There are many freedom colonies that have not yet been located, or that need more research before we can determine if they were in fact freedom colonies. For example, several of the freedom colonies listed in the book Freedom Colonies have never been verified, while many others require on the ground research or oral history interviews to identify them. To find more information about these communities and to deepen our knowledge of all freedom colonies, The Texas Freedom Colonies Project established the Adopt-A-County Volunteer Program. The goal of the program is to add all missing freedom colony stories and locations to the Atlas by asking descendants and the public to help us find data about settlements by county. Check the Atlas Dashboard tab and it will show you which settlements need to be located or need more research.
Volunteers “adopt” a county to research and are grouped into regions to cultivate a community of practice dedicated to locating freedom colonies and information about the freedom colonies (i.e. plat maps, obituaries, photos, documents, homecoming programs, etc.) An intranet is available by region for volunteers to store, organize, and share research materials. We have over 60 talented volunteers, and the program is growing! There are two roles one can play in the program–participant researcher (formerly called county captain) or public researcher(formerly called a crew member). We are authorized to conduct participatory research by UVA. Our IRB# is 5460.
Interested in volunteering?
Want to learn more about the program or ask questions about your county? Email firstname.lastname@example.org