Last Seen is recovering stories
of families separated in the domestic slave trade. Formerly enslaved people placed these ads hoping to reconnect with family and loved ones for decades following emancipation. The ads serve as testaments to their enduring hope and determination to regain what was taken from them.
Mapping the Ads
Formerly enslaved people placed ads looking for loved ones from all over the United States and sometimes from as far away as Africa. Explore the map to see the locations of those placing ads or locations where ads appeared.Explore the Map
Although there is no way to know exactly how many of the thousands of ads placed after emancipation resulted in reunion, the Last Seen database includes almost 100 ads announcing successful searches and reunions.Explore Family Reunions
Did You Find a Family Member?
“Through one of the ads, I was able to confirm my great great grandmother's father and one of her brothers. The ad also gave me the names of two additional brothers and a sister who placed the ad. What a wonderful resource you have provided. Thank you, thank you!”
Patricia Newby, Great, great granddaughter of Sookie & William TolesShare Your Success Story With Us