Greenwich Library Adds African American Heritage Database


Greenwich Library recently added the ProQuest African American Heritage database to its collection of databases that are available remotely with a Greenwich Library card.

ProQuest African American Heritage is a groundbreaking digital resource exclusively devoted to African American family history research. This important genealogy collection was created in partnership with leading African American genealogists and recognized leaders in genealogical information to develop a comprehensive mix of resources, records, and tools specifically pertaining to African Americans.

“We are thrilled to be able to be able to provide this important genealogy tool for our patrons,” said Eric McCarthy, Greenwich Library’s Manager of Resources Management. “This database directly supports research into the genealogy and history of African Americans through sources like census records, birth and death records, freedman and slave records, church records and legal records that are devoted specifically to their family history.”

According to ProQuest, research in this area can be more challenging than other genealogical inquiries because of slavery and the changing legal status of African Americans. ProQuest also connects researchers to a community of experts, whose mentoring and assistance can frequently be the difference between research success and futility.

Dennis Richmond, Jr., the author of new coming-of-age memoir that explores his extended families roots in Greenwich, used computerized databases like this one to trace his roots back to Greenwich. Richmond, Jr. will share his story at a virtual talk on July 28. Visit the Library’s online calendar to register and learn more.

Additional highlights of the ProQuest African American Heritage Database include:

  • A user-friendly interface that combines the best elements of the award-winning HeritageQuest® Online database with new, enhanced navigation and tools.
  • The newest primary source collections include North Carolina cohabitation records, North Carolina and West Virginia marriage records, U.S. Colored Troops Records (1861-1865), and registers of slaves and free persons of color from select states and counties.
  • Unique access to family history books related to African Americans, including titles from Genealogical Publishing Company made available in digital format for the first time ever.
  • Exclusive access to an updated, online edition of Black Genesis—an exhaustive guide that makes locating resources pertaining to slaves and free blacks easier.
  • Exclusive partnership with AfriGeneas—recognized as a leading social networking site devoted to African American genealogy—that provides direct access to expert advice, moderated forums, chats, mailing lists, surname registry, and more.

To access the ProQuest African American Heritage database, visit the Library’s Database webpage and click on the link. Enter your Library bar code for remote, 24/7 access to the database. For questions or more information, call 203- 622-7920 to speak to a Librarian.

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