When researching an African American family, start by using the same sources as other researchers (see our Genealogy & Local History section for more information). This guide focuses on additional resources of special interest for African American families.
Separate “Slave Schedules” were created as part of the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The slave schedules do NOT include the names of the slaves. They list the name of the slave owner and give details on the number of slaves owned by age and sex.
For more information on censuses, see our research guides on the topic:
The “Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands”—formed at the end of the Civil War—created many records containing the names of newly freed slaves in the period before the 1870 census.
The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company was an institution where former slaves and their dependents could place and save their money. The bank branches were primarily in large and coastal cities.
Between 1936 and 1938, writers and journalists working for the Works Progress Administration interviewed over 2300 former slaves. (It appears that none of the people interviewed were from Gaston or Lincoln Counties.) These interviews are available in several ways with different approaches to searching:
Ancestry Library Edition "U.S., African American Newspapers, 1829-1947" contains issues of African-American newspapers printed in the 19th and early 20th century. (Available in Library)
Ancestry Library Edition contains the African American Collection which includes many data collections.
(Available in all library branches)
Go to: https://fold3library.proquest.com/barcode?accountid=11047 Log into Fold3 with your library card or visit library branch.
Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: African American Genealogical Research
Revised: 27 January 2021
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