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Tracing
Your Roots: Who Left My Mother in Foster Care? Tracing Your Roots: Who Left My Mother in Foster Care?

After five wonderful, fun years of helping African Americans find their ancestry on The Root, we are looking forward to carrying on the work of the Tracing Your Roots column through an ongoing collaboration with AmericanAncestors.org by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Our new column will appear on …

Tracing
Your Roots: Where Were My Black Homeowning Ancestors From? Tracing Your Roots: Where Were My Black Homeowning Ancestors From?

Records reveal a proud legacy in Mississippi, yet data shows why we should not be all that surprised.

Tracing Your Roots: Help! My Great-Granddad’s Trail Ran Cold Tracing Your Roots: Help! My Great-Granddad’s Trail Ran Cold

Sometimes, following the paper trail left by a close relative of the person you’re tracing will yield better results.

Tracing Your Roots: Why Did My Family Bury the Past? Tracing Your Roots: Why Did My Family Bury the Past?

Silence shrouded information about a family’s past, and those who could provide answers are deceased. Fortunately, there’s a paper trail.

Tracing Your Roots: My Ancestor Was in Her
Half Sister’s Dowry Tracing Your Roots: My Ancestor Was in Her Half Sister’s Dowry

Families intertwine and seemingly pass back and forth over the color line, complicating efforts to trace their origins.

Tracing Your Roots: Who Were
Our Kin Before Tragedy Struck the Family? Tracing Your Roots: Who Were Our Kin Before Tragedy Struck the Family?

Needing answers after a family was torn asunder by fatal acts of domestic violence.

Tracing
Your Roots: My Adopted Black Daughter Wants to Know Her Origins Tracing Your Roots: My Adopted Black Daughter Wants to Know Her Origins

A white mother and black daughter encounter the genealogical “brick wall” so many people face while researching African-American families during slavery.

Tracing Your Roots: Did
Racism Force My Ancestors to Hide Their Love? Tracing Your Roots: Did Racism Force My Ancestors to Hide Their Love?

Family lore about a great-grandparent’s interracial relationship lines up with clues in census records.

Tracing
Your Roots: When Was My ‘Freedman’ Ancestor Freed? Tracing Your Roots: When Was My ‘Freedman’ Ancestor Freed?

A message board posting listing “freedmen” kin raises questions.

Tracing Your Roots: My
Confederate Ancestor Is on Monuments; Who Did He Own? Tracing Your Roots: My Confederate Ancestor Is on Monuments; Who Did He Own?

The debate over Confederate monuments inspires one woman to find the descendants of people her memorialized ancestor enslaved.

Tracing
Your Roots: Why Free Virginia Blacks Looked Over Their Shoulders Tracing Your Roots: Why Free Virginia Blacks Looked Over Their Shoulders

Finding Virginia forebears who lived uncertain lives in the shadow of the Nat Turner rebellion.

Tracing Your Roots: My Ancestor’s Census Record Is Confusing! Tracing Your Roots: My Ancestor’s Census Record Is Confusing!

Here’s how to approach an unrecognized or illegible notation, as well as missing information, in a record.

Tracing
Your Roots: Who Were My Kin Born During Slavery? Tracing Your Roots: Who Were My Kin Born During Slavery?

Differing surnames and living arrangements complicate the search for the parents of an ancestor born during Reconstruction in North Carolina.

Tracing
Your Roots: Did Grandma Have Creek Indian Roots? Tracing Your Roots: Did Grandma Have Creek Indian Roots?

An ancestor identified as black reportedly spoke a language of the Creek people. The family’s paper trail reflects the complicated history of the American West.

Tracing
Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Freed in a Big Court Case? Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Freed in a Big Court Case?

The largest manumission case in U.S. history led to a unique community in Virginia.

Tracing
Your Roots: How Did My Ancestors Come to Texas? Tracing Your Roots: How Did My Ancestors Come to Texas?

On the trail of a great-great-grandfather from Louisiana who farmed in Texas at the height of Jim Crow.

Tracing Your Roots: Where Was Grandpa Before World War II? Tracing Your Roots: Where Was Grandpa Before World War II?

A town lost to history and a family fracture are among the factors complicating a search for ancestors.

Tracing
Your Roots: DNA Connected Me With White Kin Tracing Your Roots: DNA Connected Me With White Kin

A reader wants to know if and how the black and white branches of his family connected during slavery.

Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Melungeon? Tracing Your Roots: Were My Ancestors Melungeon?

A find in the 1860 census catches a reader by surprise, and points to a possible heritage that is subject to debate.

Tracing
Your Roots: Were My Enslaved Ancestors East African? Tracing Your Roots: Were My Enslaved Ancestors East African?

Separating fact from fiction in a family’s oral tradition.

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