African American Roots: A Historical Perspective

African American Roots: A Historical Perspective

Course Overview

African American Roots: A Historical Perspective begins with an overview of how to conduct genealogical research and the Genealogical Proof Standard. It then examines the role of Africans and their descendants in the North American colonies, the growth of slavery, emancipation, and subsequent events. You will learn how to trace an ancestor using records from colonial times through the twentieth century that pertain to slavery, censuses, vital records, the Freedman’s Bureau, and military and civil service records.

Author: Janice Lovelace, PhD
Prerequisites: None
Course: Online, cloud based
Price: NGS Members $75 Non-members $100

Course Description

In African American Roots: A Historical Perspective, you will learn how to locate records for ancestors of African descent beginning with colonial times. Military records may be available starting with the Revolutionary War and through the Vietnam War. You will learn how to find Reconstruction-era records, including Freedman’s Bureau records. Ancestors may also be traced through records related to voting, land ownership, census, vital records, church membership, sharecropping, the WPA, the CCC, and railroads.

The course is divided into seven modules, which include readings, web links, and self-correcting quizzes as well as a bibliography. A full syllabus is provided to course registrants. The course modules are as follows.

  • Module 1—Getting Started
  • Module 2—Colonial Times (pre-1776 Revolutionary War)
  • Module 3—Revolutionary War to pre-Civil War
  • Module 4—1860-1900: Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow Segregation
  • Module 5—Early Twentieth Century through World War II
  • Module 6—Mid-twentieth Century: The Road to Equal Rights
  • Module 7—DNA
  • Bibliography

Genealogical records are referenced in each module pertinent to that time period or topic.

About the Author

Author Janice LovelaceJanice Lovelace, PhD (psychology), has more than thirty years of experience in genealogical research and has presented nationally on methodology, DNA, and ethnic minority genealogy.


Continuing Genealogical Studies NGS Members Non-Members
African American Roots: A Historical Perspective $75 $100
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Since the online courses under the Continuing Genealogical Studies category are cloud-based, you can take the course from home or anywhere at any time. You need either a computer or tablet with an internet connection to access the lessons, examples, exercises, and quizzes. No software or material is loaded onto your computer or tablet.

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NGS grants a license to an individual to take the course shown above. This grants the individual a personal, nonexclusive, nontransferable right to the course materials for that student’s personal educational use only. All students work independently.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Course?

The Continuing Genealogical Studies series courses have no set time or date for attendance. These online courses are geared toward individuals who have schedules that are varied and may include work, volunteer, and personal demands. You prioritize your time management and your learning, so your course work can be scheduled at your own pace.

Upon registration, you have access to the course for six months from the date of registration. If you need extra time, a one-time extension of three months is granted by contacting the NGS Course Administrator.

When Can I Start the Course?

Within three business days, you receive two separate emails, one that confirms your registration and one that provides log in instructions.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

All purchases of courses are final. No refunds or credits are available.


Here is a link to the Continuing Genealogical Studies: FAQs. If you have further questions, please contact the NGS Course Administrator.