Frederick Roots

Official PayPal Seal

African American History of Frederick County, Maryland

FrederickRoots* exists to serve as a resource for researching the history of the African American families of Frederick County, Maryland. Particular emphasis is placed upon the small farming communities of the County. Over the years, our work has revealed that most of the families of these communities have their roots in slavery. A primary mission of this site is to trace those roots back to the first slave who was freed, identifying his or her owner, location, and documents of manumission**.

While a wealth of resources are available for tracing the roots of white families, the sources for black families are much more limited. Some information is accessible, but much is buried. Census records are less complete, official documents are less detailed, and birth/death data are fragmentary. The information on this site is intended to fill a critical gap, and can provide a beginning point for those wishing to learn about the black families of the County. In addition to a genealogical database, the site also contains useful information extracted from the US Census and other sources. While far from complete, these data can provide a beginning point for investigation of more complete sources, either online or in local libraries.




Important New Reference Work:

Manumission Deeds of Frederick County, Maryland 1754 - 1865 (in 2 Volumes)
This online compendium lists the names of 3,874 slaves from 2,376 deeds and contains tables organized by slave name, owner name, andl as a chronological listing. A Notes table provides additional information.
This compendium can be accessed from our Research link in the left menu bar.


Still available:

Commissioner of Slave Statistics Report: Frederick County, Maryland - 1864 by Richard H. Smith, Jr., 2012
    See it at our Bookstore link in the left menu bar.

Support Frederick Roots

Frederick Roots does not charge for assisting folks in their search for their roots. Over the years, we have helped dozens of individuals trace their family line, free of charge. If you would like to contribute to support our work, click on the "Donate" button below and make a contribution to lend a hand in this effort. You need not be a member of PayPal to make a contribution. PayPal will accept credit card donations in any amount, and they will not store your credit card information - a safe, easy, secure way to share in our effort.
• Please note that your donation will show as a contribution to Accomac Roots/CCA, our sister site which has its 501(c)3, tax-exempt status through the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance (CCA). Donations to tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organizations are tax deductable. Please use the "Contact Us" link below if you want additional confirmation of your contribution.




* is a subsidiary of its sister site, AccomacRoots centers on the African American history of Accomack County, Virginia and is affiliated with the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance (CCA), a non-profit (501c3), tax-exempt organization formed to enhance community life on Chincoteague Island and the Eastern Shore by fostering and promoting the growth and vitality of the arts and culture.

** Manumission is the act of freeing a slave, normally either by deed or last will and testament. In many cases, freedom came about as a result of the conclusion of the Civil War.


Alternative email:

Rich Text Format (.rtf) is preferred for document submission


Copyright © Richard H. Smith, Jr.,, 2011