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View our growing collections of funeral programs, obituaries, photos, historical documents and family histories.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

Family History in Photographs

As we embark on our journey in family history, we sometimes neglect the resources right within our reach. We spend time online searching for records that may already be in the homes of our extended family. Before you set out to look for resources to document your ancestor, you need to exhaust the resources found at home or in the possession of family members. This is a first in a series of posts on resources for family history in your home.

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Finding More Clues in a Will

In Avenues of Research from a Will, we highlighted several clues that could help to reveal more about George Epps Tucker (1860-1927), affectionately called Epps, and his son, George Anderson Tucker (1882-1932).  You should search to see if wills exist for the people...

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Avenues of Research From a Will

What do you do with a will when you find one? Wills can reveal a great deal of information that can fuel your genealogy research. Treat each new detail like a clue that will link you to more information. We will use the will of George Epps Tucker (1860-1927)  which we...

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Run Out of Records to Research?

Many avid researchers hit a stumbling block in identifying more about their ancestors, and they do not know how to overcome it. They get stuck for long periods of time not being able to find historical documentation. You must know how to keep your own research going. What do you do after you have exhausted all the records at your disposal online or in local repositories?

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

Freedmen’s Bureau records are such a rich resource for African American genealogy and history. From these records, you can learn so much about what was happening where your ancestors were living just after the end of the Civil War. But, even in Freedmen’s Bureau records, it’s rare to find a document written by a freed person, and to be able to hear that person’s voice in the document.

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Researching Communities of the Formerly Enslaved

You can discern a lot about the life of your ancestor from the descendants of those formerly enslaved that lived in communities that they established. If you are not fortunate enough to know of living descendants or surviving communities with which to start, search the following resources that mention the locality where your ancestor lived and names of people that lived in those areas.

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Sold With the Courthouse as a Backdrop

In Sold on the Courthouse Steps, we discussed three types of sales of enslaved people through the local court system. We suggested that you search through newspapers to discover sheriff sales, equity court sales, and chancery court sales.  Here are a few more sales...

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Sold on the Courthouse Steps

An auction block at a commercial slave market is probably the most common visual that comes to mind when you think of people being separated from families during enslavement. You may be familiar with the sale of enslaved people through private parties, but numerous people were also sold through local courts with the courthouse as their backdrop. How would you find documentation of such cases, and what are examples of situations that would have brought about this end result? One quick way to find clues would be through historical newspapers.

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1878 Election Mayhem Documents Freedmen

Even though a vital record or a census can help you learn the names of forbears and where they lived, this minimal information is not sufficient enough to tell their story. Delve a little deeper in your search, and you may uncover the sweet finds that help you tell the story of your ancestor’s life.

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Where a Death Certificate Can Lead

When you begin researching, one of the first events that you should look to document is the most recent in your ancestor’s life. The most common recent events are death and burial.

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Death Certificates Make Genealogy Come to Life

In “Where a Death Certificate Can Lead,” we showed how you can use the census and city directories to learn more about the spouse and children of a deceased ancestor. We were able to identify the children of Joseph Barnett from census records, and we used a city directory to locate his daughter, Janie, and her husband. Hopefully, you also submitted the records you were able to find using the death certificate. We will now discuss other details on a death certificate that could make your genealogy come to life.

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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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