Blacks in the Census

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Blacks in the Census

Post by Admin on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:31 am

There were free black who were listed in censuses before 1870, however all blacks were listed in the 1870 census five years after slavery ended. 1870 is like a brick wall for many because blacks went by an age, race and the shade of their color in records. Their names were not recorded like everyone else unless they were free. After slavery ended, some slaves changed their names while others kept the names of their owners.

Trying to find your ancestors through slavery will be hard, but it is not impossible. Submit questions below.

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Finding ex slaves

Post by History Rules on Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:49 am

When you reach the 1870 census how do you go back even further? It's hard because it seems no one can be traced if you don't know their names.

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Re: Blacks in the Census

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:54 pm

History Rules wrote:When you reach the 1870 census how do you go back even further? It's hard because it seems no one can be traced if you don't know their names.


What you can do is search for your ancestor in the Freedman Bureau. If you don't find a match, search for whites with the same surname around that area in 1870. If you don't find them in the Freedman Bureau, slowly work your way towards the next county (if you can't find matches in that county your ancestor lived in) to find records like bill of sale for slaves, tax lists and wills. Wills are great documents because if a slave was given to someone then it will list their name. Tax lists can tell you how man slaves someone owned and a bill of sale for slaves could have the name of the slave.

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