This writer just traced his enslaved ancestors all the way to Africa. Here’s how.
I knew little about either side of my family. My mom was from Warrenton, North Carolina and occasionally talked about growing up there. Her dad lived with us for a while. My father, who died at 43, didn’t share much about his family. However, they made sure we knew something of our family history with frequent trips to Baltimore where they had both been raised.
Everything changed in the last year. Newly available records from the National Archives’ Freedman’s Bureau provide earlier and richer data about the American experience, often predating the ”the 1870s wall’ that marked the first appearance of many Black people by name on a U.S. census.