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Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture: Genealogy

This guide will provide researchers and visitors to the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture information about our collections, on genealogy, and about local attractions relating to Blacks/African Americans.

About Page

This page will serve as a guide to resources held at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture as well as general information that will helpful for genealogists.  The Avery Research Center's staff does not do genealogy research for patrons. Additionally, we do not recommend a particular genealogist. 

Charleston Area Institutions

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Genealogy Societies/Organizations

Selected Manuscript Collections

For a full listing of our collections please see here

For a listing of our digital collections please see here

Getting Started

Here are a few steps to get you started

  1. Interview the living oldest relative in your family
  2. Interview your immediate family members
  3. Interview your family friends 
  4. Fill in the information to your family tree
  5. Search online databases (i.e. Census Records, Ancestry, FamilySearch, and
  6. Visit archival repositories and/or libraries to verify, clarify, and fill in blanks  



The Association for the Study of African American Life and History in collaboration with Archival Alchemy® presents, The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling. This national program aims to demonstrate how oral storytelling, genealogy, and familial archiving can serve as a return and a way forward. We want to empower individuals to reunite with their families to uncover more about themselves, and to uplift the ordinary and extraordinary folx within their unique heritage. The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling includes pre-recorded workshops and Q&A sessions, as well as panel discussions. This program highlights the legacy of Black family reunions by encouraging families of all backgrounds to build and renew their own familial traditions and stories.

This programming is sponsored by New York Life.

To learn more about The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling please visit and follow the #BlackFamilyASALH on social media!

Below is a playlist of the videos

Are you new to African American genealogy and family history? Are you having a hard time sifting through all the noise online? Here's a quick video to help you escape some of the most common misconceptions about this line of research and how you can start to more accurately tell our stories.

Other Videos

Library Resources

These resources may be at the Avery Research Center or at Addlestone Library. 

Other Guides of Interest


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Aaisha Haykal
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
125 Bull Street
Charleston, SC 29494

Genealogy and Ancestry Websites

Professional/Certified Genealogists

If you cannot get to the location where your ancestors lived or you have hit a road block, it may be good to connect with a professional and certified genealogist.