“We all have a past, we all have a history; some of us just know more about it than others. And it was my great lament that I didn’t know as much about my past as I did everybody else’s.”
--Peter Gomes, Theologian and Pastor

 “A lot has been stolen from Black Americans. A lot has been hidden from Black Americans. And so there is always a longing to know who you are and where you come from.”
--Kathleen Henderson, College Administrator

“It’s like the adopted kid that visits the birth parents. No matter how good their upbringing was, they still want a little closure to see where they’re from and where they’re going.”
--Chris Rock, Comedian, Actor, and Producer

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 taken out by former slaves searching for long lost family members. The ads taken out in black newspapers mention family members, often by name, and also by physical description, last seen locations, and at times by the name of a former slave master. 

You can help bring this new powerful genealogical tool to life by transcribing these ads!

Make your donation here to ensure this important work continues.  

Recently Added Items

Lucy Smith is searching for her father, William Smith

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Lucy Smith, of Richmond, Virginia, is searching for her father, who was at Fort Smith, Arkansas, until April 1898.

Wm. G. Wilson searching for Miss Annie Tucker's parents

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Tucker died in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1899. Wilson is trying to send Tucker's life insurance payment to her parents, in Lunenburg County, Virginia.…

Mrs. Jane Wilson searching for her brothers and sisters

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Wilson "left" her siblings in Gibson County, Tennessee. The family name was Sharp.