African American Resources for Delaware

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Delaware Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Delaware Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Record Collections

  • Discover Freedmen - this site searches all of the Freedmen's Bureau record collections on FamilySearch altogether (and redirects there)
  • 1800-1932 Delaware, Birth Records, 1800-1932 at Ancestry ($)
  • 1815-1955 Delaware Deaths and Burials, 1815-1955 at FamilySearch
  • 1846-1867 U.S., Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records, 1846-1867 at Ancestry ($)
  • 1861-1872 United States, Freedmen's Bureau Marriages, 1861-1872 at FamilySearch
  • 1865-1872 Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872 at FamilySearch - images only
  • 1865-1874 Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874 at FamilySearch
  • 1913-1954 Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954 at FamilySearch
  • African American Digital Bookshelf - a growing list of digital books on FamilySearch and other websites
  • Digital Archives

  • Center for African American Heritage
  • Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

    History[edit | edit source]

  • Black Americans in Delaware: An Overview
  • Resources[edit | edit source]

    Biographies[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Census Records[edit | edit source]

  • Selected African Americans in Delaware, 1890 U.S. Census - lists name, occupation, enumeration district, and residence. Ancestry
  • Church Records[edit | edit source]

    A few parish registers list slaves who attended church with their masters (see Church Records).

    Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]

    Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

    Genealogies[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property[edit | edit source]

    Slaves in Delaware are sometimes mentioned in deeds (see Land and Property).

    Plantation[edit | edit source]

    Oral Histories[edit | edit source]

    Other Records[edit | edit source]

    Military Records[edit | edit source]

  • List of African American Men from the State of Delaware, 1864-1865. NAID 2802316 - National Archives
  • Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

    Slaves in Delaware are sometimes mentioned in wills (see Probate Records).

    Delaware: Enslaved and Free Persons, and Slaveholders is a database of enslaved and free persons extracted from Sussex County, Delaware will books from 1836-1851, with ongoing updates. Slaveholders occasionally provided surnames or exact birthdates in their wills.

    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:

    School Records[edit | edit source]

    Slavery Records[edit | edit source]

    Slaves in Delaware are sometimes mentioned in deeds (see Land and Property), in wills (see Probate Records), in tax records (see Taxation), and in court order books (see the Court Records pages of these Delaware Wiki pages). A few parish registers list slaves who attended church with their masters (see Church Records).

    For more information about slaves see the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


    Vital Records[edit | edit source]

    Birth[edit | edit source]

    • Delaware, Birth Records, 1800-1932 ($) - information usually includes name; birth date and place; gender; race; father's name, age, occupation, and birth place; mother's name, age, and birthplace; and child's number in the family

    Marriage[edit | edit source]

    The Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872) was created by the US government to assist former slaves in the southern United States. One of their responsibilities was to record the marriages (past and present) of the former slaves. These records can be found in the collections below and include the lists of marriages that occurred previously, marriage certificates, and marriage licenses. The information contained on the records may include the name of the husband and wife/groom and bride, age, occupation, residence, year or date of marriage, by whom, number of children, and remarks.

    Death[edit | edit source]

    Divorce[edit | edit source]

    Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

    Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage
    Delaware Historical Society
    504 N. Market Street
    Wilmington, Delaware, 19801
    Phone: (302)656-0637
    Website: Center for African American Heritage

    References[edit | edit source]

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