Searching for Descendants of the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery

Over 1700 African Americans are buried at the “Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery” located at Church and Washington Street in Alexandria, VA. These African Americans were contraband of the Civil War. They fought, walked, and ran from their slave owners to areas that provided them safety. Freed African Americans were also at risk during the Civil War and many of them found the same safety net as the slaves. For more information on the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery, go to the “The Friends of Freedmen’s Cemetery” site at

In April 2008, the City of Alexandria, Virginia asked me to assist them in locating descendants of the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery.

The City wants to recognize the descendants of the Freedmen Cemetery. Please go to the Alexandria Archaeology Museum’s web site that discusses the Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial at

As of 2008, I have identified the descendants of over one hundred people who are buried at the Freedmen Cemetery. I am still looking for descendants. If you have more than four generations of your family from Alexandria, Virginia and your surname is on this list, please contact me through my blog e-mail address The City of Alexandria is building the Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial. It is going to be a great Ceremony honoring the former Contrabands and their Descendants.

The Ceremony will be in the Spring of 2014. If you want to be counted as a Descendant, please notify me. Thanks!

Explore posts in the same categories: Cemetery, Home

7 Comments on “Searching for Descendants of the Alexandria Freedmen Cemetery”

  1. Andrea Mackey Says:

    I am a descendant of the Wanzers and I live right here in Alexandria, VA – My great great grandfather’s name is William Wanzer who lived in Fort Ward. I purchased the home of my great grandmother – Goldie Marie Wanzer I would love to have my family added as descendents – Please let me know what I need to do.

    • cmb12 Says:

      Thanks Andrea – Are you related Lucian Johnson and Frances Colbert Terrell? They are both connected to the Wanzer that is buried at the Freedmen Cemetery.

  2. Gale Brooks Ogden Says:

    My surname is Brooks. My Great Grandfather was Benjamin Franklin Brooks. He is buried in Bethel Cemetery alongside his wife Mamie Brooks. Also, my Great Grandmother was Eliza Alexander Riddick. She had a baby named Eliza Riddick, although I can only validate her on the 1880 Census at age 2. I am interested in knowing more about the Freedman cemetery and the possibility that I may be a descendant.

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