Timbuctoo Historical Society

Timbuctoo was settled by formerly enslaved and free African Americans, beginning in 1826


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Timbuctoo gravestone, Timbuctoo deeds, deeds, Timbuctoo cemetery

About Timbuctoo

What is Timbuctoo?

View of Timbuctoo Cemetery

Timbuctoo is an unincorporated community in Westampton Township, Burlington County, New Jersey, according to the US Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System.  Deed records in the Burlington County Clerk’s Office indicate the first land purchases by African Americans in Timbuctoo occurred in 1826. Early Timbuctoo residents included formerly enslaved and free persons.  New Jersey abolished slavery by gradual manumission in 1804. 


View above is the Timbuctoo Cemetery, which has been referred to as the only visible remnant of Timbuctoo's historic past.


Educational Resources

African American Family Histories

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Slides from a presentation focusing on antebellum free People of Color in New Jersey and the District of Columbia, along with the basics of building a Family Tree.

New Jersey: A State Divided on Freedom

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Did you know that 2/3 of African Americans living in Southern New Jersey were free as early as 1790?  Read this compelling narrative by Guy Weston from the 2017 edition of AAHGS Journal. 

Read about Timbuctoo in a 19th century newspaper!

News about Timbuctoo from the 1800s

Learn fascinating details about Timbuctoo as they were written during its heyday. 

Finding Free African Americans Before the Civil War

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Case study from descendants of early Timbuctoo settlers.

Regional Variations in the Manumission of Slaves in NJ

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Slavery in New Jersey was abolished by gradual manumission in 1804, but the northern counties were much slower to implement changes.  See details here.