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Researching African American Ancestors: Home

A beginner's guide to starting your African American family history research.

About This Guide

Image of Oscar and Leala Smoot Knox family

Image of Oscar and Leala Smoot Knox
family, Cabarrus and Iredell Counties, NC,
c.1909 courtesy of State Archives of
North Carolina.

Efforts to find records of African American ancestors prior to 1865--both those believed to have been enslaved and free people of color--require thorough preparation before beginning research. The resources and guidance provided in this Research Guide may be helpful in determining starting points, locating records, and tracking research. 

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Government & Heritage Library


Phone: (919) 814-6790


Physical address:
109 E. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601

Mailing address:
4640 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4600