Smith, amateur historian, and Croom, author of several genealogy books, offer a helpful resource for overcoming the particular challenges and obstacles faced by African Americans doing genealogical searches. The book provides a three-part approach to researching family history. Part 1 covers the post-Civil War era to the present, showing readers how to search census records and oral histories. Part 2 focuses on pre-Civil War research, and part 3 offers case studies of how three African American families traced their ancestry. Smith and Croom begin by outlining the basic principles of genealogy and advise readers to talk with family elders at reunions and family gatherings. A chapter on special situations regarding black families points to manumission records, free black registers, and tax and land records. Other chapters focus on researching related slaveholding families and post-Civil War mixed-race families. This book, which includes outlines, maps and other materials to assist in research, will be greatly appreciated by black readers searching for their family roots. Vanessa Bush
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About the Author
Franklin Carter Smith has been an avid family historian since 1977, having successfully traced his slave ancestry. His article, "Tracing Your African-American Roots," will appear in Family Tree magazine. Emily Croom is the author of several genealogy titles including Unpuzzling Your Past and The Sleuth Book for Genealogists.