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A one of a kind research center

with a special focus on

African American genealogy

FEATURED ARTICLE

Letter from Freedmen Robert Hamilton and Patrick Allston Requesting Rations, Beaufort County, SC, 1868 

by Toni Carrier

FEATURED ARTICLE

Finding and Telling the African American Family Story: Beginning the Genealogy Journey by Angela Walton Raji

  

FEATURED ARTICLE

Where A Death Certificate Can Lead by Robin Foster

 

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

Winning Gold When Starting Genealogy by Nicka Smith

FEATURED ARTICLE

Timelines Keep Your Genealogy Research Moving Forward by Shelley Viola Murphy

FEATURED ARTICLE

Beginning DNA for African American Genealogy by Shannon Christmas

FEATURED ARTICLE

USCT Pension Files: A Rich Resource for African American Genealogy by Bernice Bennett

FEATURED ARTICLE

Speaking of My People: A Granddaughter’s Journey Into The Lives of Her Lowcountry Ancestors by Akosua Moore

FEATURED ARTICLE

Speaking with The Ancestors: The Journey Begins With A Tombstone by Kimberly Morgan

FEATURED VIDEO

5 GENERATIONS: FROM ENSLAVEMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE IN ATLANTA

The documentary 5 Generations: From Enslavement to Public Service in Atlanta is a commemoration of the achievements of five generations of African American women in the Metro Atlanta area from Reconstruction through the 20th century. By exploring genealogy, family lore, and historic documentation, viewers will become familiar with various historical philanthropic, educational, and political institutions within Atlanta’s African American communities through the lens of the women in one multi-generational family.

 

EXPLORE

CENTER FOR FAMILY HISTORY BLOG

Genealogist Robin Foster shares research tips and keeps you up to date with what’s happening at the IAAM Center for Family History.

LEARN RESEARCH SKILLS

Our On Demand Learning Library will help you build your research skills and keep your research moving forward.

PRESERVATION EFFORTS

Learn about efforts to preserve African American community and family history.

EXPLORE RECORDS

View our growing collections of funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents and family histories.

FEATURED ARTICLES

Learn from the experts! View guest posts written by experts in the field of African American genealogy.

CFH IN THE COMMUNITY

See what we’ve been up to. Learn about upcoming community events.

CONTRIBUTE PHOTOS OR DOCUMENTS

Would you like to contribute funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our collections? Here’s what you need to know to get started on preserving your family’s history at IAAM!

GENEALOGY FOR KIDS AND YOUTH

Ideas for inspiring young family historians.

VIDEO GALLERY

View featured videos. Ramp up your research skills with video tutorials. Learn more about the rich Gullah Geechee cultural heritage of the Lowcountry. Our video gallery has lots to sink your teeth into. View on any of your devices!

CONTRIBUTE AN ANCESTOR PHOTO OR DOCUMENT

Would you like to contribute Bible records, funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our digital collections? We will cherish your contributions. Here’s what you need to know to get started on preserving your family’s history at IAAM!

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Finding Ancestors in Bible Records

Not too long ago it was very common for families to keep Bibles where they recorded basic information about family members such as births, marriages, deaths, and religious ceremonies such as christenings and baptisms.  It is good to know about this tradition of...

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Revisiting GenealogyBank

It has been several years since I tried finding ancestors on GenealogyBank.com,  but I just recently was surprised to come across My Folder as well as a couple of articles I had never seen before. It prompted me to start a new subscription, and do some searching. My...

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More Substitutes for Birth Records in South Carolina

Because we know identifying an ancestor's birth can be a challenge, we are sharing more records that you can use as substitute to vital records. See Substitute Records for Births in South Carolina to catch up with the resources we have already shared. Cemeteries...

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African American Genealogy: Substitute Records for Births in South Carolina

In Documenting a SC Birth, we discussed how to find your ancestor using birth certificates. Not everyone was recorded on a birth certificate, and birth records are the hardest to find. Fortunately, you can use substitute records to find clues to the date and place where you ancestor was born.  Use the record types discussed below where you may discover more about your ancestor’s birth.

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Documenting a South Carolina Birth

Birth records are usually the documentation that you seek after you have found the existing death and marriage record for your ancestor. Birth certificates are the hardest to find. Here, we will help you learn how to access birth records in SC and suggest substitute records to use in case your ancestor did not have a birth certificate.

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Documenting Your Ancestor After 1940

It is so important to document your ancestor using the most recent records first because you can learn so much about them enabling you to locate them on earlier records. For most researchers, the latest historical record where they have found their ancestor is the 1940 Census. Perhaps you have yet to discover records that were generated later than 1940. It is highly likely that ancestors born before 1900 appear on these records.

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African American Genealogy: How to Find the Maiden Name

One of the most frustrating parts about genealogy research is not knowing an ancestor’s maiden name.  It puts you at a standstill when trying to determine who her parents are.  We have some suggestions for you to try if you are stuck without any idea what your ancestor’s maiden name is.

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How to Locate a Marriage Record

After successfully documenting your ancestor’s death using various resources such as an obituary, death certificate, and existing headstone, the next major event that you will want to document is a marriage record. Marriage records are a little more difficult to access because often only the index is available online. This post will discuss how to locate a marriage, and suggest substitute records that you can use to show a marriage took place in case you cannot locate an original record.

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African American Genealogy: More Ways to Document a Death

In How to Document a Death, we shared a few of the most common resources for learning more about your ancestor’s death. The death event generated many different ways to learn more about a person. Even if a person is not present in a record where they were mentioned consecutively in the past, that can become a clue to the possible date of death. You will learn the most by making it a point of including a few more record types in your search.

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African American Genealogy: How to Document a Death

One of the most common events that beginning researchers attempt to document is an ancestor’s death. Most become familiar right away with death certificates, but when there are challenges finding or accessing a death certificate, it is helpful to know about additional records. It is a good practice to search these additional records in case there are errors or incomplete information on the death certificate. 

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African American Genealogy: Three Important Elements of a Family Tree

This is the final post in the series about mistakes family historians sometimes make. Most of us use a family tree to keep track of the names and events in the lives of our ancestors. How many of us have considered what makes up the foundation of a well constructed tree?  Three important elements set certain trees apart from the rest.

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Gallery: Santee-Cooper Relocation Project

The Santee Cooper Power and Navigation Project, begun in 1939, did much to stimulate South Carolina’s economy after the Great Depression. The project improved navigation on and provided hydroelectric power from the Santee and Cooper rivers to Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. During the project, 900 families were relocated and more than 6,000 graves were relocated or buried beneath the waters of Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.

ON DEMAND LEARNING LIBRARY

Learn research skills anytime, on any device. Our tutorials will help you get started, or help you take your research to the next level. Grab a snack, settle in, and power up!

We’ve got you covered.

FEATURED VIDEO

THE INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM

Coming in late 2020 on one of the most important sites in American history, the place where almost half of all African captives arrived in the U.S., the IAAM will present the largely undertold experiences and accomplishments of Americans of African descent.

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