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The African American Resource Library, formerly known as Frederick Roots and spearheaded by Rick Smith, is dedicated to documenting the history of African American families in Frederick County, Maryland. This platform focuses on the area’s small farming communities, many of whose families trace their lineage back to slavery. Our goal is to trace these ancestries to the earliest freed slaves, identifying their owners and the records of their emancipation.

Recognizing the scarcity of resources for black genealogy compared to those for white families, the library aims to fill this gap. It provides a starting point for research with a genealogical database and selected historical records, despite the challenges posed by incomplete and sparse documentation.

In honoring Rick Smith’s legacy, the African American Resource Library seeks to enrich understanding of African American heritage in Frederick County, offering essential tools for exploring these vital family histories.