DC African American Genealogical Records in The National Archives

The National Archives contains a number of records of potential interest to researchers tracing African American ancestors who lived in DC:

1. Records of the Board of Commissioners for Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia, 1862-63 (Record Group RG 217) (Microfilm M520)

2. Records of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Relating to Slaves, 1851 - 1863. (RG 21) (M433) This includes emancipation papers, 1862-63, manumission papers, 1857-63, and fugitive slave case papers.

3. Slave manumission records for 1792-1821, are contained in the Land and Property Records (RG 351), also at the National Archives. The records are part of the original deed books. These are not indexed and the original records are very fragile. Therefore, it is best to look first in the type-written copies of the deeds, made by the WPA in the 1930's-40's. These are kept by the DC Govt., in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, 441 4th St., NW, Tel: (202) 727-5374.

4. Records of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874. There are two sets of records: (1) Register of signatures of depositors in branches (2) Index of branch deposit ledgers.

5. The Slave Schedules for the DC Censuses are on the following microfilm rolls: 1850 Census: Microfilm 437, Roll 57. 1860 Census: Microfilm 653, Roll 105.