United States, Freedmans Bank Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1417695|title=Freedman Bank Records 1865-1874|location=United States}}  
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{{Record_Search_article|CID=CID1417695 |title=United States, Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874|location=United States}}<br>
  
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[[Image:Freedman's Bank Register.jpg|thumb|center]]
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== Record Description ==
 
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== Collection Time Period&nbsp; ==
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The registers cover approximately the years 1865 to 1874.  
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Each register book consists of preprinted forms, with information for four depositors on each page. The registers are arranged chronologically by the date the account was established and then numerically by account number. Many numbers are missing, a few are out of order, and some blocks of numbers were never used. Many registers seem to be missing.  
  
== Record History  ==
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The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company was established and incorporated by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865, as a banking institution in Washington, D.C., primarily for the benefit of freed slaves and former African American military personnel. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bank; however, it was not under the supervision of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau).&nbsp;
  
The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company was established and incorporated by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865, as a banking institution in Washington, D.C., primarily for the benefit of freed slaves and former African American military personnel. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bank; however, it was not under the supervision of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau).  
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The Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company contain the records of 29 branches of the Freedmen’s Bank.&nbsp;
  
<br>The Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company contain the records of 29 branches of the Freedmen’s Bank. The branches were located in the following cities:  
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The branches were located in the following cities:&nbsp;
  
*Atlanta, Georgia  
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*Atlanta, Georgia&nbsp;
*Augusta, Georgia  
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*Augusta, Georgia&nbsp;
*Baltimore, Maryland  
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*Baltimore, Maryland&nbsp;
*Beaufort, South Carolina  
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*Beaufort, South Carolina&nbsp;
*Charleston, South Carolina  
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*Charleston, South Carolina&nbsp;
*Columbus, Mississippi  
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*Columbus, Mississippi&nbsp;
*Huntsville, Alabama  
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*Huntsville, Alabama&nbsp;
*Lexington, Kentucky  
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*Lexington, Kentucky&nbsp;
*Little Rock, Arkansas  
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*Little Rock, Arkansas&nbsp;
*Louisville, Kentucky  
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*Louisville, Kentucky&nbsp;
*Lynchburg, Virginia  
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*Lynchburg, Virginia&nbsp;
*Memphis, Tennessee  
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*Memphis, Tennessee&nbsp;
*Mobile, Alabama  
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*Mobile, Alabama&nbsp;
*Nashville, Tennessee  
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*Nashville, Tennessee&nbsp;
*Natchez, Mississippi  
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*Natchez, Mississippi&nbsp;
*New Bern, North Carolina  
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*New Bern, North Carolina&nbsp;
*New Orleans, Louisiana  
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*New Orleans, Louisiana&nbsp;
*New York, New York  
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*New York, New York&nbsp;
*Norfolk, Virginia  
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*Norfolk, Virginia&nbsp;
*Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  
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*Philadelphia, Pennsylvania&nbsp;
*Raleigh, North Carolina  
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*Raleigh, North Carolina&nbsp;
*Richmond, Virginia  
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*Richmond, Virginia&nbsp;
*Savannah, Georgia  
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*Savannah, Georgia&nbsp;
*Shreveport, Louisiana  
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*Shreveport, Louisiana&nbsp;
*St. Louis, Missouri  
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*St. Louis, Missouri&nbsp;
*Tallahassee, Florida  
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*Tallahassee, Florida&nbsp;
*Vicksburg, Mississippi  
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*Vicksburg, Mississippi&nbsp;
*Washington, D.C.  
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*Washington, D.C.&nbsp;
 
*Wilmington, North Carolina
 
*Wilmington, North Carolina
  
In 1874, overwhelmed by the effects of the Panic of 1873, mismanagement, abuse, and fraud, the Freedman’s Bank closed. Congress appointed a three-member board and later the Comptroller of the Currency to oversee the affairs of the bank. The Comptroller was made commissioner ex officio, and he submitted annual reports to Congress. The Freedman’s Bank final report was made in 1920. Contrary to what many of its depositors were led to believe, the bank’s assets were not protected by the federal government. While half of the depositors eventually received about three-fifths of the value of their accounts, others received nothing. Well into the 20th century, some depositors and their heirs were still seeking reimbursement for the remaining portions of their accounts.&nbsp;Depositors included about 67,000 African Americans, or about two percent of the former slave population. In addition, thousands of non–African Americans made deposits at the bank. These people were primarily immigrants who were born in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Continental Europe. Depositors listed the names of close relatives. All together, the records lists about 480,000 names.&nbsp;  
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<br>In 1874, overwhelmed by the effects of the Panic of 1873, mismanagement, abuse, and fraud, the Freedman’s Bank closed. Congress appointed a three-member board and later the Comptroller of the Currency to oversee the affairs of the bank. The Comptroller was made commissioner ex officio, and he submitted annual reports to Congress. The Freedman’s Bank final report was made in 1920. Contrary to what many of its depositors were led to believe, the bank’s assets were not protected by the federal government. While half of the depositors eventually received about three-fifths of the value of their accounts, others received nothing. Well into the 20th century, some depositors and their heirs were still seeking reimbursement for the remaining portions of their accounts.&nbsp;Depositors included about 67,000 African Americans, or about two percent of the former slave population. In addition, thousands of non–African Americans made deposits at the bank. These people were primarily immigrants who were born in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Continental Europe. Depositors listed the names of close relatives. All together, the records lists about 480,000 names.&nbsp;  
  
