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The Freedmen’s Bureau Project

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project is helping African Americans reconnect with their Civil War­-era ancestors. Join us in restoring thousands of records, and begin building your own family tree.

LEAD US INTO THE LIGHT

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THE FREEDMEN’S BUREAU

Emancipation freed nearly 4 million slaves. The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help transition them from slavery to citizenship, providing food, housing, education, and medical care. And for the first time in U.S. history, the names of those individuals were systematically recorded and preserved for future generations. Watch the video to learn more.

THE PROJECT

To help bring thousands of records to light, the Freedmen’s Bureau Project was created as a set of partnerships between FamilySearch International and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum.

Tens of thousands of volunteers are needed to make these records searchable online. No specific time commitment is required, and anyone may participate. Volunteers simply log on, pull up as many scanned documents as they like, and enter the names and dates into the fields provided. Once published, information for millions of African Americans will be accessible, allowing families to build their family trees and connect with their ancestors.

HOW DO WE FIND THEM?

Every name brings us closer to completing this project. The progress meter shows what percentage of the records we’ve indexed so far. But there’s still more work to do. See how you can get involved today to help millions discover their roots.

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You can also BUILD YOUR OWN FAMILY TREE at FamilySearch.org, and connect with other records you may not know exist.

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You can get involved and HELP INDEX other records to help people like you who are searching for their ancestors.

You can also BUILD YOUR OWN FAMILY TREE at FamilySearch.org, and connect with other records you may not know exist.

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Not seeing the results you were hoping for? Keep Coming back to see if anyone has worked on your ancestor’s record.

You can get involved and HELP INDEX other records to help people like you who are searching for their ancestors.

You can also BUILD YOUR OWN FAMILY TREE at FamilySearch.org, and connect with other records you may not know exist.

Grow your Family Tree

Begin building your own family tree for free at FamilySearch.org. Link photographs, stories, and memories to your parents, grandparents, and other ancestors, and discover other records that let you uncover roots and branches you never knew about.

Click here to build your family tree on FamilySearch