After the end of the Civil War in 1865, African Americans began leaving the areas where they had been enslaved. Many went to North to larger towns where work was more plentiful. But less discussed is that a number went West to farm, using the Homestead Act of 1862 to claim land of their own. Other settled in and helped develop some all-Black towns in Kansas and Oklahoma. Still others headed to the Pacific Coast for work. What can we find out about these settlers’ lives? Where can we find records?