20th-Century African American researchers will find funeral programs and photo archives invaluable. There is a rich tradition revolving around funeral programs. As a result, numerous archives have intentionally collected them, and many are now placing them online for all to access. You will find many details of genealogical relevance that help us fill in evidentiary gaps, and sometimes photos are included. Speaking of pictures, there is something magical about seeing a photograph of an ancestor we may have never met that is priceless. Let’s explore some collections rich in photos of African Americans; maybe your ancestors are included.
Freedmen’s Bureau Records – Invaluable to ALL Southern Research!
We overlook records that we think pertain to only one group of people. The Freedmen’s Bureau records cover more than freed slaves – they include ex-soldiers, impoverished widows, small children, and destitute parents. They include ration, school, court, marriage, military, and more records, along with incredibly personal correspondence regarding loved ones.
Diane L Richard is the Principle of Mosaic Research and Project Management (MosaicRPM), www.mosaicrpm.com. She has M.E. and M.B.A. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). She has been doing genealogy research since 1987 and since 2004 professionally focused on the records of North Carolina, other Southern States and migration paths to the Mississippi River.