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Black Family History

Black Name Meaning
Scottish and English: from Middle English blak(e) ‘black’ (Old English blæc, blaca), a nickname given from the earliest times to a swarthy or dark-haired man.Scottish and English: from Old English blac ‘pale’, ‘fair’, i.e. precisely the opposite meaning to 1, and a variant of Blake 2. Blake and Black are found more or less interchangeably in several surnames and place names.English: variant of Blanc as a Norman name. The pronunciation of the nasalized vowel gave considerable difficulty to English speakers, and its quality was often ignored.Scottish and Irish: translation of various names from Gaelic dubh ‘black’ (see Duff).Danish and Swedish: generally, probably the English and Scottish name, but in some cases perhaps a variant spelling of Blak, a nickname from blak ‘black’.In some cases, a translation of various names meaning ‘black’, for example German and Jewish Schwarz.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

5,297,837 Historical Documents with Black on Ancestry.com
1,179,325 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths
217,117 Military Records
231,524 Immigration Records
986,048 Census and Voter Lists
2,683,823 Member Trees

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Name Distribution of Black Families

  • Number of Black families
     1,128 - 2,253
     377 - 1,127
     1 - 376
     
    from the 1920 US Federal Census Data
  • Number of Black families
     575 - 1,147
     192 - 574
     1 - 191
     
    from the 1891 England and Wales Census Data
  • Number of Black families
     1,823 - 3,643
     608 - 1,822
     1 - 607
     
    from the 1891 Scotland Census Data

Black census records

You can see how Black families moved over time by selecting different Census years.

Census records can tell you little-known facts about your ancestors such as birthplace, occupation and value of personal estate.

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Black Family Origin

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The information for this chart came from the U.S. Immigration Collection at Ancestry.com. You can find out where the majority of the Black families were living before they immigrated to the U.S and learn where to focus your search for foreign records.

Immigration records can tell you an ancestor's name, ship name, port of departure, port of arrival, and destination.

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Black Immigration Information

from the New York Passenger Lists

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You can find out when most of the Black families immigrated to the United States. You can focus your search to immigration records dating from that era.

Immigration records can tell you an ancestor's name, ship name, port of departure, port of arrival and destination.

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Average Life Expectancy for Black

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An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family.

The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

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Black Family Occupations

from 1880 Federal Census Data

Black census records

Census records can offer a lot of little known facts about your Black ancestors, such as occupation.

Occupation can tell you about your ancestors' social status and economic status.

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Black Civil War Service Records

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You can find out if your ancestors came primarily from the North of the South.

Military records can tell you an ancestor's birthplace, occupation, and even physical description.

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