Thank you to Margaret Jerrido and Dr. Judith Giesberg for showcasing their collaborate project Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery. Several years in the making, Last Seen is a searchable database of “Wanted” ads from nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers, focusing on slaves and former slaves. These documents contain wonderful nuggets of information for anyone conducting genealogical research with slave ancestry as well as highlight the importance of reuniting families for African Americans in the decades after Emancipation.
For example, here is an ad from the Philadelphia Times from July 8, 1889 for woman from Red Bank, NJ looking for her son:
One of the great aspects of Last Seen is that is a free database; no payments or subscription fees required. As such, the team behind Last Seen relies on the help of thousands of people who volunteer their time to transcribe the ever-growing collection of records. If you would like to sign-up to be a transcriber, please visit http://informationwanted.org/sign-up.
Another great feature of Last Seen is the geographical overlay of all of the records. Here is a screenshot of the Eastern Seaboard, showcasing many records and their corresponding locations:
If you have any questions about the project, records, or any other aspect of Last Seen, please complete the form at http://www.informationwanted.org/contact.