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News: Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery

New Primary Resource: Last Seen

Last Seen is a project of the Graduate Program of the Department of History at Villanova University in collaboration with Mother Bethel AME Church. This digital project uses Omeka.

From Last Seen website:
Last Seen offers genealogists and researchers a new tool for telling family stories of separation and survival during slavery, emancipation, and Civil War. The site offers easy access to thousands of “Information Wanted” advertisements, like this one, taken out by former slaves and United States Colored Troops searching for family members lost by sale, flight, or enlistment. The ads mention family members, often by name, and also by physical description, circumstances of separation, last seen locations, and at times by the name of a former slave master. Ads came from every US state and the territories, Canada, Canada West and the West Indies, and advertisers sought information about family members whom they believed might be as far away as Europe and South America. African Americans took out ads in Philadelphia’s Christian Recorder, New Orleans’ Black Republican, Nashville’s the Colored Tennessean, Charleston’s South Carolina Leader, Galveston’s Free Men’s Press, and Cincinnati’s the Colored Citizen. The earliest ads appeared in papers in 1863, and they continued into the twentieth century. Last Seen allows readers to search these ads by proper names, locations, circumstances of separation, military regiments, and events.

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