African American Sources for Researchers

REFERENCE SOURCES ON AFRICAN AMERICANS AT THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY,
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS [Excellent Source of Bibliography for all
African American family researchers, especially beginners.]

AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES 

Abajian, James de T. BLACKS IN SELECTED NEWSPAPERS, CENSUSES AND OTHER
SOURCES: AN INDEX TO NAMES AND SUBJECTS. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1977. Call
Number: Ref E 185.96 .A2. 

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORIC PLACES. Washington, DC: Preservation Press,
1994. Call Number: Ref E 185 .A2534 1994. 

AFRICAN AMERICANS ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER. Niwot, CO: University of
Colorado Press, 1998. Call Number: Ayer E 185.925 .A58 1998. 

BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICA: AN HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA. Brooklyn, NY:
Carlson Pub., 1993. Call Number: Ref E 185.86 .B542 1993. 

BLACK WOMEN IN AMERICA. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press,
2005.  Call Number: Ref E 185.86 .B542 2005. 

Chicago Public Library. THE CHICAGO AFRO-AMERICAN UNION ANALYTIC
CATALOG: AN INDEX TO MATERIALS OF THE AFRO-AMERICAN IN THE PRINCIPAL
LIBRARIES OF CHICAGO, Housed in the Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-
American History and Literature at the George Cleveland Hall Branch of
the Chicago Public Library. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1972. Call Number: Ref Z
1361 .N39 C47. 

———. THE DICTIONARY CATALOG OF THE VIVIAN G. HARSH COLLECTION OF AFRO-
AMERICAN HISTORY AND LITERATURE, the Chicago Public Library. Boston:
G.K. Hall, 1978. Call Number: Ref Z 1361 .N39 C48 1978. Notes: These
collections are now in the Carter Woodson Branch of the Chicago Public
Library. 

Daniel, Walter C. BLACK JOURNALS OF THE UNITED STATES. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 1982. Call Number: Ref PN 4882.5 .D36 I98. 

Davis, Nathaniel. AFRO-AMERICAN REFERENCE: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF
SELECTED RESOURCES. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985. Call Number: Z
1361 .N39 D37 1985. 

DICTIONARY OF AFRO-AMERICAN SLAVERY. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
Call Number: Ref E 441 .D53 1988. 

Dumond, Dwight Lowell. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ANTI-SLAVERY IN AMERICA. Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1961. Call Number: Ref Z 1249 .S6
D8. 

EARLY BLACK BIBLIOGRAPHIES, 1863-1918. New York: Garland, 1982. Call
Number: Z 1361 .N39 E25 1982. 

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY. New York:
Macmillan Library Reference, 1996. Call Number: Ref E 185 .E54 1996. 

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE. New York: Routledge, 2004. Call
Number: Ref NX 512.3 .A35 E53 2004. 

ETHNIC CHICAGO: A MULTICULTURAL PORTRAIT. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B.
Eerdmans, 1995. Call Number: Ref F 548.9 .A1 E85 1995. 

Fisk University. Library. DICTIONARY CATALOG OF THE NEGRO COLLECTION OF
THE FISK UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, Nashville, Tennessee. Boston: G.K. Hall,
1974. Call Number: Ref Z 1361 .N39 F57 1974. 

Hardaway, Roger D. A NARRATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
FRONTIER: BLACKS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST, 1535-1912. Lewiston, NY:
Edwin Mellen Press, 1995. Call Number: Ayer Z 1361 .N39 H35 1995. 

HARVARD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN ETHNIC GROUPS. Cambridge, MA: Belknap
Press, 1980. Call Number: Ref E 184 .A1 H35. 

THE HARVARD GUIDE TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2001. Call Number: Ref E 185 .H326 2001. 

INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY OF BLACK COMPOSERS. Chicago; London: Fitzroy
Dearborn, 1999. Call Number: Ref ML 105 .I5 1999. 

