African American Family Records From Era of Slavery to be Available Free Online


African American fugitive slaves provide support to the Union war effort, circa 1863. African American fugitive slaves provide support to the Union war effort, circa 1863. (Photograph: Andrew J Russell/Medford Historical Society Collection/CORBIS)

Millions of African Americans will soon be able to trace their families through the era of slavery, some to the countries from which their ancestors were snatched, thanks to a new and free online service that is digitizing a huge cache of federal records for the first time.

Handwritten records collecting information on newly freed slaves that were compiled just after the civil war will be available for easy searches through a new website, it was announced on Friday.

The records belong to the Freedmen’s Bureau, an administrative body created by Congress in 1865 to assist slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia transition into free citizenship.

Before that time, slaves were legally regarded as property in the US and their names were not officially documented. They…

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Posted on 06/24/2015, in Black History Month, Potpourri, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. “The project to put the documents online is a collaboration involving the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, the California African American Museum and FamilySearch. The last-named body is a large online genealogy organisation run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – otherwise known as the Mormon church, based in Salt Lake City.”

    I wonder if they could use volunteers?

    Liked by 1 person

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