The Freedmen's Bureau Project Celebration. Watch the live event on December 6, 9:00 AM, EST.

Freedmen’s Bureau Project logo

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project

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

LEAD US INTO THE LIGHT

Freedmen’s Bureau Project logo

Name fields cannot be left empty.

Freedmen’s Bureau Project search results are loading
No Search Results Found

Records for ancestors may not have been indexed yet. Please return later to see if someone has helped locate and digitize their records.

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.

Your internet has timed out please refresh the page.

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.

Search Results from Historical Records

1-{{displayedResults}} of {{totalResults}} results for: {{fullName}}
See all results

Name Events Relationships Details Image

{{record.name.displayName}}

{{record.name.recordName}}

{{event.title}}: {{event.year}} {{event.location}}

{{relationship.title}}: {{relationship.name}}

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

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.

The project began on Juneteenth (June 19) 2015 and with the help of more than twenty-five thousand volunteers, was completed on June 20, 2016. As a result of the tireless effort of thousands, the names of nearly 1.8 million men, women and children are now searchable online. Now that the images have been indexed, millions have access to the names of their ancestors, allowing individuals to build their family trees and connect with their heritage.

YOU CAN STILL BE INVOLVED

Using the indexed and browsed records provided by FamilySearch, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has begun a collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Transcription Center. The SI Transcription Center is a platform for digital volunteers to transcribe and review transcriptions of Smithsonian collections. With almost 2 million individual records in the collection, the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project will be the largest crowdsourcing project ever sponsored by the Smithsonian.

To supplement the indexing work done by FamilySearch volunteers, the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project will transcribe word-for-word every document in the collection. When completed, the papers will be keyword searchable. This joint effort will help increase access to the Freedmen’s Bureau collection and help the public learn more about the United States in the Reconstruction Era.

VOLUNTEER NOW