Welcome to the International African American Museum! Advanced timed tickets are required for all visitors. Popular dates and times may be sold out.
14 Wharfside StreetCharleston, SC 29401
Museum open 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:00 PM) Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday.
IAAM will challenge, illuminate, inspire and, ultimately, will move people to action.
14 Wharfside Street — Charleston, SC 29401
Aug 10, 2017
You can discern a lot about the life of your ancestor from the descendants of those formerly enslaved that lived in communities that they established. If you are not fortunate enough to know of living descendants or surviving communities with which to start, search the following resources that mention the locality where your ancestor lived and names of people that lived in those areas:
One of the best tools for searching historical documents, family histories, and personal histories is ArchiveGrid which “helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.” An unbelievable number of resources documenting the communities of formerly enslaved people and their descendants are available through 1,000 different institutions.
The following records were discovered by searching ArchiveGrid using the search terms: “South Carolina, slave, lowcountry”
ArchiveGrid has catalogued records from each of the Southern states were slavery existed. Search the database for resources in the area where your ancestor lived and for institutions that were important to them such as churches and schools. It may be even more beneficial to research the records of the family or individual who enslaved them.
You can learn a lot about the local resources of an area through the library. Search the library catalog using keywords like genealogy, land records, probate records, wills. Some of the resources may not circulate, but you will discover books that may be available to you locally, through interlibrary loan, or on Amazon.com for a reasonable price. If you are fortunate, you will find the contact information or a chat room on the library website where you can request someone to check the index for your ancestor’s surname.
In the Charleston County Public Library (SC) you can perform two different searches. Enter “Gullah” in the search field at the top of the page. Click “Search.” In the search results, you will find the article, “Gullah Heritage.” You can also search the CCPL Catalog for books about Gullah heritage.
Now search the catalog for Morris Brown AME. This leads you to a souvenir booklet on the church. Traditionally, a souvenir or anniversary book contains church history and the history of pioneer members of the congregation.
Even if you feel you have exhausted all the resources you are familiar with, it does no harm to widen your search to include resources that you may discover through ArchiveGrid or the local library.
Take a moment to search ArchiveGrid and the catalog of the local library where your ancestor lived for resources that may document your ancestors and the community where they lived. Tell us about the resources that you discover as a reply to the Facebook post for this article.
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