USBH Family Builders Applicants

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: black_heritage
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WikiTree US Black Heritage Project

This information is for applicants asking WikiTree's US Black Heritage Project to work on their family trees. If you haven't already done so, please complete the Family Builder form to request help.

We look forward to building
and extending your family trees
to help you more easily connect
and collaborate with family!


What We Do

  1. Build or extend your family tree with US Black heritage to the 2nd great grandparent generation (if enough information is available).
  2. Help you transfer existing trees from another platform.
  3. Add your tree to WikiTree (we will add the main couples for each generation and help you add the siblings of each person based on the sources we will give you).
  4. Help you make the best use of WikiTree.
  5. Show you how to connect with others at WikiTree to further your research.
  6. We help you share your family tree information, while addressing your privacy concerns.

Note: Black heritage is defined as ancestors who have been in the USA for several generations and people who likely have ancestors who were enslaved in the USA. Our project doesn't have the expertise to build African or African Diaspora family trees outside the USA.

What We Don't Do

  • We cannot help you with DNA questions.
  • We cannot help you find where the African ancestry discovered in your DNA comes from.
  • Everything we do is based on existing documents. If you are uncertain of the identity of a birth parent, please see the Adoption Angels Project who may be able to help you with that if you have taken a DNA test.
  • We may be able to give you a few suggestions on pre Civil War research, but we cannot promise to break down any brick walls before this time. The hope is: the more profiles we create from pre-Civl War documents, and the more family we connect, the more brick walls we can break down.

Requirements For Help

  • Family Building is open to anyone with US Black heritage in their tree, who has enough family information to get us back to the 1940 census.
  • You will be asked to become a member of WikiTree if you aren't already. Membership is 100% free. Please make sure you have upgraded from Guest Membership to Family Membership (also free). Guests cannot build trees and take advantage of all the features. Please add your parents and grandparents if known.

Setting Up Your WikiTree Profile

Here are some ways you can enhance your profile. These are all optional.

  1. Add the tags that you are interested in following or receiving notifications for and consider including: "black_heritage" or "slavery."
  2. To get you started, add as many of your family members to your tree as you already know.
  3. Add one or both of these stickers anywhere on your personal profile by copy/pasting this code:

{{African-American Sticker}}

gives you
US Black Heritage Project
... ... ... is a part of US Black heritage.

{{African Ancestry}}

gives you
Africa Project
... ... ... has African ancestry.


  • Privacy: US Black Heritage and WikiTree care about your privacy. Please click on the privacy tab of your profile or this help page to learn about the privacy settings for close family profiles. Living family will always be unlisted and unviewable. Anyone born more than 150 years ago or who died over 100 years ago will always have open privacy since it is expected many people will share them in their trees. We leave it up to you to choose the privacy level that makes you most comfortable for your close family members.
    • Something to consider--allowing your close, deceased family members to be viewable (green privacy lock) or open for editing, may allow for more collaboration and connection with family members.
  • Stickers: The African-American Sticker {{African-American Sticker}} is a very important part of our project as it serves several purposes. 1) It allows us to honor heritage, 2) It helps us with genealogy, and 3) It is the only way we can track and count our profiles. We will place this sticker automatically on any Black profiles we create.


  • Who does USBH Family Builders help?
    • Anyone with US Black heritage who wishes to build their family tree.
    • Anyone who has enough family information to start with to get us back to the 1940 census.
  • Do people need to be WikiTree members to apply for help from a Family Builder?
    • Yes, they will need to become a member in order to have their tree built on WikiTree.
  • Does the whole family tree need to be Black?
    • No. We recognize families are diverse. We will build out the entire family tree (based on the above criteria) to the best of our ability regardless of race/ethnicity. If we don't have the ability to work on certain branches, we will make recommendations of where you can go for help.
  • This is free, so what's the catch?
    • No catch! US Black Heritage Project has a goal of creating the largest database of connected family with Black Heritage (including the largest slavery database). In order to do this, we need to add and connect family profiles. By building a tree for you, we're not adding random profiles, but adding them for people who can share them with their family. It's so much more meaningful!

Research Questions

The Family Builders Program is for the purpose of helping people create their trees on WikiTree. We don't have enough volunteers available to answer specific research questions. If you have a specific research question or brick wall you are working on, please do the following:

  1. Join WikiTree and add as many of your ancestors as possible. Don't forget to add a list of your sources. This will help volunteers with the context they need in order to help you.
  2. Go to the WikiTree menu and under the Help tab, choose "forum g2g."
  3. Post a question and link it to the profile of the person you are asking about.
    • Add the tags black_heritage, research_assistance, and a tag for the state the person lived in.
    • Choose the category "Genealogy Help."
    • Be specific as possible about your research question including what you have tried already and what information you are looking for.


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