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AAGP: Reference Tools

All the available books, bibliographies, maps/geography, periodicals, newspapers, dictionaries, encyclopedias, government documents and web sites you need.

The following resources are all located at the Milwaukee Public Library and on the web for you to use for your African-American genealogical search.

Research Guides

African American Genealogical Sourcebook edited by Paula K. Byers.

Afro-American Genealogy Sourcebook by Tommie Morton Young.

Black Genealogy by Charles L. Blockson with Ron Fry.

Black Genealogy - How to Begin by James D. Walker.

Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy,2nd ed. by James M. Rose & Alice Eichholz.

Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs.

Ethnic Genealogy: A Research Guide edited by Jessie Carney Smith; foreword by Alex Haley.

Family Pride: The Complete Guide to Tracing African-American Genealogy by Donna Beasley.

Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity, 1st ed. by Dee Parmer Woodtor.

Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide by David T. Thackery.

Finding Your People: An African-American Guide to Discovering Your Roots by Sandra Lee Jamison.

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage, 1st ed. by Franklin Carter Smith, Emily Anne Croom.

Guide to Tracing Your African Ameripean Civil War Ancestor, 3rd ed. by Jeanette Braxton Secret.

How to Trace Your African-American Roots: Discovering Your Unique History by Barbara Thompson Howell.

Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide With Case Studies by David H. Streets.

A Student's Guide to African American Genealogy by Anne E. Johnson and Adam Merton Cooper.

Tracing African-American Roots, 1st ed. by Dee Clem.


African American Genealogy: A Bibliography and Guide to Sourcesby Curt Bryan Witcher.

African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography by James P. Danky, editor; Maureen E. Hady, associate editor.

African Americans: A Mississippi Source Book compiled by Anne L. Webster.

Afro-American Family History at The Newberry Library: A Research Guide and Bibliography by David T. Thackery.

Bibliography of Sources for Black Family History in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Department compiled by Curt Bryan Witcher.

Black Family Research: Records of Post-Civil War Federal Agencies at the National Archives compiled by Reginald Washington.

Black Periodicals and Newspapers: A Union List of Holdings in Libraries of the University of Wisconsin and the Library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin compiled by Susan Bryl and Erwin K. Welsch.

Black Periodicals and Newspapers: A Union List of Holdings in Libraries of the University of Wisconsin and the Library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 2d ed., rev. compiled by Neil E. Strache ... [et al.].

Generations Past: A Selected List of Sources for Afro-American Genealogical Research compiled by Sandra M. Lawson.


The Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World consultant editors Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky; foreword by Jean Aitchison.

A Genealogical and Historical Atlas of the United States of Americaby E. Kay Kirkham.

Historical Atlas of Africa general editors, J.F. Ade Ajayi & Michael Crowder; geographical editor, Paul Richards; linguistic editor, Elizabeth Dunstan, cartographic designer, Alick Newman.


AAHGS News: The Bi-monthly Newsletter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Washington, D.C.: The Society, 1994-

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Journal. Washington, D.C.: Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter. Washington, D.C. : The Society, 1981-1993.


The Afro-American Newspaper: An Inventory by Steven C. Newsome.

Check List of Negro Newspapers in the United States, 1827-1946by Warren Brown.

Extant Collections of Early Black Newspapers: A Research Guide to the Black Press, 1880-1915, With an Index to the Boston Guardian, 1902-1904 by Georgetta Merritt Campbell.

The Milwaukee Community Journal. Milwaukee, Wis. : Milwaukee Community Journal Inc.

Milwaukee Courier. Milwaukee, Wis. : Courier Pub. Co.

The Milwaukee Star. Milwaukee, Wis. : Courier Communications Corp., 1976-

The Milwaukee Star-Times. Milwaukee, Wis. : K.C. Coulter, R. Thomas, 1971-1976.


A to Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians by Barbara Jean Evans.

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historianscompiled by Kip Sperry.

African American History and Culture: The Black Experience in the Americas Colin A. Palmer, editor in chief.

Ancestry's Concise Genealogical Dictionary compiled by Maurine and Glen Harris.

Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery edited by Randall M. Miller and John David Smith.

Genealogical Dictionary With Alphabetical Nationwide County Index Included, 1st ed. by Michael L. Cook.

Legal Terms for the Genealogist by Thomas Vance Little.


The African American Encyclopedia managing editor, R. Kent Rasmussen.

Africana: Civil Rights: An A-to-Z Reference of the Movement That Changed America editors, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louise [i.e. Louis] Gates, Jr.

Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience editors, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Henry Louis Gates.

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Supplement general editor Jack Salzman; associate editors, Greg Robinson, Thaddeus Russell.

Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage by Susan Altman; special writing and research by Joel Kemelhor.

Encyclopedia of Black America [edited by] W. Augustus Low, Virgil A. Clift.

Lexicon of Afro-American History by Robert R. Davis, Jr.

The Negro Almanac: A Reference Work on the Afro-Americancompiled and edited by Harry A. Ploski and James Williams.

Reference Library of Black America edited by Jeffrey Lehman.

Web Sites

This site is devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general.

This subscription-only site has U.S. Census Records' images and indexes, U.S. Records Collection including military, birth, death, marriage, slave records. NOTE: This site can be accessed at any City of Milwaukee library with the use of your library card.

Cemeteries, Graveyards, Burying Grounds
This site has resources on cemetery history and preservation.

Christine's Genealogy
Christine's Genealogy Web site covers various subjects including slave cases, Freedmens Bureau records, and census transcription.

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
Cyndi's List is a portal to over 94,000 genealogical Web sites.

FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' free site for searching records and finding other sources available online. Also, they have Family History Libraries and centers throughout the world where people can utilize their resources and receive assistance.

Heritage Quest
This subscription-only site has U.S. Census Records' images and indexes. NOTE: This site can be accessed at any City of Milwaukee library with the use of your library card and by remote access from your home computer for Milwaukee library cardholders.

RootsWeb Social Security Death Index Interactive Search
Use this site to look up the social security numbers, death date, and location of your relative and also generate the letter you will need for requesting the original application from Social Security Administration in Baltimore, Maryland.

RootsWeb Soundex Converter
The Soundex system is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census. Soundex can also aid genealogists by identifying spelling variations for a given surname.

United States Cemeteries at Cemeteries Junction
This site is a directory of cemeteries in the United States, Canada and Australia.