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Kentucky African American Genealogy

African American Genealogy online research is much more difficult due to the scant nature of record keeping for African American’s prior to the Civil War. This is the reason for creating a separate section for African Americans much like we have for Native Americans who’s research can also be hampered by the available records. The links below provide an accurate reflection of what is available to be searched for African American genealogy.

Conducting successful African American genealogical research can be a challenging adventure. In recent years, the challenge has been lessened and the adventure heightened by the growing body of publications relating to this ethnic group. Special-interest groups and genealogical societies nationwide are publishing key guides, new bibliographies, and important how-to books. Before delving into published sources, however, it is always important to pause long enough to organize one’s own personal papers and review standard research methodology.

Searching for African American families involves two distinct research approaches. These approaches correspond to the distinct change in the legal status of African Americans in the United States before and after the Civil War. Genealogical techniques used to track slave families before the war are necessarily quite different than those used for white or free African Americans; however, research conducted on African Americans after the war usually involves the same types of records as those used for whites.


1 Comment

  1. Looking for info on this family..
    Joe Pelman (Pellman)
    Birth: Mar. 24, 1892 Garrard County
    Death: Feb. 23, 1976 Jessamine County
    burial: Locust Grove, Jessamine County

    Death Cert reads son of Ed and Laura Pelman

    There is a marriage record in Boyle County which I believe may be them..but the last name has been copied as Penman…Ed Penman married Laura Evans Sept 1, 1890

    In 1880 census Edward Pelman was a stable boy in Boyle Co., Ky born about 1868

    Interestingly there is an Edward Penman buried at Eastern State Hospital Cemetery in Lexington..dates fit..
    Birth: Jun., 1869
    Death: Oct. 7, 1918
    Name: Laura Evans
    Age: 6
    Birth Year: 1874
    Birthplace: Kentucky
    Home in 1880: Lincoln, Kentucky
    Race: Black
    Gender: Female
    Relation to Head of House: Daughter
    Marital Status: Single
    Father’s Name: George Evans
    Father’s Birthplace: Kentucky
    Mother’s Name: Louisa Evans
    Mother’s Birthplace: Kentucky
    Household Members Name Age
    father George Evans 27
    mother Louisa Evans 23
    siblings Martha Evans 13
    William Evans 10
    Alex Evans 8
    Benjamin Evans 3


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