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Africa’s Largest Ancestry DNA Unveiling Takes Place in Ghana as 250 Americans Retrace 400-Year Slave Route

From the GhanaWeb site:

“Some 250 African-Americans gathered at the Cape Coast Castle, Ghana, to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship of enslaved Africans to English North America in 1619.

“While this was ongoing, tens and thousands of African-Americans had assembled at the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, to also commemorate the same activity.

“At an emotional ceremony at the Cape Coast Castle, one of about forty slave castles built in the Gold Coast (Ghana), over 70 families discovered their ancestry during the African Ancestry DNA reveal which is arguably the largest ever in the continent.

Ancestry.com Adds Online 1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedules

According to the announcement from Ancestry.com:

This database details those persons enumerated in the Slave Schedule of the 1850 United States Federal Census, the Seventh Census of the United States. Slaves were enumerated separately during the 1850 and 1860 censuses, though, unfortunately, most schedules do not provide personal names. In most cases, individuals were not named and only details such as age, sex, and color are recorded. However, some enumerators did list the given names of slaves, particularly those over one hundred years of age. These names are generally found in the “name of slave owners” column. The names of owners are recorded. Other questions asked about the slave include whether a fugitive from the state (meaning if the slave had fled and not returned); number manumitted (or freed); and whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic.

Unknown No Longer – a Project at the Virginia Historical Society to Identify Virginians of African Descent

unknown-no-longerIn Virginia, where slavery began in the American colonies in 1619, the Virginia Historical Society has discovered the identities of 3,200 slaves from unpublished private documents, providing new information for today’s descendants in a first-of-its-kind online database. Unknown No Longer is a database that is the latest step by the Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.

The Virginia Historical Society received a $100,000 grant to pore over some of its 8 million unpublished manuscripts — letters, diaries, ledgers, books and farm documents from Virginians dating to the 1600s — and began discovering the long-lost identities of the slaves.

Quoting from the Unknown No Longer Web site: