You can get answers years later on here. Here I am answering a year later! What I have done is looked through wills. Prior to Emancipation, you might find the names of slaves in wills, as well as ages and relationships, ie. "Betty's children John and Emma". I have found that and I found the same names through a few wills, so I know this was the same group of people. Look also in the tax records. You will find, if you know names, freed slaves working right where they lived for the white families who live near them on the census, those who were once their owners. That might lead you to court records or other types of records that refer to property. The names of former slaves are most likely the same as the slaveowners. However, my own relative changed the name to an earlier slaveowner between 1870 and 1880. Who knows why? In fact, the owner was the second husband of the widow who inherited my relatives. I think census people may have just given people names, too. Since slaves did not have last names, they ended up with the surnames of former owners, or perhaps names they picked themselves. Also look at the Oaths of Allegiance taken after the Civil War. Many former slaves simply marked with an "X" and someone else wrote in their name. Look for groups living next to each other with the same name and the right age to be related, such as a elderly parent and adult child. You might find that on the slave schedule. Do the ages suggest they are a family, or part of one? Different names in the same house on the census might be clues to former owners and family relationships. Remember, too, that boundaries were flexible, between counties and states, so be open to the fact that someone you thought was in one county was actually in a nearby one. Hope this helps. It's just some tips I learned from doing this for quite a while. It can be incredibly frustrating to have to spend so much time on research for people who are not your own just to get to yours. However, you also might find you are related to those people and that's where DNA can become very useful.