The African American Civil War Memorial Museum (AACWM) offers visitors an opportunity to learn about their family members who served in the Civil War. We provide information on how to find artifacts, databases, websites, and more. Check out our tips and resources below.
Tips for Getting Started:
The following documents will assist you in organizing your family’s ancestry and locating records online.
This pedigree chart records ancestors' information and provides a basic overview of your family tree.
Each piece of information concerning a pedigree ancestor and his/her family is placed on this worksheet, offering you a glimpse of more complete family units at a glance. Ancestry.com provides the Family Group Sheet.
Please visit Ancestry.com to access more documents to assist you with your search.
The following websites offer guidance on how to access online records. However, it’s important to note that all pension records are currently unavailable as digital copies.
The National Archives is a repository of all documents and materials the United States Federal government created. You can view original copies of military, pension, and census records.
The National Archives has different locations and collections that can assist you in your genealogy research. Please visit their website before planning your visit.
The repository of congressional documents at the Library of Congress has a vast holding of documents that depict American culture and history.
The library’s prints and photographs division contains one of the largest collections of photographs of African American Civil War soldiers. Many items, such as newspapers, laws, and interviews of formerly enslaved people at the library, can assist you in your genealogical research.
Fold3 provides convenient access to U.S. Military records, photos, and personal documents of service members. Unfortunately, many pension records aren't yet available in digital format.
Fold3 also has a pension index available online. There is a vast collection of online records, including census records and city directories, to preview during your research. Some records on this site are free to view, and some require a subscription fee.
Family Search is a genealogy organization supported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The platform provides online access to records and resources from repositories worldwide. Their records include billions of names spanning across hundreds of collections, including vital, probate, land, military, census, and more.
All records in their collections are free to view.
Ancestry.com provides access to billions of online census, vital, probate, military, and newspaper records. The website has an extensive African American collection that includes information on the United States Colored Troops, Regular Cavalry Regiments (Buffalo Soldiers), U.S. Southern Claims Commissions (Freedmen's Bureau Records), slave ads and abstracts, slave owner petitions, and U.S. interviews with formerly enslaved people.
The site requires a subscription fee to view records.
Nadia K. Orton, a professional genealogist and family historian, has documents and research on the African American communities and historic cemeteries in Tidewater, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia, and other areas throughout the American South.