The more of us who take up the Beyond Kin challenge, the faster and more thoroughly we’ll restore the names, families, and stories of generations of African Americans. While the descendants of slaveholders (SHs) are a natural group to take up this task, we encourage any and all who want to participate. Adopt a plantation and get started.
If you descend from enslaved Americans, you will likely want to research a particular name in a particular place. Keep in mind that researching all you can know about the white family is nearly as important to your mission as researching the enslaved persons (EPs).
Follow the instructions in Making the Slave Connection to begin your Beyond Kin relationship.
If you are a genealogist who does not descend from slaveholders (SHs) but wants to adopt an enslaved group to document, we recommend you consider the following:
- Adopt a situation near you, so you can do the most exhaustive possible research and be of help to those at a distance.
- Consider adopting an institution, rather than a family–tapping a much understudied population. Choose an industry, hospital, or university in your area of choice.
- If you live in a former slave state, find a slaveholding (SH) family or institution that records their enslaved persons (EPs) around 1850 or 1860, so that you can match the EPs with African Americans who took last names after they were emancipated.
The reasons-you-should menu
- Descendant of slaveowners, do you still hold the key?
- The records of slaveholders
- The group approach to slave identification
- The rest of the family picture
- The challenge and opportunity of a lifetime
- If you don’t have slaveholding ancestors
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