South Louisiana researcher seeks to preserve records of the slavery era

It is impossible for descendants of African-American slaves to research their family history without encountering the harsh reality their ancestors experienced, a local researcher said.

For instance, looking through the kinds of records others might consult when doing genealogy work — such as birth and death certificates, newspaper obituaries and the like — may offer little help.

That's because during the time the institution was in place, slaves were considered property under the law, said Patricia Whitney, executive director of the Bayou History Center.

"Look at property records, not people records," she said.

Read More: South Louisiana researcher seeks to preserve records of the slavery era

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