Names of Blacks and Whites Necessary to Track Ancestry Back Through Slavery

Let me tell you about a book I discovered during my travels–one that you all will benefit from:

Conner, Glen.  ‘Til Freedom Come:  Slaves in Allen County Kentucky, 1815-1865.  Morley MO:  Acclaim Press, 2010. 

Conner’s book provides detailed charts on the slave population in Allen County KY, with identities of slaves from Barren, Monroe, and Warren counties as well.  States of birth include Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland.  Slaves are listed by year with births and deaths.  Every name is indexed and all names appear in alphabetical sequence in the charts for easy checking.

His book is a model–whatever county your ancestors lived in–look for the records described and indexed here.

Checklist of Sources used: 




__inheritance records

__insurance records

__indentured servants lists

__church rolls

__militia records

__Civil War lists

__African-American Civil War Memorial, Washington DC. (Over 185,000 African Americans who fought in the Civil War are listed, including 17 Medal of Honor winners)

The author points out that names of black slaves and names of white slave owners are both needed to trace ancestry back through slavery.  Even then, it is a difficult task requiring diligent and thorough research.  Slave names are omitted from county and local histories.  And slave and black veterans of the Civil War are omitted from reunion photos and veterans lists published in the local newspapers.  Research must include unindexed court and legal records at all levels.  The checklist
of sources used in this volume is only a beginning.

Your favorite Kentucky genealogist, Arlene H. Eakle

PS  I have written elsewhere about black neighborhoods omitted from atlases and streets where blacks reside omitted from local maps.  Hang in there, if these records affect your genealogy, until the current genealogical community can correct these oversights.  By indexing specific populations in local, state, and national legal records, the job of finding specific families today will become easier.

PPS  And please do not be offended by the profiling of blacks and ethnic peoples you encounter in the historical records.  These statements will clearly separate blacks and whites who share the same names.  Watch for these important statements.

About Arlene Eakle

I trace your family tree; or, teach you how.
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