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    The500Thousand

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The Enitiative Group Inc., an Atlanta based 501c3 is sponsoring a project to provide the complete genealogy of African Americans from 1607 - 1930.

It is estimated that approximately 645,000 slaves were brought to the United States from Africa in the years 1607 to 1865. Further estimates suggest as many as 25% of those slaves died within the first 18 months of arrival due to climate change, harsh treatment, and other illnesses. Our goal is to identify 77% (500,000 of 645,000) of the original slaves, which we believe to have survived to establish the genealogical baseline of modern day African Americans. Our estimates list the total number of slaves from 1607 to 1865 at approximately 11 million (10,976,000).

Through the use of advanced database technology, scanning and digitization of records, as well as mining infomation directly from all available internet resources; we believe this effort is not only possible, but also highly viable.

Most African Americans run into a wall when researching their genealogy. This wall is both financial and metaphorical, as high record retrieval costs and incomplete data sets often force individuals and families to abandon their genealogical missions.

This project will change lives and empower its participants with greater knowledge of self and the re-establishment of family connections that were lost long ago. As many of the datasets in the County Courthouses are not segregated by black and white; culling this massive data store will provide relationships for all ethnicities and show that we are connected in new and exciting ways.

Genealogy has emerged as one of America's top hobbies. Aside from its potential entertainment value, our project will address a time-sensitive need in the African American and historical communities. As of July 2006, the Census recorded the population of black residents in the US as 40.2 million. For that same period, only 8% of the black population was recorded as being 65 years or older. This means that the window of opportunity is closing fast for first hand accounts of the post-Slavery African American experience. With an average life expectancy of 72 years for males and 79 years for females, in many cases we have lost or are about to lose the most direct sources of information remaining on slavery.

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