African American Family Records from Era of Slavery to Be Available Free Online | The Guardian #genealogy #archives

Millions of African Americans will soon be able to trace their families through the era of slavery, some to the countries from which their ancestors were snatched, thanks to a new and free online service that is digitizing a huge cache of federal records for the first time.

Handwritten records collecting information on newly freed slaves that were compiled just after the civil war will be available for easy searches through a new website, it was announced on Friday.

The records belong to the Freedmen’s Bureau, an administrative body created by Congress in 1865 to assist slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia transition into free citizenship. READ MORE: African American family records from era of slavery to be available free online | Life and style | The Guardian.

Why Researching Our Ancestors Has The Power To Change Lives | Fast Company

Back in 2010, when Dana Saxon decided that she wanted to trace her family’s lineage, her expectations were low. “I thought, for people who survived slavery, there’d be little public information,” she says. What happened next “blew her mind”–and led to the creation of Ancestors Unknown, an international nonprofit that is bringing the past to the most impressionable among us: young students.

Saxon discovered that public archives had not completely ignored the existence of the enslaved, who legally were considered the same as property. While putting together the puzzle of her family’s past, she had an epiphany: “There were so many ancestors waiting to be discovered, waiting to be appreciated for what they did to help get us to where we are today,” she says. Knowing that most school curriculums do not include the names and contributions of people from the African Diaspora, she “wanted to find a way to help young people place themselves and their ancestors in the larger context of history.”

READ MORE: Why Researching Our Ancestors Has The Power To Change Lives | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

The Mission of Ancestors Unknown… “To inspire the personal and academic success of students throughout the world by introducing them to their unknown ancestors.”

Climb Your Family Tree With These Online Genealogy Tools | Gizmodo

The questions of who we are and where we came from can often be answered, not by looking inward, but by looking backward. While nature and nurture certainly play the primary roles in our development as individuals, it’s only through the study of one’s ancestry that we develop a more complete view of ourselves as how we fit into the larger scope of human history. Luckily, tracing one’s roots is easier than ever thanks to the Internet.

The following web services are discussed:

  • Family Search
  • US Gen Web
  • Ancestry
  • World Vital Records
  • DistantCousin

via Climb Your Family Tree With These Online Genealogy Tools | Gizmodo.

Build a Digital Family Tree With These 5 Tools | Mashable

Build a Digital Family Tree With These 5 Tools | Mashable

The article reviews:

  2. Treelines
  3. Family Village
  4. Grave Sites –, and
  5. Digitized Newspapers

There is also a tool called Family Echo, which is free but very basic and another one called MyHeritage, also free but with more features including sharing and a collaborative tool called Geni.