=== Why This Record Was Created ===
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The registers cover approximately the years 1865 to 1874.&nbsp;
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The registers identify those who opened accounts. Because the Freedman’s Bank was required by law to protect the interests of depositors’ heirs, the branches collected an enormous amount of personal information about each depositor and his or her family when the account was opened.
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Registers of depositors are usually reliable because the information came from the depositor himself or from a close family member (in the case of children). Some errors may have been made in recording the information
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<br>
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=== Citation for This Collection ===
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The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
  
 
The registers identify those who opened accounts. Because the Freedman’s Bank was required by law to protect the interests of depositors’ heirs, the branches collected an enormous amount of personal information about each depositor and his or her family when the account was opened.&nbsp;  
 
The registers identify those who opened accounts. Because the Freedman’s Bank was required by law to protect the interests of depositors’ heirs, the branches collected an enormous amount of personal information about each depositor and his or her family when the account was opened.&nbsp;  
  
=== Record Reliability  ===
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Registers of depositors are usually reliable because the information came from the depositor himself or from a close family member (in the case of children). Some errors may have been made in recording the information&nbsp;
  
Registers of depositors are usually reliable because the information came from the depositor himself or from a close family member (in the case of children). Some errors may have been made in recording the information
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{{Collection citation | text= "United States, Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874." Index. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C.}}
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== Record Description  ==
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[[United States Freedman's Bank Registers 1865-1874 (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
  
Each register book consists of preprinted forms, with information for four depositors on each page. The registers are arranged chronologically by the date the account was established and then numerically by account number. Many numbers are missing, a few are out of order, and some blocks of numbers were never used. Many registers seem to be missing.&nbsp;
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== Record Content  ==
  
=== Record&nbsp;Content  ===
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The key genealogical facts found in the registers may contain the following information:
  
The registers contain the following genealogical information:  
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[[Image:Freedman's Bank Register.jpg|thumb|right|Freedman's Bank Register.jpg]]
  
 
*Account number  
 
*Account number  
Line 79: Line 88:
 
*Brothers’ and sisters’ names
 
*Brothers’ and sisters’ names
  
Additional information included only in the early books was:  
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Additional information included only in the early books were:  
  
 
*Name of former master or mistress  
 
*Name of former master or mistress  
Line 90: Line 99:
 
*Names of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and in-laws  
 
*Names of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and in-laws  
 
*Residence of these individuals and whether they were living or dead  
 
*Residence of these individuals and whether they were living or dead  
*Death certificate copies&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
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*Death certificate copies
  
In addition to individuals, African American churches, private businesses, and beneficial societies also maintained accounts. Such accounts usually list the names of leaders, owners, or officials of those institutions.<br>
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In addition to individuals, African American churches, private businesses, and beneficial societies also maintained accounts. Such accounts usually list the names of leaders, owners, or officials of those institutions.  
  
== How To Use The Record ==
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== How to Use the Records ==
  
Freedman’s Bank registers are a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use a person’s birthplace, age, and place of residence to search for census and other record types. The bank records probably identify persons for whom other records do not exist. <br>
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Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.  
  
== Related Websites  ==
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Freedman’s Bank registers are a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use a person’s birthplace, age, and place of residence to search for census and other record types. The bank records probably identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
  
This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.
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== Related Websites  ==
  
== Related Wiki&nbsp;Article<br> ==
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[http://www.werelate.org/wiki/Source:United_States._Freedmans_Bank_Records,_1865-1874 Registers of signatures of depositors in branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874]
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/African_American_Freedmen%27s_Bureau_Records African American Freedmen's Bureau Records]
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== Related Wiki Articles  ==
  
== Sources of&nbsp;This Collection  ==
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*[[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records|African American Freedmen's Bureau Records]]
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*[[African American Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Records|African American Freedman's Saving and Trust Company Records]]
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*[[African American Research|African American Research]]
  
"Freedman's Bank Records, 1865-1874," database, FamilySearch,&nbsp;from&nbsp;Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company.&nbsp;Registers of signatures of depositors in branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, 1865–1874.
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== Contributions to This Article  ==
  
==== How To Cite Your Sources  ====
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{{Contributor_invite}}
  
Examples of citing these records are:
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== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
  
*Freedman's Savings and Trust Company (Washington, D.C.). Bank record. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. William Murphy, age 11, born in Green Co. Alabama, application date 26 July 1867, Mobile, Alabama.
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When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.  
*''Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Washington, D.C.). Registers of signatures of depositors in branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, 1865–1874. From FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org), September 29, 2006. North Carolina, New Bern, February 21, 1871, Simon Groom, account 1851.''
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*''Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company (Washington, D.C.). Registers of signatures of depositors in branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, 1865–1874. Washington, D.C.: The National Archives, 1969. Microform/item number, state, branch (city), account number.''
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&nbsp;''Instructions for citing this source can be found at: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]]''<br>
+
  
<br>
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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
  
<br>
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=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
  
[[Category:African_Americans]]
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"Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874." database and digital ''FamilySearch'' images, (https://familysearch.org: accessed March 9, 2011), Augusta Isaac, age 13; citing Bank Records; Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Registers.<br>

Revision as of 15:41, 6 March 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.


