“Last Seen”: Finding Family After Slavery offers researchers a tool for telling family stories of separation and survival during slavery, emancipation, and the Civil War. It offers easy access to digitized “Information Wanted” advertisements placed in newspapers by former slaves and United States Colored Troops searching for family members lost by sale, flight, or enlistment.
The ads mention family members, often by name, but also by physical description, circumstances of separation, last seen locations, and at times by the name of a former slave master. The earliest ads appeared in papers in 1863, and they continued for more than thirty years. “Last Seen”: Finding Family After Slavery allows users to search these ads by proper names, locations, circumstances of separation, military regiments, and events.