African American Research can prove challenging:

  • If your ancestors were enslaved, they were not enumerated in pre-Emancipation censuses (1860 and earlier).
  • Due to Jim Crow laws, they may have appeared in separate sets of records. They may not have been mentioned in local papers.

These helpful sources can be found in the SSGHS Library. For more recent additions to the library collection, check the library catalog here. Additional materials can be found in the Pamphlet File.

Also, SSGHS has added an index to more than 600 African American Funeral Programs that were donated to us. Many of the deceased individuals whose programs we indexed were from the Chicago area, but the majority were from Kansas City, Kansas and from Kosciusko, Mississippi.


326 ADA Great negroes past and presentAdams, Russell L1963
326 APPAfricana: the encyclopedia of the African American experienceAppiah, Kwame Anthony1999
326 BENBefore the Mayflower: a history of the Negro in America 1619 -1962Bennett, Lerone, Jr1962
326 BENBefore the Mayflower: a history of the Negro in America ca 1619-1964Bennett, Lerone, Jr1966
326 BOSLizzie’s story: a slave family’s journey to freedomBoswell, Clarice2002
326 BURBlack Roots: a beginner’s guide to tracing the African American family treeBurroughs,Tony2001
326 DAYLocating free African American ancestors: a beginner’s guideDay, Aaron L2003
326 GATFinding Oprah’s Roots: finding your ownGates, Henry Louis, Jr2007
326 GIBProgress of a raceGibson, J. W.1912
326 HENAutobiography of The Reverend Josiah HensonHenson, Josiah1969
326 HUS1936 delegates to the National Negro CongressHusband, Lori1998
326 JACIncidents in the life of a slave girlJacobs, Harriet2001
326 JOUIndex to the Journal of Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Quarterly issues 1980-19901991
326 RICEvidences of progress among colored peopleRichings, G F1905
326 ROSBlack genesis: a resource book for African-American genealogyRose, James M2003
326 SECGuide to tracing your African American Civil War ancestorSecret, Jeanette Braxton1997
326 SIMBibliography of African American family history at the Newberry LibrarySimpson, Jack2005
326 SMIGenealogist’s guide to discovering your African-American ancestorsSmith, Franklin Carter2003
326 STRSlave genealogy: a research guide with case studiesStreets, David H1986
326 THACase studies in Afro-American genealogyThackery, David T1989
326 THAFinding your African-American ancestors: a beginner’s guideThackery, David T2000
326 TRUBlack America: a bibliography of the holdings of the Purdue University Calumet Campus LibraryTrusty, Lance1976
326 TYLUnderground railroad resources in the United States theme studyTyler-McGraw, Marie1998
326 WALBlack genealogy: how to beginWalker, James D1977
326 WALBlack Indian genealogy research: African American ancestors among the Five Civilized TribesWalton-Raji, Angela Y1993
326 WEIAmerican Negro slavery: a modern readerWeinstein, Allen1968
326 WITBibliography of sources for black family history in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy DepartmentWitcher, Curt Bryan1989
326 WOOFinding a place called home: a guide to African-American genealogy and historical identityWoodtor, Dee Parmer1999
326.92 MONAutobiography of a runaway slaveMontejo, Esteban1968
331 BRABrotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters: its origins and developmentBrazeal, Brailsford R1946
331 SANMiles of smiles, years of struggle: stories of Black Pullman portersSantino, Jack1991
929.3 SELSelected bibliography of print and non-print Afro-American genealogy1982
973.8 FAM CDFreedman’s Bank recordsFamily Search2000
973.8 HER CDWorld immigration series : African Americans in the 1870 US  Federal censusHeritage Quest2000
973.8 LECBuffalo Soldiers: A Narrative Of The Negro Cavalry In The WestLeckie, William H1967
974.426 D-CARBlack Families in Hampden County, Massachusetts 1650-1955Carvalho, Joseph, III1984
975 H-OLMSlave StatesOlmstead, Frederick Law1959
975.2 D-CARMaryland slave owners and superintendents 1798Carothers, Bettie Stirling1974
975.3 H-HUTAnacostia story, 1608-1930Hutchinson, Louise Daniel1977
976.2 D-WEBAfrican Americans: a Mississippi source bookWebster, Anne L2001
976.9425 H-SINHistory of the Baptist Church at the Stamping Ground, KY 1795-Singer, J W1970
977 H-SMILiberty and Free Soil parties in the NorthwestSmith, Theodore Clarke1967
977.239 D-BARKnox County, Indiana early land reocrd and court indexes (includes records of slaves and masters)Barekman, June B1973
977.252 D-SPEAdmission record Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless colored childrenSpears, Jean E1978
977.3 A-ILLIllinois African American resource guide1999
977.3 D-TRERiver roads to freedomTregillis, Helen Cox1988
977.3 H-GOOEighth IllinoisGoode, W T1899
977.3 T-ILLIllinois generations: a traveler’s guide to African American heritage nd
977.311 D-CITChicago’s Black population Chicago Dept of Planning and Development1975
977.311 D-HUS1930 hallelujah contestantsHusband, Lori1992
977.311 D-HUSChicago World War I draftees districts 3,4,5 and 70Husband, Lori1990
977.311 D-HUSDeaths in the Chicago Defender 1910-1920Husband, Lori1990
977.311 H-FAIFaith Tabernacle Baptist Church 2004 convocation2004
977.311 H-FELFellowship Missionary Baptist Church 1999 cotillion/beautillion1999
977.311 H-REGBlack Chicago’s first century Volume 1, 1833-1900Reed, Christopher Robert2005
977.3162 D-ALAIndex of headstones in Lincoln Cemetery Chicago , Illinois Afro-American Genealogical and Historical Society of ChicagoAlabama Study Group1999
977.3167 H-MCCFinal ministry of Amanda Berry Smith: an orphanage in Harvey, IllinoisMcClellan, Larry1994
977.3167 H-MCCFinal ministry of Amanda Berry Smith: an orphanage in Harvey, Illinois 1895-1918McClellan, Larry1997
977.5 H-ETHBlack settlers in rural WisconsinCooper, Zachary1994
978 H-BURBlack, buckskin, and blue: African American Scouts and soldiers on the Western frontierBurton, Art T1999
F H JONESDescendants of Shandy Wesley Jones and Evalina Love Jones: the story of an African American family of Tuscaloosa, AlabamaPinkard, Ophelia Taylor1993