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{{FamilySearch_Collection
+
''[[United States Genealogy|United States]]''
 +
{{US NARA HR Infobox
 +
| CID=CID1989156
 +
| title=Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
 +
| location=
 +
| LOC_01 = Maryland and Delaware
 +
| LOC_02 =
 +
| LOC_03 =
 +
| record_type = Freedmen and Refugee Records 
 +
| record_group_nr = 105
 +
| record_group_title =[http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/105.html Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands]
 +
| start_year = 1865
 +
| end_year = 1872
 +
| micro_pub_nr = M1906
 +
| micro_pub_title =[http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m1906.pdf Records of the Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872]
 +
| micro_pub_rolls = 42
 +
| micro_pub_nr_02 =
 +
| micro_pub_title_02 =
 +
| micro_pub_rolls_02 =
 +
| micro_pub_nr_03 =
 +
| micro_pub_title_03 =
 +
| micro_pub_rolls_03 =
 +
| micro_pub_nr_04 =
 +
| micro_pub_title_04 =
 +
| micro_pub_rolls_04 =
 +
| coll_series =
 +
| arrangement = 
 +
| NAID = [https://catalog.archives.gov/id/434 434]
 +
| language =
 +
| FS_URL_01 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2431126?collectionNameFilter=false Records of the Commissioner]
 +
| FS_URL_02 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427901?collectionNameFilter=false Records of the Assistant Commissioner]
 +
| FS_URL_03 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427894?collectionNameFilter=false Superintendent of Education and the Division of Education Records]
 +
| FS_URL_04 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1417695?collectionNameFilter=true Freedmen’s Bank]
 +
| FS_URL_05 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1438024?collectionNameFilter=false 1870 Census] 
 +
| FS_URL_06 =
 +
| FS_URL_07 =
 +
| FS_URL_08 =
 +
| FS_URL_09 =
 +
| FS_URL_10 =
 +
| RW_URL_01 =[http://mappingthefreedmensbureau.com/maps/ Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau]
 +
| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/freedmens-bureau-records.html  NARA Freedmen's Bureau Records: An Overview]
 +
| RW_URL_03 =[http://www.archives.gov/atlanta/finding-aids/freedmens-bureau.pdf NARA A Genealogical Finding Aid]
 +
| RW_URL_04 =[http://guide.msa.maryland.gov/pages/combined.aspx?action=viewSeriesList&category=(Slave%20Statistics)&orderBy=ContainerName Maryland State Archives Commissioner of Slave Statistics, 1864]
 +
| RW_URL_05 =[http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/fssppubs.htm Publications of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project]
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
== What is in the Collection? ==
 +
 
 +
This collection consists of scanned images of records from National Archives microfilm publication [http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m1906.pdf M1906] Records of the Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands which is part of Record Group 105 Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.The images are generally arranged in the order the records were microfilmed with the records of the Assistant Commissioner who oversaw Bureau operations in the state and state level staff officers; Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Claim Division, Complaint Division, first then the local field office records are arranged alphabetically by location and by NARA roll number.           
 +
 
 +
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 
|CID=CID1989156
 
|CID=CID1989156
|title=Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Letters
+
|title=Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
|location=United States
+
|}}
|scheduled=}}<br>
 
  
== Record Description  ==
+
== Collection Content ==
 +
=== Sample Image ===
  
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. This collection corresponds with NARA microfilm publication M1906, Records of the Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872.  
+
<gallery widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 +
Image:North Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Letter (09-0472) DGS 4567385 351.jpg|Letter
 +
</gallery>
  
== Citation for This Collection  ==
+
[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/freedmens-bureau/highlights.html NARA Select Images from Freedmen's Bureau Records]
  
