22 June 2015

Freedmen’s Bureau Records -- Volunteer indexing effort of 4 million freed slave records underway

A new project was unveiled on Friday in honor of Juneteenth Day – the Freedmen’s Bureau Project.

SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch International, the largest non-profit genealogy organization in the world, announced the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.

FamilySearch is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum to make these records available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them easily searchable online. Once indexed, finding an ancestor may be as easy as going to FamilySearch.org, entering a name and, with the touch of a button, discovering your family member ...

On the project page, click “Volunteer Now” to get started.  Here is the indexing guide.

These are invaluable records not just for those with en-slaved ancestors and for anyone living in a southern state immediately after the Civil War.  Many many individuals are listed in these records – freed individuals, ex-military, widowed wives, orphans and more.  I love these records so much that I was honored to do a webinar on them for NCGS in 2014, Freedmen’s Bureau Records – Much More Valuable to Anyone’s Southern Research Than you Might Have Thought!

Needless to say I am very excited to see these records get the recognition as an invaluable resource that they have long deserved.

Let’s all do our part to make them widely available!

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