Uncovering the Past: Tracing Financial Records of Formerly Enslaved Persons



Interpreting Financial Records and Understanding Economic Lives

of Formerly Enslaved Individuals

Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough, Genealogist



Module1: Introduction and Historical Context

Lesson 1.1: Overview of Slavery and Emancipation in the United States

Lesson 1.2: Economic benefits of maintaining enslaved African Americans

Lesson1.3: Financial records in genealogical research


Module 2: Financial Records

Lesson 2:1 Freedmen’s Bank

Lesson 2:2 Labor contracts and employment

Lesson 2:3 Land and property

Lesson 2:4 Taxes

Lesson 2:5 Probate and wills


Module 3: Tips on Research Techniques and Tools

Lesson 3:1 Libraries and other online resources

Lesson 3:2 Census data and vital records

Lesson 3:3 Archives and other databases

Lesson 3:4 Oral histories and interviews

Module 4: Case Studies

Lesson 4:1 Case Study: Tracing a family through Freedmen’s Bank Records

Lesson 4:2 Case Study: Land Ownership, Property Taxes, Wills, Probates


Module 5: Bonus!

Lesson 5: 1 Your Family Financial Research

5:1a Sharing ancestry with family and community

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