Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Who were the African Slaves? Decoding the mystery

African Origins is an online database which can help identify the roots of more than 100,000 African slaves.

The project is the brainchild of David Eltis at Emory University in Atlanta.

"In the 19th century, when the slave trade was in the process of being suppressed, there were a set of international courts established around the Atlantic world and captured slave vessels were brought into these ports and adjudicated by the courts," Eltis said.

"The people on board those vessels had their information taken down in bound registers which have survived. And the most interesting thing about these bound registers is it provides information on the African name, which is actually quite rare in the history of the black Atlantic," he added

The user friendly database requires that you just type in a name and a country and the database produces a list of names and countries that could phonetically be close to the spelling.

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