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ProQuest African American Heritage: Black Genesis Book

A guide to all aspects of the ProQuest African American Heritage database.

Browse the Table of Contents

From the main page for Black Genesis, click the Table of Contents link to view the Table of Contents for the title (see Image 2 to the right) and select sections to view.

Keyword Search

In the "Keywords" field on the Black Genesis home page, enter a name or names, location (i.e., city, state, country), date, or type of record of interest (e.g., military records, oral history). Use wildcard (*) or truncation symbols (?), Boolean opertators (AND, OR, AND NOT), and double quotes for two+ word phrases to enhance search precision.


  • "New London County"
  • Tennessee
  • "New York State Library"
  • interview
  • "Northwest Ordinance"
  • 1821 AND Liberia
  • Houst*
  • Nels?n

Things to know about searching Black Genesis:

  • Support for the following Boolean search operators: AND, OR (the default), AND NOT.
    • AND — Example war AND Virginia AND Lincoln will find pages that contain all three words
    • OR — Example war OR Virginia OR Lincoln will find pages that contain any or all of the three words. If you enter more than one word, and do not surround the words with double quotes, OR is the default behavior
    • AND NOT — Example war AND NOT civil will find pages that contain war, but not civil
  • Wildcard support:
    • Use an asterisk — to match zero or more characters. For example:Mer* will find Merril, Merrit, and Meredith.
      You cannot use an asterisk as one of the first three characters of a search term
    • Use a question mark — to match exactly one character. For example:W?lson will find Wilson and Wylson.
      You cannot use a question mark as the first character of a search term.
    • Search for an exact phrase by surrounding terms in double quotes. For example,"Freedman's Bank" will find occurrences of that exact phrase. Without the quotes, your search would return pages that contain either Freedman's or Bank.

About "Black Genesis"

This 'Special Online Edition' of Black Genesis makes locating resources pertaining to slaves and free blacks in the United States easier than ever. And the entire book is available online here to help you research your family history.

Part I provides an overview of general research principles and methodology, while Part II contains a rundown of specific resources for all fifty states, Canada, and the West Indies. Under each location, the information is organized by categories such as Important Dates, State and County Records, and Internet Resources.

Resources described include research guides, published genealogies, community studies on African-American families and, most importantly, original research material that can be found in national, state, county, and city archives, and in historical societies and libraries.

About the Authors

James M. Rose, Ph.D. is the author of a number of books on African-American genealogy. Dr. Rose received his doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in African-American genealogy. He served as a research consultant with Alex Haley on the Kinte Library Project, a forerunner of Haley's Roots.

Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG. is Academic Director of University Residencies for Walden University and the editor of Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources (3rd ed.), as well as co-editor of Black Genesis. For over 30 years she has been active in higher education, particularly for adult learners and genealogical endeavors.

Black Genesis views

Image 1: Home page


Image 2: Table of Contents page

Image 3: Keyword Serch results page