Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Look At Monticello & Jefferson

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Online is an excellent web site that provides information about the life and times of Thomas Jefferson. The site is run by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the same non-profit organization that owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson. Since 1923, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has steadily expanded its role as a museum and educational institution. In recent years, the organization has added as a major method of reaching people worldwide who might otherwise be unable to visit Monticello.

The web site has several features of interest to genealogists, including one that will be especially useful to anyone researching Black American ancestry at Monticello:

The Monticello Plantation Database at contains information on over six hundred people who lived in slavery on Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantations between 1774 and 1826. It provides details of life span, family structure, occupation, and the transactions of bondage (sale, purchase, gift, and hiring). There are also short biographies of individuals and accounts of various aspects of slavery at Monticello.

The Getting Word website at contains information on a project begun in 1993 to interview the descendants of Monticello’s African-American families. The seventy-odd pages of the website include biographical information on dozens of enslaved men and women (and their descendants) as well as plentiful photographs and the results of research in historical records and interviews with over 170 people.

The Monticello Classroom at is a teacher-student website for elementary and secondary classroom use, a compilation of resources about Thomas Jefferson and life at Monticello.

The Jefferson Encyclopedia at is a wiki-style online encyclopedia with articles written by Monticello researchers and respected Jefferson scholars.

The online library catalogue at is a catalog. that is available to all. However, most of the materials listed are available only in person, NOT online.

You will find the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's web site at to be an excellent resource for genealogists and historians.


The above is reprinted from author Dick Eastman and EOGN.

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