The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 3, 2013

Resources aid black history research

February has once again been designated as Black History Month and therefore it seems appropriate to cite references to aid anyone researching the ancestry of African Americans.

Many researchers do not realize the important role of African Americans during the Revolutionary War. The National Archives and Records Administration has published a 29-page booklet, “List of Black Servicemen Compiled From the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records,” which is available (free) to read or download (as PDF file) at One also can request a free copy by writing NARA, Customer Service Center (NWCCI), 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20408-0001 or by calling toll-free (866) 325-7208. Be sure to read the introduction, which explains how the list was compiled.

Another free booklet that can be requested from NARA, “List of Free Black Heads of Families in the First Census of the United States,” also may be read/downloaded at

As stated in the introduction of this booklet, “On March 1, 1790, President Washington approved the First Census Act. This act did not directly provide for the enumeration of free black persons, specifying only that all free persons (whites or ‘other persons’) should be listed …. Censuses were taken in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. However, when the Capitol in Washington was burned by the British in 1812, the censuses for Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee and Virginia were probably destroyed.” Also note, “There is also the possibility that many free blacks were not listed.”

At is a List of Free Genealogy Publications. Also, by clicking on the link on the left, Black Studies, one can learn of some inexpensive publications that are for sale: “Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives” and “Black Studies: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Police investigate shooting report

    DANVILLE — City police investigated reports of a shooting in the 1000 block of Moore Street about 6:30 p.m.

    Preliminary reports had as many as three people with gunshot wounds. Ambulances were called to assist two of the people with wounds to the leg and one with a chest wound.

    The investigation continued Friday evening.

    April 18, 2014

  • ‘Les Mis’ movie shown

    April 18, 2014

  • Work on I-74 begins Monday

    April 18, 2014

  • Hoopeston Area school staff to see insurance rates increase

    Hank Hornbeck, superintendent of Hoopeston Area schools, informed board members Thursday that staff health insurance rates would increase 5.99 percent from the previous year. Health insurance would remain with Health Alliance.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Report Incidents reported to police include: Danville Tuesday: Theft of $46.70 in gas from Circle K, 121 S. Gilbert St. Theft of a license plate sticker in the 900 block of Hubbard Lane. Wednesday: Possession of alcohol in a vehicle in the 2400 block of Ca

    April 18, 2014

  • translate4.jpg In translation DANVILLE — With the help of a Japanese exchange student, the Vermilion County War Museum staff has a better understanding of some of its items.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Proposed school standards reviewed Proposed school standards reviewed The Associated Press

    April 18, 2014

  • Elementary students to tackle math problems DANVILLE -- First-graders from all eight of Danville's elementary schools will tackle story problems, progressive computation, multiplication, fractions and even algebra at the third annual Danville District 118 First-Grade Math Challenge next week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arena sells autographed posters on eBay DANVILLE - Want a piece of history from the David S. Palmer Arena? Several autographed posters are up for eBay auction right now from artists who've performed through the years at the arena. There are posters signed by Jason Aldean, Rodney Carrington

    April 18, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls: Wednesday, 10:18-10:39 a.m. -- A false alarm at 1900 E. Main St. Wednesday, 12:02-12:14 p.m. -- A medical call in the 100 block of South Gilbert Street. Wednesday, 7:55-8:02 p.m. -- A medical call

    April 18, 2014

AP Video
NCAA basketball
NDN Video
Must Read