Editors’ Choice: Last Seen – Finding Family After Slavery

Last Seen offers genealogists and researchers a new tool for telling family stories of separation and survival during slavery, emancipation, and Civil War. The site offers easy access to thousands of “Information Wanted” advertisements, like this one, taken out by former slaves and United States Colored Troops searching for family members lost by sale, flight, or enlistment. The ads mention family members, often by name, and also by physical description, circumstances of separation, last seen locations, and at times by the name of a former slave master. Ads came from every US state and the territories, Canada, Canada West and the West Indies, and advertisers sought information about family members whom they believed might be as far away as Europe and South America.

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