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black genealogy

Tracing Your Roots: Help Me Separate Fact From Family Fiction!

Tracing Your Roots: Help Me Separate Fact From Family Fiction!

An upcoming family reunion motivates a young woman to prepare an accurate presentation about the storied family matriarch.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Was My Civil War Vet Ancestor an Overseer’s Son?

Tracing Your Roots: Was My Civil War Vet Ancestor an Overseer’s Son?

Family lore and death records contain conflicting information about the parentage of a forebear who served in the colored troops during the Civil War.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: I Am Black but Discovered I Have Jewish DNA

Tracing Your Roots: I Am Black but Discovered I Have Jewish DNA

Test results show unexpected Ashkenazi heritage and raise the possibility that a family legend is true. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is My Ancestor’s Surname From Slavery or Marriage?

Tracing Your Roots: Is My Ancestor’s Surname From Slavery or Marriage?

The origins of the surname of a great-great-grandmother who was born into slavery are shrouded in mystery and require creative sleuthing. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: The Story of My Ancestor’s Origins Keeps Changing

Tracing Your Roots: The Story of My Ancestor’s Origins Keeps Changing

A great-granddad appears to have been the marrying kind, which may explain why records vary on when and where he was born. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is My Spouse Kin to a Man Who Freed 81 Slaves?

Tracing Your Roots: Is My Spouse Kin to a Man Who Freed 81 Slaves?

Sleuthing the tale of a “bachelor” slave owner who freed those enslaved at Virginia’s Tynes Plantation in his will. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is Charleston, SC’s Famed Jack Primas My Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: Is Charleston, SC’s Famed Jack Primas My Ancestor?

A woman notices that her ancestors shared a surname with an 18th-century free black landowner after whom a road and historically black district were named. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Our Family Matriarch Was a White Indentured Servant

Tracing Your Roots: Our Family Matriarch Was a White Indentured Servant

Untangling the origins of Virginian ancestors whose lives crossed boundaries of race, freedom and the law. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Is Gunfighter Doc Holliday My Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: Is Gunfighter Doc Holliday My Ancestor?

Legend has it that the Old West gambler learned his card skills from an uncle’s black servant girl, intriguing a reader whose ancestor shared Doc’s name. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: The Black Side of My Family Is a Mystery!

Tracing Your Roots: The Black Side of My Family Is a Mystery!

A biracial woman yearns to know more about her African-American ancestors, about whom she has little information. It’s a good thing we found a lot of it. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: My ‘Merikin’ Ancestor Escaped Slavery

Tracing Your Roots: My ‘Merikin’ Ancestor Escaped Slavery

Researching those who chose to fight for the British and emigrate to Trinidad in order to be free. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: I Want to Post the Names of My Ancestors’ Slaves

Tracing Your Roots: I Want to Post the Names of My Ancestors’ Slaves

Her ancestor’s will named 13 slaves, and she seeks help getting this information to their descendants. Read more...
The Museum of You: The International African American Museum Wants to Personalize African-American History With Its Genealogy Center

The Museum of You: The International African American Museum Wants to Personalize African-American History With Its Genealogy Center

Museums can impart a vast amount of information to visitors, sharing with them history, culture, science, art. But what if a museum could personalize your own story, your own background and your own
Tracing Your Roots: Why Did My DNA-Test Results Change?

Tracing Your Roots: Why Did My DNA-Test Results Change?

A few reasons that the percentages in your ethnic-ancestry breakdown may change over time.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Who Was My Black Colonial Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: Who Was My Black Colonial Ancestor?

A white woman discovers that she has African ancestry and wants help identifying her black New England forebear. Read more...
How Do I Legally Prove Native American Ancestry?

How Do I Legally Prove Native American Ancestry?

For this week’s column, we decided to address a topic that comes up frequently in your questions:Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Who Were My Grandparents?

Tracing Your Roots: Who Were My Grandparents?

Census records reveal clues to an African-American lineage stretching back in time to the years before slavery ended.Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Have I Found My Ancestor’s Plantation?

Tracing Your Roots: Have I Found My Ancestor’s Plantation?

She found a photo of her great-grandmother in the records of a historic plantation house in Georgia, but little information about her life under slavery. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: Where Did My Ancestor’s Freed Slaves Go?

Tracing Your Roots: Where Did My Ancestor’s Freed Slaves Go?

A forebear emancipates his slaves in the 1840s, but “freedom” was a relative term in 1840s Kentucky. Read more...
Tracing Your Roots: What Did Freedom Bring for My Ancestor?

Tracing Your Roots: What Did Freedom Bring for My Ancestor?

Post-Civil War records point to a common fate for many African Americans after emancipation. Read more...