District of Columbia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau) was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Freedmen's Bureau. Letters, 1865-1872. Smithsonian Institution. Washington D.C.
- Name of the freedman
- Name of the freedman’s former owner
- Date of the record
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
How to Use the Records
The Freedmen’s Bureau records are a major source of genealogical information about post Civil War African Americans. They are also a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. Use the place of residence, age, and other information for each person to search for the individuals in census records and other types of records.
- National Archives Resources for Genealogists
- Publications of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project
Related Wiki Articles
- United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- African American Freedmen’s Bureau Records
- Quick Guide to African American Records
- African American Research
Contributions to This Article
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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
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Example for an Indexed Collection:
“Delaware Marriage Records,” database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 4 March 2011), William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, 1890; citing Delaware, State Marriage Records, no. 859, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
Example for a Browsed Collection:
“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.