The International African American Museum’s
Center for Family History is a one of a kind research
center with a special focus on African American
genealogy at one of our country’s most sacred sites.

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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View our growing collections of funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents and family histories.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Would you like to contribute funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our collections?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Would you like to contribute Bible records, funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents or family histories to our digital collections?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

Gather Records in Your Home or a Relative’s Home

Gather Records in Your Home or a Relative’s Home

A lot of us start researching by jumping online, and we do not start by using our own family archives. You could miss the best information that would keep you routed in the right direction to find your family. All that you need to do to start is look through this checklist and find things in your own house that can tell you about an ancestor. Gather all the records in your house that have a name of a family member on it. If you have never done this, you may not realize the number of items that you will find.

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Family History: Starting Easy

Family History: Starting Easy

Do you feel like you need to start over or are you getting into family history for the first time? You have come to the right place. Even seasoned family historians can learn something for the first time as we go over the principles of doing family history.

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Wayne OBryant Tells of His Family’s Relationship with Rev. Simon Miller (1819-1875)

Wayne OBryant Tells of His Family’s Relationship with Rev. Simon Miller (1819-1875)

I have always believed we need community to come together to share what they remember about our history and genealogy. As I sit here in Fayetteville, NC writing about Rev. Simon Miller and only having a feeling about his importance, once again someone from the community in Charleston, SC living in North Augusta, SC has helped. We have lost a lot of history, but with community we can recapture quite a bit. I think about what we have captured here: freeman, education, the trade of carpentry, a legislator, AME Church, preacher.

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How I Found Laura Johnson (abt. 1864-1927) and Who She Married

How I Found Laura Johnson (abt. 1864-1927) and Who She Married

These are my great grandparents, Andrew Johnson and Jane Smith Johnson. I have spent quite a bit of time researching them and their children, but some I have not found besides here in this 1880 Census. At first, I thought Laura Johnson was Lula Johnson Vance, wife of my great grandfather, Rev. Lafayette Franklin Vance. Have you ever tried to find a female family member and only knew her birth name?

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Discovering Historical Records Up Close and Personal

Discovering Historical Records Up Close and Personal

Greenwood County Courthouse. SC, Robin R. Foster, Feb. 2014 I spent the first eight years of my move to South Carolina in Columbia researching in the archives, libraries, and getting to know cousins there.  I have worked my way back to the 1800's in my research....

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Rev. Simon Miller (1819-1875), a Presiding Elder and a Freeman, Served His Community

Rev. Simon Miller (1819-1875), a Presiding Elder and a Freeman, Served His Community

In looking for Rev. Simon Miller from the historic newspaper article with Richard Harvey Cain (1825-1887), I admit I had to start from scratch. When I wrote Richard Harvey Cain (1825-1887) Served in South Carolina Senate, I knew I would try to find out more on Rev. Simon Miller because he was the one who chosen Secretary of that Conference. Little did I know I would find how important he was.

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African American Genealogy: Is There a County Record of My Ancestor Voting in Georgia?

African American Genealogy: Is There a County Record of My Ancestor Voting in Georgia?

Yesterday we identified one place your ancestor might have been recorded as voting in Georgia in the blog post Did Your African American Ancestor Register to Vote in Georgia, Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868? In this post you could be led to another place to find him, Georgia, County Voter Registrations, 1856-1909. All colors of people are available in this database, but this might be one of the first times your ancestor was recorded by name because it contains the names of emancipated people.

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Did Your African American Ancestor Register to Vote in Georgia, Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868?

Did Your African American Ancestor Register to Vote in Georgia, Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868?

After the Civil War, Georgia was divided into forty-four districts of three counties. To register, a voter had to take the oath of allegiance to the United States government and to swear he had never supported the Confederate States of America. Over 95,000 white and over 93,000 African-American voters became registered in the Georgia, Reconstruction Registration Oath Book, 1867-1868. They can be searched at FamilySearch.org.

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Florida State Census, 1885

Florida State Census, 1885

Today’s featured collection is the Florida State Census, 1885. This searchable collection contains population, agriculture, manufacture and mortality schedules for a special federal census for Florida made in 1885. The census was taken at the request of the federal government, and with the federal government’s assistance. All Florida counties are represented except Alacuhua, Clay, Columbia and Nassau.

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