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
+
'''Records with Freedmen and Refugee Name'''
 +
*Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 5, Assistant Commissioner’s Land Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports
 +
*Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 6, Reports of Persons and Articles Hired
 +
*Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 6, Register of Complaints of Illegal Apprenticeships
 +
*Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 16, Register of Claimants, Registers of Cash Received and Disbursed, 3 volumes, Register of Disbursements
 +
*Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 17, Receipts for Pay, Bounty, and Pension Certificates, A-R
 +
*Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 18, Receipts for Certificates, R-Z
 +
*Claim Division, Roll 28, Register of Claimants for Bounties and Pay Arrearages
 +
*Claim Division, Roll 29-32, Case Files for Claims for Bounty and Pay Arrearages, A-Y
 +
*Claim Division, Roll 32, Register of Claimants for Pensions
 +
*Claim Division, Rolls 33-35, Case Files of Pension Claims, A-Y
 +
*Claim Division, Roll 35, Register of Maryland Bounty Claims Filed through Hugh L. Bond, Register of Claims Not Originally Filed through the Baltimore Office, Register of Loyal Slave Owners, Maryland and West Virginia, Names and Addresses of Claimants, 2 volumes
 +
*Complaint Division, Roll 37, Register of Complaints
 +
*Bladensburg, Roll 41, Register of Complaints
 +
*Rockville, Roll 42, Register of Complaints
 +
*Wilmington, Delaware, Roll 42, Register of Claimants for Bounties, Register of Claims for Pensions, Register of Payments
  
{{Collection citation| text=<!--bibdescbegin-->Maryland and Delaware. Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Freedmen's Bureau Letters, 1865-1870. NARA M1906. National Archive and Records Center. Washington, D.C.<!--bibdescend--> }}
 
  
[[Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
+
==What Can this Collection Tell Me?==
  
== Record Content  ==
+
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.
  
 
The following important genealogical information is often found in Bureau records:  
 
The following important genealogical information is often found in Bureau records:  
 
[[Image:North Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Letter (09-0472) DGS 4567385 351.jpg|thumb|right]]
 
  
 
*Name of the freedman  
 
*Name of the freedman  
Line 34: Line 98:
 
*Marriage place
 
*Marriage place
  
== How to Use the Records  ==
+
== How Do I Search the Collection? ==
  
The Freedmen’s Bureau records are a major source of genealogical information about post Civil War African Americans. To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and some other identifying information such as age, residence or former owner.  
+
The Freedmen’s Bureau records are a major source of genealogical information about post Civil War African Americans. The records are also a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence.  To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and some other identifying information such as age, residence or former owner.  
  
==== Search the Collection ====
+
'''View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/1989156/waypoints Browse Page]:'''<br>To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br> ⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br> ⇒Select the "Freedmen's Bureau Office or Subordinate Field Office Location"<br> ⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number - Contents" which takes you to the images<br>
  
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br>
+
==What Do I Do Next?==
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br>
 
⇒Select the "_____________" category<br>
 
⇒Select the "_____________" category<br>
 
⇒Select the "_____________" category which takes you to the images<br>
 
  
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.  
+
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.  
  
==== Using the Information ====
+
===I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?===
  
 
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example 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.  
 
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example 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.  
  
==== Tips to Keep in Mind ====
+
=== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now? ===
  
*The records are a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence.  
+
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
*Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names.
+
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
*If you cannot find your ancestor search the indexes and records of neighboring localities.
+
*Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
 +
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 +
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
 +
*Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names.  
  
==== General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records ====
+
{{Tip|Don't overlook items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog:
 +
:*{{FHL|Maryland, Freedmen's Bureau|keywords|disp}}
 +
:*{{FHL|Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau|keywords|disp}}
 +
For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki articles:
 +
:*[[Maryland Archives and Libraries]]
 +
:*[[Delaware Archives and Libraries]]
 +
For additional information about these states see the wiki articles:
 +
:*[[Maryland Genealogy]]
 +
:*[[Delaware Genealogy]]}}
 +
 
 +
== General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records ==
  
 
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 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.<br>
+
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.<br>  
  
 
The Bureau assisted over one million African Americans, including many of the nearly four million emancipated slaves, which was over 25% of the population of former slaves in America.  
 
The Bureau assisted over one million African Americans, including many of the nearly four million emancipated slaves, which was over 25% of the population of former slaves in America.  
  
 
The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves, some of which were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans who were not African Americans also sought help from the Bureau. Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.  
 
The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves, some of which were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans who were not African Americans also sought help from the Bureau. Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.  
 
