If you watched the compelling TV show Who Do You Think You Are? which led Vanessa Williams on a journey back in time as she discovered more about the ancestors that came before her, you may be wondering how to do your own African-American family tree. Like any genealogy project, you start with what you know and take your research back step-by-step.
Begin with yourself and work backwards as they do in the TV show. Start your FREE family tree online to enter what you already know about yourself, your parents, your grandparents, and as far back as you know.
Invite your parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins and other family members to contribute what they know to add to your online tree - fill in names and dates, tell stories and upload photos. Ancestry.com will automatically use what you enter to try and find more about your family in the world's largest online collection of historical records and family trees. Look for the green leaf.
Talk to the older people in your family. You may be surprised what they know but never talked about because they thought no one was interested. Here are some suggested questions to ask them to get the ball rolling.
African-American Genealogy at Ancestry.com
African American Collections at Ancestry.com
Start searching the world’s largest online collection of African American family history records now. You could find ancestors who served their country in wartime, learn about their homes, their careers and much more.. Ancestry.com is a subscription database, but you can examine all the records for free for 2 weeks with a Free Trial.
Step by Step Guide to finding your African American family tree. Learn how to do the different phases of African American Genealogy from gathering oral history to finding the slave owner to going back to Africa.
African American Research Center
Learn how to begin building your African-American family tree. For many African Americans, tracking down ancestors can present a unique set of challenges. Fortunately, a vast collection of resource materials are now available.
African-American Heritage Search Tips
Tips and hints for getting the best results when searching Google and other search engines for African-American genealogy
Here are some other free online resources for finding African-American ancestors.
- African American Cemeteries Online
- The African-American Migration Experience
- Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy 1719-1820
- Digital Library on American Slavery
- Documenting the American South
- Free African Americans of Virginia, N Carolina, S Carolina, Maryland Delaware
- Freedmen's Bureau Online
- Low County Africana
- Slaveholders and African Americans, 1860-1870
- USF Africana Heritage
Here are further resources to begin your genealogy search. And here is a unique African-American search engine that searches multiple African-American genealogy sites across the web.
If you would like to use the same professional genealogists that helped with the research for Who Do You Think You Are, Contact ProGenealogists for a free estimate.
Your family story is waiting to be found. "To know who you are you, you have to know where you came from." Your journey can be as exciting, as emotional, and as surprising as the stories on the TV show because it is your personal family history. The excitement and surprises happen as you uncover that story