Virtual: Family-History Research - The Freedman’s Bureau Records

Primary tabs

Program Type:


Age Group:

Please note you are looking at an event that has already happened.

Program Description


Researching African-American family histories may present special challenges for the genealogical researcher. In this presentation, Carol Beauchamp, from FBCL’s Genealogy and Local History department, will talk about the Freedman’s Bureau Records. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands -- better known as the Freedmen’s Bureau -- was established in 1865 by the War Department. It was created to help newly freed slaves and the destitute get back on their feet after the Civil War. This was accomplished by helping the freedmen with food, clothing, shelter, education, and employment. The agency generated a body of records including letters, labor contracts, reports, marriage, military, and census records, food ration lists, and more. It is the most extensive record collection for African Americans after the Civil War. Documents associated with the Freedmen’s Bureau often provide full names, residences, and often the names of former masters and plantations. This presentation will examine different types of records created by the field offices within the Freedmen’s Bureau and what databases to use to find them.

This program is a pre-recorded video. View it here.