United States Freedmen’s Branch Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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Revision as of 21:38, 22 September 2010 by Ldsbloomfield (Talk | contribs)
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
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Contents

Style Guide

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Collection Time Period

The dates covered by this collection are 1862 through 1870.

How to Use the Records

The Freedmen’s Bureau records are a major source of genealogical information about post Civil War African Americans. Freedmen's Bureau records are a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use the place of residence and other information for each person along with his or her age to search for the individuals in census records and other types of records.

Record Description

The Freedmen’s Bank records are the most commonly known records created by the Freedmen’s Bureau and have been described separately. Records that are not associated with the Freedmen’s Bank generally consist of marriage documentation or records, census information, and correspondence dealing with Bureau issues. The records are arranged chronologically.

The original records are preserved at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Copies of the original records are available at the National Archives Building in Washington D.C. and the regional archives located in Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington State. The records were microfilmed in 2001, and the microfilms are available at the Family History Library.

Record Content

The following important genealogical information is often found in Bureau records: • Name of the freedman • Name of the freedman’s former owner

  • Date of the record
  • Birthplace
  • Residence
  • Age
  •  Bride
  • Groom
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place

Record History

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was established in the War Department in March of 1865. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bureau and was responsible for the management and supervision of matters relating to refuges, freedmen, and abandoned lands. The Bureau assisted disenfranchised Americans, primarily African Americans, with temporal, legal and financial matters, with the intent of helping people to become self-sufficient. Matters handled included the distributing of food and clothing; operating temporary medical facilities; acquiring back pay, bounty payments, and pensions; facilitating the creation of schools, including the founding of Howard University; reuniting family members; handling marriages; and providing banking services. Banking services were provided by the establishment of the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company, or Freedman’s Bank.

The Bureau functioned as an agency of the War Department from approximately June 1865 until December 1868. In 1872, the functions of the Bureau were transferred to the Freedmen’s Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office.

The Bureau assisted over one million African Americans, including many of the nearly four million emancipated slaves, more than 25% of the population of former African American slaves in America.

Why This Record Was Created

The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves; some of them were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans sought help from the Bureau who were not African Americans.

Record Reliability

Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.

Related Web Sites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.

Related Wiki Articles

African American Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Quick Guide to African American Records

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above. Examples of citations:

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

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Style Guide

For guidelines to use in creating wiki articles that describe collections of images and indexes produced by FamilySearch, see: FamilySearch Wiki: Guidelines for FamilySearch Collections pages

Sources of Information for This Collection:

"Freedmen's Bureau Letters - North Carolina, 1862-1870," database, FamilySearch Historical Records, 2010; from National Archives and Records Administration. “Freedmen’s Bureau Letters, North Carolina.” National Archives, Washington, D.C. FHL microfilm, 38 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections


 

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