African American Resources for District of Columbia

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
District of Columbia Wiki Topics
District of Columbia flag.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
District of Columbia Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The following resources are useful for researching African Americans in the District of Columbia.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Record Collections

Digital Archives

Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

  • DC Emancipation Day - learn more about the history of slavery in the District of Columbia
  • Avoice: the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Virtual Library Project.
  • Sherman's Directory and Ready Reference of the Colored Population in the District of Columbia. Washington: Sherman Directory Company. [1913] 1 v. Micro 54541 L of C

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Caldwell, A.B., editor. History of the American Negro, Washington, D. C. Edition. Volume 6. Atlanta, Georgia: A.B. Caldwell Publishing Co., 1922. Digital version at Internet Archive. Biographies of many prominent black men and women of Washington, D.C.
  • Brown, Letitia Woods. Free Negroes in the District of Columbia, 1790-1846. - New York: Oxford University Press, 1972. 226 p. (The Urban Live in America Series) E185.D6 B69

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

  • Colombian Harmony Cemetery Records, District of Columbia. 1831-1899. By Paul E. Sluby, Sr. for the Harmony Society. Washington, D.C. - [Washington]: Sluby, [197-?] - 357 leaves. F193 S58 FHL Book 975.3/W1 V22s
  • The Old Methodist burial ground, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. : A section of the Mt. Zion Cemetery as distinguished from the adjacent Female Union Band Society Burying Ground section. An aboveground arch-ecological study of the history of the old Methodist burying ground section of the Mt. Zion Cemetery as reflected through grave markers and other available records. By Paul E. Sluby, Sr. -: [S,1.]: Sluby, 1975. - 70 p. FamilySearch Catalog
  • Woodlawn Cemetery, Washington, DC : Brief history and inscriptions. Compiled by Paul E. Sluby, Sr.; edited by Stanton L. Wormley. - Washington: Columbian Harmony Society, 1984. 70 leaves F193. S585 1984 FamilySearch Catalog

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

GU272 Memory Project Genealogy and history of descendants of the 272 enslaved people sold by Georgetown University in 1838.

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]

  • The Bee Full-text of this African American D.C. newspaper digitized and hosted online by the Library of Congress. Covers 1882-1884.

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 African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records. 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]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

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]

  • District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840-1964 Index only - information usually includes name, death date and place, burial date and place, gender, age, birth date and place, race, marital status, spouse, and parents and their birthplaces
  • District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961 - information usually includes name, death date and place, gender, age, race, marital status, occupation, birthplace, parents' birthplaces, and cause of death

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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