Welcome to the Black Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Black surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Black ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Black Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Black family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Black ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Black Ancestors
Many things can go wrong when a record collection is indexed. If you're having diffculty finding Black ancestors in a particular database at one site, try finding it on another and compare the results. If you want to know What information is given in U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules about Black citizens from the past?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Black
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Black records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Black family history resource today.
Origins of the Black Surname
There are no clear, concise answers to why or how one of your Black ancestors took on the surname. It may have been based on their occupation or a distinguising physical trait. Were you aware that Black is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
Black DNA Projects
Don't believe the hype! When DNA testing was first made available for genealogical purposes, some companies boasted how it could solve all your Black family tree mysteries. DNA testing can be a useful tool, when applied properly to a given research issue. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Black research, read "DNA Research and Your Family's History".
Black Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your Black ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Finding The Family History" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Black family history.
Networking with Black Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "The Art of Posting Queries" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Black queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Black ancestors.
Black Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Black was the 149th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Black Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Black, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Upcoming Black Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Black booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "A Great Way to Unite a Newly-Found Family" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Black reunion.