
Thomas MacEntee’s list has over a hundred different types of records and places.

Legacy Webinars
Access thousands of webinars on genealogy, DNA, etc. from this fee-based service.

Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI)
MAAGI’s purpose is to educate and train people who have an interest in studying and documenting the history of African American families. It’s the only “genealogy institute” dedicated to African American genealogy research.

Nat’l Archives Charts and Forms
NARA has research forms for the federal census, military, etc.

DNA Blogs

DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy by Roberta Estes

The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger

Musings on Genealogy, Genetics, and Gardening by Kitty Cooper

Roots & Recombinant DNA by TL Dixon

Roots Revealed by Melvin J. Collier

Through the Trees by Shannon Christmas

Tracing African Roots by Fonte Felipe

Your DNA Guide by Diane Southard

Genealogy Blogs

Abundant Genealogy by Thomas Macentee

African-Native American Genealogy Blog by Angela Walton-Raji

Blogging on Race, Culture, History and Genealogy by Andre Kearns

Family Tree Girl by Dr. Shelley Murphy

Genealogy & Memory Keeping by Taneya Koonce

Into the Light by Renate Yarborough-Sanders

The Legal Genealogist by Judy Russell

Reclaiming Kin by Robyn Smith 

Roots Revealed by Melvin J. Collier

Radiant Roots, Boricua Branches by Teresa Vega

Who is Nicka Smith by Nicka Smith

Genealogy YouTube Shows

BlackProGen Live

Family History Fanatics

Genealogy Adventures

Genealogy Quick Start

Let’s Talk North Carolina Genealogy!

Facebook Groups


AAHGS Central Maryland Chapter

African American Genealogy

African American Genealogy Blogging Circle

AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community

DNA Tested African Descendants

Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques

International African American Museum (IAAM)

I’ve Traced My Enslaved Ancestors and Their Owners

Midwest African American Genealogy Institute (MAAGI)

Our Black Ancestry

Reclaiming Kin

Sons and Daughters of the Middle Passage


African Roots Podcast by Angela Walton-Raji

Blog Talk Radio by Bernice Bennett

Books (Genealogical)

Bennett, Bernice A. Tracing Their Steps: A Memoir. The Write Image, 2019. Amazon link

Berry, Kenyatta. The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy. New York:Skyhorse 2018. Amazon link

Bailey, Harris; Bennett, Bernice, et. al. Our Ancestors, Our Stories. The Write Image, 2014. Amazon link

Burroughs, Tony. Black Roots: A Beginner’s Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree. New York: Fireside, 2001. Amazon link

Collier, Melvin J. 150 Years Later: Broken Ties Mended. Virginia: Write Here Publishing, 2011. Amazon link

Collier, Melvin J. Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery. Virginia: Write Here Publishing, 2008. Amazon link

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2012. Amazon link

Sheffey, Brian. Practical Genealogy: 50 Simple Steps to Research Your Diverse Family History. Rockridge Press, 2020. Amazon link

Smith, Franklin Carter and Croom, Emily Ann. A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2008. Amazon link

Smith, Robyn. The Best of Reclaiming Kin: Helpful Tips on Researching Your Roots, Second Edition. Maryland: 2016. Amazon link

Woodtor, Dee Parmer. Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity. Random House, 1999. Amazon link

African American History

Woodson, Carter G., compiler and editor. Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830. Washington, D.C.: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1924.

Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, Fifth Edition. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980.

Franklin, John Hope. Reconstruction after the Civil War, Second Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Horton, James Oliver and Lois E., Slavery and the Making of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006