African American Resources for Texas

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

A list of resources for African American research of ancestors who lived in Texas.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Freedmen Towns After slavery, African Americans went on to establish towns in Texas.

Officials and Employees

Brewer, John Mason. Negro Legislators of Texas and Their Descendants: a history of the Negro in Texas Politics from Reconstruction to Disfanchisement. FHL976.4F2bjm 1970

University of Texas (San Antonio). Institute of Texas Cultures. Residents of Texas, 1782-1836. 3 Vol. Vol 3 contains contains mostly translated summaries documenting the Black experience in Texas. Included are land grant requests, wills, and testaments, letters of freedom and contracts of the sale of slaves. FHL976.4 D2rte Vol 1-3.

Tyler, Ronnie C. and Lawrence R. Murphy. The Slave Narratives of Texas. Austin: Encino Press, 1974. FHL 976.4 D3sl

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

  • The McGowan Funeral Home Records, 1956-1995
    An online index of the McGowan Funeral Home records. The funeral home operated in South Dallas, Texas between 1956 and 1995. The collection is held in the administrative area of the Genealogy section of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Branch of the Dallas Public Library. The physical records of the collection are not accessible to the general public without prior arrangement.

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

The Southern Migration of the Keeton and Chafer Family

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Plantation[edit | edit source]

Oral Histories[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Reconstruction Records[edit | edit source]

Freedman’s Bank[edit | edit source]

An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (visit the African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records page to learn more). This company was created to assist African American soldiers of the Civil War and freed slaves. Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company signature cards or registers from 3 March 1865 to 25 July 1874 may list the name of the depositor, date of entry, age, birthplace, residence, complexion, name of employer or occupation, wife or husband’s name, death information, children’s names, name of father and mother, brothers’ and sisters’ names, remarks, and signature. Early books sometimes contained the name of the former master or mistress and the name of the plantation. Copies of death certificates were sometimes attached to the entries. The collection is organized alphabetically by state, then city where the bank was located, then date the account was established, then account number.

Online collections of Freedman's Bank records:

Freedmen's Bureau[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by the US government in 1865 until 1872 to assist former slaves in the southern United States. The Bureau created a wide variety of records extremely valuable to genealogists. Such documents include censuses, marriage records, and medical records. These records often include full names, former masters and plantations, and current residences.[1] For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands includes the names of the owners of the plantations or homes that were abandoned, confiscated, or leased. It gives the county and location, a description of the house, the number of acres owned, and the number of cabins of former slaves. These films do not appear to contain the names of former slaves.

To find Freedmen's Bureau records:

Other FamilySearch collections not included:

Visit the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records page to learn more about utilizing these records.

School Records[edit | edit source]

The Gregory School Historical collections at The Gregory School include:

• Access to Houston Public Library databases and indexes
• Books
• Pamphlets
• Periodicals
• Photographs
• Oral history recordings
• Manuscripts
• Newspapers and clippings
• Personal family archives and
• Ephemera documenting Houston’s African American History and culture.

Slavery Records[edit | edit source]

Slavery in Early Texas. I
Lester G. Bugbee
Political Science Quarterly
Vol. 13, No. 3 (Sep., 1898) (pp. 389-412)
Page Count: 24

Texas Runaway Slave Project. East Texas Research Center

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Voter's Registrations of 1867

The 1867 Voter Registration includes names of voters who registered in the period between 1867 and 1869. In cases where African Americans registered, their race is specified as "colored." Voter's registrations are among the few records which document African American males prior to 1870. The following information is included:

  • Name
  • Place of residence
  • Precinct
  • Length of residence (in state, in county, in precinct)
  • Native country or state
  • If naturalized, how, when, and where
  • General Remarks--race is noted when the registrant was "colored"

The records are categorized by county. When searching, pay close attention to other individuals with the same surname. They may be related. In some cases, whites with the same name may be members of the former slave holding family.
Voters' Registrations of 1867 are available on microfilm at the Texas State Archives.

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

The African American Library at the Gregory School
Houston's first colored public school, located in historic Freedmen's Town, serves as a resource and repository to preserve, promote and celebrate the rich history and culture of African Americans in Houston, the surrounding region and the African Diaspora.

African American Museum, Dallas
3536 Grand Avenue
Dallas, TX
Phone: (214) 565-9026

African American Community Archives Program

Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

810 Guadalupe

Austin, Texas, 78701

Societies[edit | edit source]

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.
Willie Lee Gay - H-Town Chapter
11100 Braesridge, Suite 2202
Houston, Texas 77071

Houston Museum of African American Culture
4807 Caroline
Houston, Texas 77004

African American Genealogical Interest Group
A Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Dallas Genealogical Society

Dallas Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 12446
Dallas, Texas 75225-0446

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "African American Records: Freedmen's Bureau," "African American Heritage," National Archives, accessed 11 May 2018.