US Black Heritage: Heritage Exchange Program

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Surnames/tags: Us_black_heritage slavery African_American
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A sub project of US Black Heritage Project

USBH Heritage Exchange Project Coordinators: Elaine (Weatherall) Martzen, Gina Jarvi

The Heritage Exchange Program uses the FAN (friends, associates, and neighbors) principle--that by working with groups of people who were in close proximity to each other, we can more easily build their family trees. Each of these Heritage Exchange teams will help with a different part of the process that will help us identify clusters of enslaved people (which will include the slave owners), find additional documents for each cluster, and then connect the entire cluster to their family tree(s).

See: "links" section below for how to name and document people/profiles

See: Heritage Exchange Categories for a list of the Heritage Exchange categories and how they are used to document slavery.


Heritage Exchange Profile Improvement Team

  • Creates profiles and space pages using the Heritage Exchange process. Please use the links listed below for the standard processes.
  • Adds additional sources to existing profiles and pages.

Heritage Exchange Checklist Team

  • Performs quality control on newly created profiles and space pages to make sure each necessary detail is on all these pages. Please use the team's Checklists

Heritage Exchange Document Processing Team

  • Adds documents sent to the HE Google group to the documents spreadsheet.
  • Creates profiles and space pages based on documents added to the spreadsheet.
  • Please see the team help page for this work.

Heritage Exchange Slavery Projects Team

Coordinator: Gina Jarvi

  • Works with projects involving large groups of slaves in one location.
  • Creates, improves, and connects slave and slave owner profiles.
  • Creates space pages to organize information about the slave and slave owners.
  • Some of these projects will involve the use of spreadsheets to track the work. Please see the team space page.

Heritage Exchange Connection Team

This step in the process has not officially started as of Jan 2023.

  • Works with existing slave/slave owner clusters to identify unnamed slaves and connect slaves to descendants. Help page TBA


Consideration for Descendants of Slave Owners

One of our jobs as a project is to help descendants of slave owners understand why it's important to list slaves on their ancestors' profiles and connect them together. We don't want to make them feel like we are calling them out or shaming them. Please work to keep open communication with the profile managers of the profiles you will be editing, especially if these are profiles you have come across or are working on and that haven't been added to the Heritage Exchange category by the profile manager.

When making edits to profiles you don't manage, please use the "Explain your changes" field 100% of the time. It's a courtesy to the profile manager so they know what change you made without having to hunt for it.

When adding a list of slaves to a profile, please add something similar to this in the comment section of the profile. You can copy/paste the same message, changing the name each time.

  • As a member of the US Black Heritage Project, I have added a list of the slaves owned by <insert name> on this profile with categories using the standards of the US Black Heritage Exchange Program. This helps us connect enslaved ancestors to their descendants. See [ the Heritage Exchange Portal] for more information.


Comments: 32

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perhaps you already know about this family bible listing black births as well as white:

I was asked to share this with your project Thanks for the work you do! Cheers Shirlea

posted by Shirlea Smith
Wonderful, we'll start processing this document. Thank you so much!
Hi all who are managers and trusted list people, I'm getting ready to merge this page into the new US Black Heritage Slavery Project page in order to rename it. I will be moving all the resources off this page and onto the Slave Resources page so this page can be for tasks, conventions, and procedures.

If you would like to stay as co-manager or on the trusted list, I will need you to join the US Black Heritage project (if you haven't already). Please send me a message as soon as possible about this so I can get this done.

Thanks! Emma MacBeath

posted on US Southern Colonies Slavery (merged) by Emma (McBeth) MacBeath M.Ed MSM
Hi! This page was created as part of the original US Southern Colonies Project. It should probably be renamed. Until it is, I added the re-launched project's "Inactive" category (it helps me track the pages that still need project attention). Let me know if I can help with renaming the page.

Cheers, Liz

posted on US Southern Colonies Slavery (merged) by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
Hi Liz, this is now under the US Black Heritage Project, but we're still creating the scope of this subproject so haven't renamed pages yet. I have found 3-4 pages and some of them may need to be merged or repurposed. This page will be renamed or merged. Thanks! Emma
posted on US Southern Colonies Slavery (merged) by Emma (McBeth) MacBeath M.Ed MSM
The page is now merged into the new name, Liz so I removed the Southern Colonies category.
posted on US Black Heritage Slavery Project (merged) by Emma (McBeth) MacBeath M.Ed MSM