“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!

Recently Added Items

Sophia Brown searching for her relatives

Sun. New York NY. Sep 9 1888.jp2

Sophia Brown, daughter of Harriet King and Isham King, was sold from Virginia to Mississippi.

W.H.H. Allen (formerly named General William Henry Harrison) searching for his mother

Highland Weekly News. Hillsboro OH. Oct 30 1873.jp2

W.H.H. Allen [William Henry Harrison Allen], from Union, Breckenridge County, KY, searching for his mother (her name not given)

Lillian S. Clayton searching for former slaves of William W. Standley

Richmond Times-Dispatch Sep 15 1916.jp2

Searching for former slaves of William W. Standley of Port Royal. They were "sold without owner's consent, 1859."