The aftermath of the Civil War witnessed the beginnings of a great migration of former enslaved  from southern enslavement areas to regions of economic and educational opportunity. African American migration patterns closely reflect the migration patterns  throughout Kentucky's Borderlands. Boone County's African American population plummeted from nearly 25% of the overall county population in 1860 to less than 5% of the population in 1900. By 2000, enslavement and African American history were barely a footnote in Boone County's narrative. Who were the African Americans who left Boone County and where did they go from here?

As Boone County's African American history was reconstructed, key migration epicenters became discernible through research. Genealogical research was conducted on every African American family listed as living in Boone County within the 1870 and 1880 Federal Census data. As families and individuals were tracked forward through the historical record, three key migration epicenters were apparent: Elsmere in Kenton County, Kentucky; Oxford in Butler County, Ohio; and Connersville in Fayette County, Indiana. 


Key Migrations