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Finding an Ancestor Who Was an Escaped Slave in Saint Domingue


It is African-American History Month in the United States and Canada and we would like to highlight a most interesting website that helps to trace people who were escaped slaves in Saint Domingue, now Haiti. Bi-lingual and with excellent academic credentials, "Marronnage in Saint-Domingue" offers a way to search the public advertisements seeking the capture and return of such escapees.

The advertisements were placed in the Affiches américaines (we have discussed other such Affiches here) "the main gazette of the colony from 1766 to 1790". The advertisements give names, often the African country of origin, detailed physical descriptions, skills, ages. They make for depressing reading about human cruelty:


At the same time, the website offers hope not only to academics of Haitian history, but to family historians seeking and bringing to light their ancestors. Searches may be quite broad, on any word, a slave's name and sex, and the year of the advertisement, so there is a very good chance of success.

We wish you good luck!

©2017 Anne Morddel

French Genealogy