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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

The African American Family's Guide To Tracing Our Roots by Roland Barksdale-Hall. 929.108996 B256

African American Genealogical Sourcebook edited by Paula K. Byers. 929.108996 A258

Afro-American Genealogy Sourcebook by Tommie Morton Young. 929.1 Y77

Black Genealogy by Charles L. Blockson with Ron Fry. 929.1 B651 1991

Black Genealogy - How to Begin by James D. Walker. 929.1 W181

Black Genesis: A Resource Book for African-American Genealogy, 2nd ed., by James M. Rose & Alice Eichholz. 929.1028 R796 2003

Black Roots: A Beginner's Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree by Tony Burroughs. 929.108996 B972

Ethnic Genealogy: A Research Guide edited by Jessie Carney Smith; foreword by Alex Haley. 929.1 E84

Family Pride: The Complete Guide to Tracing African-American Genealogy by Donna Beasley. 929.108996 B368

Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity by Dee Parmer Woodtor. 929.108996 W898

Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 929.1072 G258

Finding Your African American Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide by David T. Thackery. 929.108996 T363

Finding Your People: An African-American Guide to Discovering Your Roots by Sandra Lee Jamison. 929.108996 J32

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors: How to Find and Record Your Unique Heritage edited by Franklin Carter Smith, Emily Anne Croom. 929.108996 S647

Guide to Tracing Your African Ameripean Civil War Ancestor, 3rd ed. by Jeanette Braxton Secret. 929.108996 B826 1997

How to Trace Your African-American Roots: Discovering Your Unique History by Barbara Thompson Howell. 929.108996 H859

Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide With Case Studies by David H. Streets. 929.1 S915

A Student's Guide to African American Genealogy by Anne E. Johnson and Adam Merton Cooper. 929.108996 J66

Tracing African-American Roots by Dee Clem. 929.108996 C625


African American Genealogy: A Bibliography and Guide to Sources by Curt Bryan Witcher. 929.108996 W819

African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography by James P. Danky, editor; Maureen E. Hady, associate editor. 015.73 A258

African Americans: A Mississippi Source Book compiled by Anne L. Webster. 929.108996 W377

Afro-American Family History at The Newberry Library: A Research Guide and Bibliography by David T. Thackery. 016.9293 T363

Bibliography of Sources for Black Family History in the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Department compiled by Curt Bryan Witcher. 016.9293 W819 1989

Black Family Research: Records of Post-Civil War Federal Agencies at the National Archives compiled by Reginald Washington. [2006 edition] [2010 edition] [PDF version of 2010 edition online from the National Archives]

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. 050 B916

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.]. 050 W797B 1979

Generations Past: A Selected List of Sources for Afro-American Genealogical Research compiled by Sandra M. Lawson. 929.3 L423


The Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World by consultant editors Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews, and Maria Polinsky; foreword by Jean Aitchison. 409 A881  & Rev ed. 409 A881 2003

A Genealogical and Historical Atlas of the United States of America by E. Kay Kirkham. 911.73 K59

Historical Atlas of Africa by general editors, J.F. Ade Ajayi & Michael Crowder; geographical editor, Paul Richards; linguistic editor, Elizabeth Dunstan, cartographic designer, Alick Newman. 911.6 H673


AAHGS News: The Bi-monthly Newsletter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. Washington, D.C.: The Society, 1999-2014.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Journal. Washington, D.C.: Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, 1980-2008.

Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter. Washington, D.C. : The Society, 1981-1988.


The Afro-American Newspaper: An Inventory by Steven C. Newsome. 016.071 N558

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. 011.35 C187

Milwaukee African American Newspapers and Magazines at MPL, 1916-present [PDF]


A to Zax: A Comprehensive Dictionary for Genealogists & Historians by Barbara Jean Evans. 929.103 E924 1995

Abbreviations & Acronyms: A Guide for Family Historians compiled by Kip Sperry. 929.103 S751

Ancestry's Concise Genealogical Dictionary compiled by Maurine and Glen Harris. 929.1 H315

Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery edited by Randall M. Miller and John David Smith. 326.973 D554

Legal Terms for the Genealogist by Thomas Vance Little. 929.03 L778


Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience by editors Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates., 1st ed. (1999) 305.896 A2575 (1 vol.) & 2nd ed. (2005) 305.896 A2575 2005 (5 vols.)

Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture: The Black Experience in the Americas by Colin A. Palmer, editor in chief. 305.896 E58 2006 (6 vols.)

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History edited by Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West. 305.896 E58 (5 vols.)

Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Supplement by supplement general editor Jack Salzman; associate editors, Greg Robinson, Thaddeus Russell. 305.896 E58 2001 SUPP

Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage by Susan Altman; special writing and research by Joel Kemelhor. 1st ed. (1997) 973.0496073 A468 & 2nd ed. (2000) 973.0496073 A468 2000 & 2nd ed., paperback (2001) 973.0496073 A468 2001

Encyclopedia of Black America [edited by] W. Augustus Low, Virgil A. Clift. 305.8 E56

Lexicon of Afro-American History by Robert R. Davis, Jr. 301.451003 D263

The Negro Almanac: A Reference Work on the Afro-American compiled and edited by Harry A. Ploski and James Williams. 305.8 N393 1989

Reference Library of Black America edited by Jeffrey Lehman. 305.896 R332 2003 (5 vols.)

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.

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