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African American Resources for Ohio

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Ohio. Auditor of State. Special Enumeration of Blacks Immigrating to Ohio, 1861-1863. (Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Historical Society, 198-.) FHL film 1688779. - contains indexes by immigrants' names, previous residences, counties in which the lived, and questionable names. It also includes original returns by county.
  • Turpen, Joan. Register of Black, Mulatto and Poor Person in four Ohio Counties, 1791-1861. (Clinton, Highland, Logan, and Ross Counties) FHL 977.1 F28r
  • Ohio African American Genealogy has sources to assist you in your search for your ancestors.
  • African American Cemeteries online
  • An Act to Regulate Black and Mulatto Persons

Research Strategy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

African Americans make up a rich part of Ohio's History. The The Ohio Constitution of 1803 outlawed slavery, this was in accordance to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. In 1804, Ohio passed Black Laws (sometimes referred to as Black Codes). These laws stipulated that only freedmen with a valid certificate of freedom (obtained from the court) could reside in Ohio. They also had to register their names in the county clerk's office of where they reside, which cost a small fee. Furthermore, freedmen could only be employed if they had a certificate proving their freedom. Anyone who harbored an escaped slave would be fined.

By the early 1800s, a settlement of African Americans was located in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. This area was controlled by the Wyandot, a Native American tribe. While some of these settlers were free, others were runaway slaves seeking safety. See Upper Sandusky, Ohio for more information.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Emancipation Records[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Plantation[edit | edit source]

Oral Histories[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Reconstruction Records[edit | edit source]

Freedman’s Bank[edit | edit source]

An excellent source is the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (visit the African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records page to learn more). This company was created to assist African American soldiers of the Civil War and freed slaves. Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company signature cards or registers from 3 March 1865 to 25 July 1874 may list the name of the depositor, date of entry, age, birthplace, residence, complexion, name of employer or occupation, wife or husband’s name, death information, children’s names, name of father and mother, brothers’ and sisters’ names, remarks, and signature. Early books sometimes contained the name of the former master or mistress and the name of the plantation. Copies of death certificates were sometimes attached to the entries. The collection is organized alphabetically by state, then city where the bank was located, then date the account was established, then account number.

Online collections of Freedman's Bank records:

Freedmen's Bureau[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by the US government in 1865 until 1872 to assist former slaves in the southern United States. The Bureau created a wide variety of records extremely valuable to genealogists. Such documents include censuses, marriage records, and medical records. These records often include full names, former masters and plantations, and current residences.[1] For 1865 and 1866, the section on abandoned and confiscated lands includes the names of the owners of the plantations or homes that were abandoned, confiscated, or leased. It gives the county and location, a description of the house, the number of acres owned, and the number of cabins of former slaves. These films do not appear to contain the names of former slaves.

To find Freedmen's Bureau records:

Other FamilySearch collections not included:

Visit the African American Freedmen's Bureau Records page to learn more about utilizing these records.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Slavery Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

The Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1872) was created by the US government to assist former slaves in the southern United States. One of their responsibilities was to record the marriages (past and present) of the former slaves. These records can be found in the collections below and include the lists of marriages that occurred previously, marriage certificates, and marriage licenses. The information contained on the records may include the name of the husband and wife/groom and bride, age, occupation, residence, year or date of marriage, by whom, number of children, and remarks.

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Archives and Libraries[edit | edit source]

African American in Ohio at ArchivesDigital Collection - Genealogy related information for various States and Provinces is available from a variety of servers which may be official government services, genealogy society efforts, or maintained by interested individuals. A digital archive of materials related to African American in the Ohio.

National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center
1350 Brush Row Rd
PO Box 578
Wilberforce, OH 45384-0578
Phone: 937.376.4944
Email: InfoNAAMCC@ohiohistory.org

Ohio History Connection: African Americans in Ohio
800 E. 17th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Phone: 614.297.2300
Email: info@ohiohistory.org

Societies[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "African American Records: Freedmen's Bureau," "African American Heritage," National Archives, accessed 11 May 2018.


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