Tracing Your African American Roots in Delaware

Black Women in Delaware’s History – She was called Betty. Betty was one of hundreds of Africans who were transported to America in the 1600s and 1700s to become slave laborers in the little colony then known as the “Three Lower Counties of Delaware.”

Diamonds of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore: Seven Black Men of Distinction – Several outstanding black men who served as leaders from the pulpit in Delaware were Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, and Peter Spencer. There were also exemplary leaders from business, politics, medicine, and education.

Mighty Oaks: Five Black Educators – Five Delaware citizens–Edwina B. Kruse, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Dr. W. C. Jason, Pauline A Young, and George A. Johnson–for a period of almost 100 years (1866 to 1959) directed and shepherded the education of African American youth in Delaware.

Abraham Shadd – Prominent historical figure whose accomplishments include, conductor on the Underground Railroad at his homes (stations) in both Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Friends of the African Union Church Cemetery – United States Colored Troops (USCT) buried in this historic cemetery

Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church – The genesis of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), which today numbers over 2.5 million members, can be traced to a clearing in the Delaware woods in the year 1777. To that sylvan setting an itinerant Methodist preacher came, spreading the gospel to a group of slaves, among whom was a 17-year-old field hand named Richard Allen.

Black Americans in Delaware – The purpose of this essay is to provide a general overview of the historical experience of African Americans in Delaware. A chronological pattern has divided the discussion into four historical periods: 1639-1787; 1787-1865; 1865-1930; and 1930-the present.

African-American Civil War Soldiers & Sailors

African American Warriors – Links to surname databases related to several wars

The Colored Patriots of The American Revolution

Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware. – The history of the free African American community as told through the family history of most African Americans who were free in the Southeast during the colonial period.

African-American Surnames Database

Featured Link

Ancestry.com Slave Narratives
Perhaps no other resource approaches the range of human experience found in Ancestry.com’s Slave Narratives. This collection of interviews stands in contrast to other slave narratives that appear in most literature anthologies which were written by the rare few who, against staggering odds, had become literate. This database provides a more poignant picture of what it was to live as a slave in the American South. Taken from The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography, this collection is the most complete available picture of the African-American slavery experience. There is simply no other historical document quite like it. The collection contains over 20,000 pages of type-scripted interviews with more than 3,500 former slaves collected over a ten year period.