Logan, Rayford Whittingham. DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NEGRO BIOGRAPHY. New
York: W.W. Norton, 1982. Call Number: Ref E 185.96 .L6 1982. 

Miller, Elizabeth W. THE NEGRO IN AMERICA: A BIBLIOGRAPHY. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1970. Call Number: Ref Z 1361 .N39 M5
1970. 

Miller, Wayne Charles. A COMPREHENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE STUDY OF
AMERICAN MINORITIES. New York: New York University Press, 1976. Call
Number: Ref Z 1361 .E4 M529. 

MINORITIES IN AMERICA: THE ANNUAL BIBLIOGRAPHY. University Park, PA:
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985-1986. Call Number: Ref Z 1361
.E4 M53. Notes: Provides an update for charles Miller's bibliography
listed above. 

THE NEGRO ALMANAC: A REFERENCE WORK ON THE AFRICAN AMERICAN. Detroit:
Gale Research, 1989. Call Number: Ref E 185 .N385 1989. 

Nuñez, Benjamin. DICTIONARY OF AFRO-LATIN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980. Call Number: Ayer F 1408.3 .N86.   

Simpson, Jack. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FAMILY HISTORY AT THE
NEWBERRY LIBRARY. [CHICAGO: The Newberry Library, 2005.] Call Number: Ref
E 185.96 .T44 2005. Notes: Shelved in Ready Reference. 

Smith, Dwight LaVern ed. AFRO-AMERICAN HISTORY: A BIBLIOGRAPHY. Santa
Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1974-1981. Call Number: Ref Z 1361 .N39 S56. 

Southern, Eileen. AFRICAN-AMERICAN TRADITIONS IN SONG, SERMON, TALE AND
DANCE, 1600'S-1920: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY OF LITERATURE,
COLLECTIONS, AND ARTWORKS. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990. Call
Number: Ref Z 5956 .A47 S68 1990. 

Work, Monroe Nathan. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE NEGRO IN AFRICA AND AMERICA.
New York: H. W. Wilson, 1928. Call Number: Ref Z 1361 .N39 W8. 

Email at: reference@newberry.org 

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AFRICAN AMERICAN GENEALOGY 

AFRIGENEAS: AFRICAN ANCESTORED GENEALOGY at: http://www.afrigeneas.com/ 

AfriGeneas Adds African American Marriages Database at:

http://www.afrigeneas.com/marriages/

[Search the Marriage Records Database
Enter one name per search. Do a wildcard ("%") search if unsure of
spelling. For example, to search McMillan or McMillian or McMillon,
etc, enter "mcmill%" or "mcmill%n". To search for
Smith/Smithe/Smyth/Smythe enter "sm%th". Try it!] 

African American Museums Added to List of Links 

Article by Don Scott in the AfriGeneas Library at:

http://www.afrigeneas.com/library/

AfriGeneas Adds African American History Forum at:

http://www.afrigeneas.com/forum-history/

Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation Publishes Most Comprehensive
Answers to Date on Genetic Origins of Native Americans 

World Vital Records Reaches 1 Billion Names 

Story of Freed Slaves Veers into Author's Family History 

BLACK CONFEDERATE PENSION RECORDS  

Black Confederate Pension Records:
A controversial resource for African American researchers 

By Doris J. Posey
Special to the Epoch Times 

from: THE EPOCH TIMES.  Feb 01, 2008 at:

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/8-2-1/65036.html

Landowner: James Porter served in the Confederate Army, bought land,
and collected a pension into the 20th century. His great-granddaughter
found his pension records. Courtesy of Doris J. Posey 

Landowner: James Porter served in the Confederate Army, bought land,
and collected a pension into the 20th century. His great-granddaughter
found his pension records. Courtesy of Doris J. Posey 

ATLANTA—Census records give African-American researchers valuable
family information. 

Only free citizens were named on the Federal Censuses prior to 1870.
Slaves were listed by sex and gender only.  They were counted under the
names of their owners on the Slave Schedules of 1850 and 1860. 