== Related Websites  ==
 
 
*[http://www.archives.gov/research/genealogy/index.html National Archives Resources for Genealogists]
 
*[http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/fssppubs.htm Publications of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project]
 
  
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
  
 +
*[[Maryland, United States Genealogy|Maryland]]
 +
*[[Delaware, United States Genealogy|Delaware]]
 
*[[United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
 
*[[United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States Freedmen’s Bureau Letters (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
 
*[[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records|African American Freedmen’s Bureau Records]]  
 
*[[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records|African American Freedmen’s Bureau Records]]  
Line 80: Line 150:
 
*[[African American Research|African American Research]]
 
*[[African American Research|African American Research]]
  
== Citing Family Search Historical Collections ==
+
== Citing this Collection ==
  
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.  
+
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].  
+
'''Collection Citation''':<br>
 +
{{Collection citation | text= "Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1906. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.}}<br><br>
  
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
+
'''Image Citation'''<br> {{Image_Citation_Link
 
+
|CID=CID1989156
{{Incomplete Section}}  
+
|title=Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
 +
|}}
  
*“Delaware Marriage Records,” database and digital images, FamilySearch ([https://www.familysearch.org]: 4 March 2011), William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, 1890; from Delaware, State Marriage Records 23 November 1913, no. 859, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover; FHL microfilm 2,025,063.
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
*“El Salvador Civil Registration,” database and digital images, FamilySearch ([https://www.familysearch.org]: 21 March 2011), Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, 1880; from La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal, San Salvador.
+
{{Contributor invite}}
 +
[[Category:NARA_Freedmen's_Bureau]]

Latest revision as of 17:10, 8 March 2017

United States

Access the Records
Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872 .
CID1989156
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Maryland and Delaware, United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Freedmen and Refugee Records
Record Group RG 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands
Collection years 1865-1872
Microfilm Publication M1906. Records of the Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872. 42 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 434
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of scanned images of records from National Archives microfilm publication M1906 Records of the Field Offices for the States of Maryland and Delaware, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands which is part of Record Group 105 Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.The images are generally arranged in the order the records were microfilmed with the records of the Assistant Commissioner who oversaw Bureau operations in the state and state level staff officers; Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Claim Division, Complaint Division, first then the local field office records are arranged alphabetically by location and by NARA roll number.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872.

Collection Content

Sample Image

NARA Select Images from Freedmen's Bureau Records

Records with Freedmen and Refugee Name

  • Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 5, Assistant Commissioner’s Land Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports
  • Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 6, Reports of Persons and Articles Hired
  • Assistant Commissioner’s Office, Roll 6, Register of Complaints of Illegal Apprenticeships
  • Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 16, Register of Claimants, Registers of Cash Received and Disbursed, 3 volumes, Register of Disbursements
  • Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 17, Receipts for Pay, Bounty, and Pension Certificates, A-R
  • Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Roll 18, Receipts for Certificates, R-Z
  • Claim Division, Roll 28, Register of Claimants for Bounties and Pay Arrearages
  • Claim Division, Roll 29-32, Case Files for Claims for Bounty and Pay Arrearages, A-Y
  • Claim Division, Roll 32, Register of Claimants for Pensions
  • Claim Division, Rolls 33-35, Case Files of Pension Claims, A-Y
  • Claim Division, Roll 35, Register of Maryland Bounty Claims Filed through Hugh L. Bond, Register of Claims Not Originally Filed through the Baltimore Office, Register of Loyal Slave Owners, Maryland and West Virginia, Names and Addresses of Claimants, 2 volumes
  • Complaint Division, Roll 37, Register of Complaints
  • Bladensburg, Roll 41, Register of Complaints
  • Rockville, Roll 42, Register of Complaints
  • Wilmington, Delaware, Roll 42, Register of Claimants for Bounties, Register of Claims for Pensions, Register of Payments


What Can this Collection Tell Me?

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.

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

How Do I Search the Collection?

The Freedmen’s Bureau records are a major source of genealogical information about post Civil War African Americans. The records are also a good source to quickly identify a family group and residence. To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and some other identifying information such as age, residence or former owner.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Freedmen's Bureau Office or Subordinate Field Office Location"
⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number - Contents" which takes you to the images

What Do I Do Next?

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors. For example 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names.

General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records

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, which was over 25% of the population of former slaves in America.

The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves, some of which were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans who were not African Americans also sought help from the Bureau. Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.

Related Wiki Articles

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M1906. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Maryland and Delaware, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.