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Heritage Exchange Categories

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Surnames/tags: black_heritage heritage_exchange
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US Black Heritage Project Page

Heritage Exchange Categories

There are 10 categories currently used for the Heritage Exchange Program. See this separate category stream for post-1865 US Black Heritage: US Black Heritage Project Maintenance Categories (please do not add HE categories to people born after 1865).

1. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange]]

Used initially on all newly created slave and slave owner profiles and related space pages. USBH project members check new profiles and pages for completeness, then remove the category.

2. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Linked]]

Used on any slave profile not yet linked to any children.

3. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Linked]]

Used on any slave profile linked to their children. They do not have to be connected to the Global Tree to be in this category.
Exception: when a person died as a child or never had children, they may have this category if they are attached to their parents.

4. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs LNAB]]

Used when the last name is unknown or a placeholder last name has been used. Do not add this category if using the {{Slave LNAB}} template because the template adds the category automatically.(note: that template goes above the Biography heading)

5.[[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Slave Owner Profile]]

Used on any slave profiles or space pages when a slave owner profile has not yet been linked. The slave owner may or may not yet be identified.

6. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Slave Profiles]]

Used on slave owner profiles or space pages when slave profiles need to be created. Hopefully, there will be a list of slaves only on either the slave owner profile or the space page - make sure to check that duplicate profiles aren't created on both.

7. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Slaves Identified]]

Used on slave owner profiles or space pages when a list of unnamed slaves has been created, but they still need to be identified by name.

8. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Status Unknown]]

Used on profiles when an African-American person was born before the civil war, but it is unknown if the person was ever enslaved or lived as a free person. This category alerts people that we might need to look for a slave owner or paperwork for a free person of color.

9. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Space Page]]

Used on slave owner profiles when it is known there are more than 10 slaves to be listed and the page has not yet been created. This page will be used as a slavery workspace.

10. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Plantation Category]]

Used only on Plantation Space Pages when the category has not yet been created for that plantation.

11. [[Category: USBH Heritage Exchange, Needs Plantation Page]]

Used on profiles for slave owners when a plantation has been identified, but a page for that plantation has not yet been created.

USBH Project Links

Email Your Info

  • If you or a friend would like to send us documentation or other information about an enslaved ancestor, just email: wikitrees-usbh-exchange at - replace the at with @

Comments: 6

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I ran across a profile for Alfred Ryas as I was adding sources for Tennessee. had an interesting document called "U.S., Interviews with Formerly Enslaved People, 1936-1938" which mentioned "Alfred" as the father for Peter/Pierre. See

Can someone please check that I categorized it appropriately? - I also added the same graphic for his daughter's existing profile Henriette Ryas Thx Terri

posted by Terri (Hoch) Davis
edited by Terri (Hoch) Davis
Hi Terri - thanks for bringing these profiles to our attention. The categories you have are great, but I'll go ahead and add a few more. I actually found that we have a duplicate set of profiles for these, so I initiated some merges for Alfred and Annie. I'm not sure if the profiles for Harriet are ready to be merged yet - they each have a different spouse/child without enough sources/info to be able to tell if they're really both the same person (i.e. was Alfred and Annie's daughter married to both of these men at different points in her life or is one of these a different Harriet/Henriette Ryas), so for now I set those profiles as an unmerged match. So can you go ahead and approve the merges for Alfred and Annie? Looks like you found some census records we didn't have yet, which is super helpful!
posted by Christy Melick
Got it--so it's kind of an hierarchical thing--if I'm just passing thru, tag #1, if I'm ready to do some digging, remove and choose another more appropriate. Makes sense--thanks for the quick response!
posted by Loretta Buckner
No problem! We'd actually prefer you leave #1 even if you do more in depth work - we have a checklist team that goes through profiles and checks the categorization since even experienced project members sometimes make mistakes or forget a category or two, and that's the category they use to identify profiles to check. That team will remove the category when they're done.
posted by Christy Melick
Hello! I am so happy to see that this project is already organized so well (I've been wondering how to go about such a monumental task). I know of a bunch of slave owner family groups in the Chatham County, NC area, from my own research. My question is: if I were to begin cataloguing the ones that I know of or come across, which would be the best category to add them to? Thinking either 5. or 6. to begin? I have mostly numbers at this point, but a few first names from Wills.

I don't want to go stomping through doing things y'all don't want,but I'd love to help with what I can!

posted by Loretta Buckner
edited by Loretta Buckner
Hi Loretta! Thanks so much for your interest in documenting this information. The most important category to add to any profile of a slave owner or enslaved person would be #1 - this gets the profile on our radar and a project member will eventually come by and make sure it has the rest of the categories and formatting it needs. If you just want to add that one, that would be great! If it's not somewhere else in the biography, leave a research note with the sources related to slavery.

If you want to add some of the other categories and you're documenting the slave owners, #6 would be the correct category to add to let us know that we need to create profiles for the enslaved persons in the documents you cite on the slave owner's profile. If the source just has numbers and not names, #7 would be the one to add.

posted by Christy Melick