Since African-Americans were first listed by name on the 1870 census,
the period of the Civil War (1861-1865) is crucial for researching
African-Americans who had been slaves. 

One group of records has not been given a lot of attention but is very
valuable to a genealogist. They are the Confederate Pension Records.
Many of the Confederate States of America (CSA) passed laws offering
pensions to indigent Confederate veterans. African-Americans were not
eligible to apply for the Confederate Pensions until much later than
white veterans; some became eligible for pensions as late as 1923. 

Excellent Clues 

To complicate learning about African-Americans during this period, many
slaves changed their surnames after Emancipation in 1863. The CSA
required slave owners to "loan" slaves to help defend the Confederacy,
building breastworks and bridges, driving wagons, entertaining the
soldiers, cooking for the troops and other "menial" tasks. 

The Confederate Pension files hold the names of the slaves and the
names of any Confederate the slave was sent to serve. Often the surname
of the slave and his "master" were different. This gives an excellent
clue to the researcher as to the surname of the possible slave owner. 

The Union Army fought against the Confederate Army. Because of slavery,
African-American researchers identify more easily with the Union Army;
therefore, searches for Civil War ancestors are often focused on the
Union troops. 

Black men performed many duties for the South during the war. They
earned pensions for serving as teamsters, shoemakers, breastworks
builders, drummers, nurses, laborers, servants, and musicians. The most
common roles were body servant and cook. There are also pension
applications for "private soldier." At least three of these were filed
in South Carolina by African-Americans. 

Edwin P. Ford of Georgetown, S. C., was a cook and drummer with Company
A, 21st Regiment, Frederick Ford of Georgetown County, S. C. was a
wagon driver and cook, and James Dawkins of Union, S. C. was a
shoemaker. 

This information is from sworn and witnessed statements on pension
applications. Applications were recorded for Texas, Arkansas, Missouri,
North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia,
Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky. 

Six Months Before a Ban 

Widows also received pensions. In Appendix A of South Carolina's
African American Pensioners 1923-1925 by Alexia Jones Helsley, there is
an account of Nina L. Brown who applied for a pension as the widow of
S. Sebastian Brown. They married in June 1879, just six months before a
South Carolina law would have made their marriage illegal. She received
the pension as his widow. 

James Porter's 1924 application in Union, S. C. shows he served under
"J.F. Bailey and others." He was a cook. James Porter (1845-1930,) was
approved for a pension in 1924. He bought 79 1?2 acres of land in Union
County in 1881. Did his service for the Confederacy help give him the
opportunity to purchase land? 

Since the soldiers for the Confederate States were paid by the states,
the records originated at the State Treasurer's office. The State
issued checks to the County Treasurer who disbursed the checks
annually. Most African-American pensioners made their mark ("X") when
accepting the checks. James Porter's check was $7.00 in 1923 and $9.00
when he received his last check in 1930. 

For researchers, the painful idea that some Blacks were "loyal" to the
Confederacy may be a reason not to venture into these records. Did
African-Americans fight in the war? The question stirs a controversy
about African-American CSA pensioners. The answer is in the Confederate
Pension Records. 

Valuable Records 

Were these African-American Confederate's lives any less important
because they were slaves who served in the Confederacy? Should we
ignore their service and the valuable records related to their service?
Our understanding of the slaves' dilemma in this War Between the States
comes over 130 years after that war ended. 

Recently, an African-American researcher said, "I don't have any
relatives that were Confederates." The question is "How do you know?"
The Confederate Pension Records for African-Americans are worth a
closer look. 

Doris J. Posey is from Spartanburg, S. C.  She is the great-
granddaughter of James Porter. She is one of the organizers and Charter
President (2000) of the Metro Atlanta Chapter of the Afro-American
Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. (AAHGS).  Posey gives talks
and leads workshops on genealogy. 

The African American National Biography Shines Light on Famous and
Overlooked Black Historical Figures at:

http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~aanb/