Contents

Record Description

Each register book consists of preprinted forms, with information for four depositors on each page. The registers are arranged chronologically by the date the account was established and then numerically by account number. Many numbers are missing, a few are out of order, and some blocks of numbers were never used. Many registers seem to be missing.

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company was established and incorporated by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865, as a banking institution in Washington, D.C., primarily for the benefit of freed slaves and former African American military personnel. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bank; however, it was not under the supervision of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau). 

The Registers of Signatures of Depositors in Branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company contain the records of 29 branches of the Freedmen’s Bank. 

The branches were located in the following cities: 

  • Atlanta, Georgia 
  • Augusta, Georgia 
  • Baltimore, Maryland 
  • Beaufort, South Carolina 
  • Charleston, South Carolina 
  • Columbus, Mississippi 
  • Huntsville, Alabama 
  • Lexington, Kentucky 
  • Little Rock, Arkansas 
  • Louisville, Kentucky 
  • Lynchburg, Virginia 
  • Memphis, Tennessee 
  • Mobile, Alabama 
  • Nashville, Tennessee 
  • Natchez, Mississippi 
  • New Bern, North Carolina 
  • New Orleans, Louisiana 
  • New York, New York 
  • Norfolk, Virginia 
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
  • Raleigh, North Carolina 
  • Richmond, Virginia 
  • Savannah, Georgia 
  • Shreveport, Louisiana 
  • St. Louis, Missouri 
  • Tallahassee, Florida 
  • Vicksburg, Mississippi 
  • Washington, D.C. 
  • Wilmington, North Carolina


In 1874, overwhelmed by the effects of the Panic of 1873, mismanagement, abuse, and fraud, the Freedman’s Bank closed. Congress appointed a three-member board and later the Comptroller of the Currency to oversee the affairs of the bank. The Comptroller was made commissioner ex officio, and he submitted annual reports to Congress. The Freedman’s Bank final report was made in 1920. Contrary to what many of its depositors were led to believe, the bank’s assets were not protected by the federal government. While half of the depositors eventually received about three-fifths of the value of their accounts, others received nothing. Well into the 20th century, some depositors and their heirs were still seeking reimbursement for the remaining portions of their accounts. Depositors included about 67,000 African Americans, or about two percent of the former slave population. In addition, thousands of non–African Americans made deposits at the bank. These people were primarily immigrants who were born in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Continental Europe. Depositors listed the names of close relatives. All together, the records lists about 480,000 names. 

The registers cover approximately the years 1865 to 1874. 

The registers identify those who opened accounts. Because the Freedman’s Bank was required by law to protect the interests of depositors’ heirs, the branches collected an enormous amount of personal information about each depositor and his or her family when the account was opened.

Registers of depositors are usually reliable because the information came from the depositor himself or from a close family member (in the case of children). Some errors may have been made in recording the information


Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

The registers identify those who opened accounts. Because the Freedman’s Bank was required by law to protect the interests of depositors’ heirs, the branches collected an enormous amount of personal information about each depositor and his or her family when the account was opened. 

Registers of depositors are usually reliable because the information came from the depositor himself or from a close family member (in the case of children). Some errors may have been made in recording the information 

"United States, Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C.


Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The key genealogical facts found in the registers may contain the following information:

Freedman's Bank Register.jpg
  • Account number
  • Name of depositor
  • Date of application
  • Birthplace
  • Place brought up
  • Residence
  • Age
  • Complexion
  • Occupation
  • Name of employer
  • Spouse’s name
  • Children’s names
  • Father’s name
  • Mother’s name
  • Brothers’ and sisters’ names

Additional information included only in the early books were:

  • Name of former master or mistress
  • Name of plantation
  • Regiment and company served in during the Civil War

Sometimes the following information is also included:

  • Wife’s maiden name or the name of a former spouse
  • Names of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and in-laws
  • Residence of these individuals and whether they were living or dead
  • Death certificate copies

In addition to individuals, African American churches, private businesses, and beneficial societies also maintained accounts. Such accounts usually list the names of leaders, owners, or officials of those institutions.

How to Use the Records

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Freedman’s Bank registers are a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use a person’s birthplace, age, and place of residence to search for census and other record types. The bank records probably identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Related Websites

Registers of signatures of depositors in branches of the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Freedmans Bank Records, 1865-1874." database and digital FamilySearch images, (https://familysearch.org: accessed March 9, 2011), Augusta Isaac, age 13; citing Bank Records; Freedman's Savings and Trust Company Registers.