The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides many resources to help you research your roots and discover your family history.
Family History Centers
African American Research Guide
The Freedmans Bank Records
Family Search Web site
The 1880 Census
PAF Software Free Download
PAF Companion Print Software Free Download
1) The Church operates family history centers all over the world.
These family history centers are open to all who want to do research. It doesn’t matter if you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. In fact, many of the volunteers who work at the centers, and most of the visitors who use the centers are not LDS. Use of the center is free.
To find the family history center that is closest to you, click here: Find a Local Family History Center
2) Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A African American 1870 to Present
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a publication entitled: Finding Records of Your Ancestors, Part A African American 1870 to Present This publication explains the best ways to search public records to find African American ancestors as well as U.S. ancestors of any heritage. Covering 1870 – present, it explains the most useful records for that time frame, provides an introduction to basic research tools and strategies for finding records that can be used by all U.S. genealogists, and gives a case study that illustrates each step of the research process.
To order this valuable product, click on the link below. The cost of this publication is $5.25
Click Here to Order
3) The Freedman’s Bank
The Freedman’s Bank was created to assist newly freed slaves during and after the Civil War. The records cover the time period from about 1864 to 1871 and document the names and family relationships of those who used the bank. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has digitized this record and made it available on a CD. This is a very valuable resource for African Americans to find information about their families.
To read more about this CD and to find out how to order it click here: Freedman Bank Records
4) Family Search
One of the best Web sites for family history work is maintained by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it is provided as a free resource. To visit this Web site, click here: http://www.familysearch.org
5)The 1880 Census
The 1880 census is one of the best sources for finding black ancestors, and only the second census where blacks were listed as people and not property.
6) Download Personal Ancestral File 5.2 Software FREE.
Personal Ancestral File 5.2 (build 220.127.116.11) is a new Windows®-based version of one of the most widely used genealogical management programs for home computers. The new software program can be downloaded free from the Internet. PAF 5.2 does not provide genealogical data. Instead, it helps users organize their family history records. It can produce, either on screen or on paper, family histories, pedigree charts, family group records, and other reports to help users in their search for missing ancestors.
This version includes changes to the individual record to accommodate the wide variety of naming conventions used throughout the world. This version will convert PAF 3.0 and 4.0 data files to its improved file format. PAF 5.2 is available on compact disc.
- Features allow users to:
- Type each person’s information only once.
- Link individuals to families.
- New: Type names and places using characters from any language.
- New: Create templates to customize data entry.
- Print pedigrees, family groups, or lists.
- Track your research sources.
- Use photos, sound clips, video, and notes to add interest and value.
- Search, find, and correct information.
- View family information in different ways.
- Match/merge duplicate entries.
- Filter searches.
- Share your information with others.
- New: View screens and print reports in either English, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Swedish.
To Download the Software Click Here.
7) Download Personal Ancestral File Companion Software FREE.
Personal Ancestral File Companion 5.1.3 Evaluation Version prints quality pedigree charts, family group records, ancestor charts, descendant charts, hourglass charts, fan charts, bow tie charts, kinship reports, descendant reports, and narrative reports. It tiles multiple pages to form large wall charts, and it can print photos in many charts. Its Preview and Publish to PDF features let you preview charts and save them in Adobe® PDF format. The Compare feature finds individuals in the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) Master Index who may match those in your PAF file. (You must have a copy of the PRF Master Index for this feature.) You can run Personal Ancestral File (PAF) without exiting Personal Ancestral File Companion. The program can be used with versions 3.x, 4.x, and 5.x of Personal Ancestral File. NOTE: This is a printing program. You cannot add additional data to your existing data files using Personal Ancestral File Companion.
This software download is a limited evaluation version of Personal Ancestral File Companion 5.1.3. This version will print enough of the various reports to allow you to evaluate the features of the program. It may limit the number of generations in a report or other functions of the program.