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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]]''
+
'''[[United States Genealogy|United States]]'''
 
{{US NARA HR Infobox
 
{{US NARA HR Infobox
 
| CID=CID2431126
 
| CID=CID2431126
Line 12: Line 12:
 
| start_year = 1865
 
| start_year = 1865
 
| end_year = 1872
 
| end_year = 1872
 +
| alt_flag = Flag_of_the_United_State_(1863-1865).png
 +
| alt_flag_desc = US Flag 1863-1865 (35 stars)
 
| micro_pub_nr = M742
 
| micro_pub_nr = M742
 
| micro_pub_title =[http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m742.pdf Selected Series of Records Issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872]   
 
| micro_pub_title =[http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m742.pdf Selected Series of Records Issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872]   
Line 28: Line 30:
 
| NAID = 434
 
| NAID = 434
 
| language =  
 
| language =  
| FS_URL_01 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427901?collectionNameFilter=false Records of the Assistant Commissioner]  
+
| FS_URL_01 = [[GuidedResearch:United States|United States Guided Research]]
| FS_URL_02 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427894?collectionNameFilter=false Superintendent of Education and the Division of Education Records]  
+
| FS_URL_02 = [[United States Record Finder]]
| FS_URL_03 =[https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1417695?collectionNameFilter=true Freedmen’s Bank]  
+
| FS_URL_03 = [[United States Research Tips and Strategies|Research Tips and Strategies]]
| FS_URL_04 =[[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records]]
+
| FS_URL_04 = [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427901?collectionNameFilter=false Records of the Assistant Commissioner]
| FS_URL_05 =[[Quick Guide to African American Records]]
+
| FS_URL_05 = [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/2427894?collectionNameFilter=false Superintendent of Education and the Division of Education Records]
| FS_URL_06 =[[African American Research]]  
+
| FS_URL_06 = [https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1417695?collectionNameFilter=true Freedmen’s Bank]
| FS_URL_07 =
+
| FS_URL_07 = [[African American Freedmen's Bureau Records]]
| FS_URL_08 =
+
| FS_URL_08 = [[Quick Guide to African American Records]]
| FS_URL_09 =
+
| FS_URL_09 = [[African American Research]]
| FS_URL_10 =  
+
| FS_URL_10 = [[United States]]
 
| RW_URL_01 =[http://mappingthefreedmensbureau.com/ Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau]
 
| RW_URL_01 =[http://mappingthefreedmensbureau.com/ Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau]
 
| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/freedmens-bureau-records.html Freedmen's Bureau Records: An Overview]  
 
| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1997/summer/freedmens-bureau-records.html Freedmen's Bureau Records: An Overview]  
 
| RW_URL_03 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/freedmens-bureau/general-admin-records.pdf NARA Reference Report]  
 
| RW_URL_03 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/freedmens-bureau/general-admin-records.pdf NARA Reference Report]  
| RW_URL_04 =[https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE6856148&from=fhd Preliminary Inventory Washington Headquarters]  
+
| RW_URL_04 =[https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?from=fhd&dps_pid=IE6856148&from=fhd Preliminary Inventory Washington Headquarters]  
 
| RW_URL_05 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/freedmens-bureau/highlights.html NARA Selected Images of  bureau records]
 
| RW_URL_05 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/freedmens-bureau/highlights.html NARA Selected Images of  bureau records]
 
| RW_URL_06 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/105.html NARA Collection Description Record Group 105]
 
| RW_URL_06 =[http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/105.html NARA Collection Description Record Group 105]
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| RW_URL_08 =[http://freedmensbureau.com/ The Freedmen's Bureau Online]. Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
 
| RW_URL_08 =[http://freedmensbureau.com/ The Freedmen's Bureau Online]. Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.
 
| RW_URL_09 =[http://suffolk.libguides.com/content.php?pid=117960&sid=1828859 Suffolk University]  
 
| RW_URL_09 =[http://suffolk.libguides.com/content.php?pid=117960&sid=1828859 Suffolk University]  
 +
| RW_URL_10 =[https://library.bowdoin.edu/arch/oliver-otis-howard/ Oliver Otis Howard Papers Online Bowdoin College Library]
 
}}
 
}}
  
== What is in the Collection?  ==
+
== What is in This Collection?  ==
  
The collection consists of images of the records of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau).  
+
The collection consists of images of the records of the Commissioner (Oliver O. Howard) of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau).The following link will provide a description of the record types found in this and other Freedmen’s Bureau collections.[[Freedmen's Bureau Record Types]] 
  
This collection includes  name and subject indexes, letters and endorsements sent, circulars and special orders that were issued by Oliver O. Howard Commissioner of the Bureau  from  NARA microfilm publication: M742, and  indexes and registers and letters received  Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner from NARA microfilm  publication M752.
+
This collection includes  name and subject indexes, letters and endorsements sent, circulars and special orders that were issued by Oliver O. Howard Commissioner of the Bureau  from  NARA microfilm publication: M742, and  indexes and registers and letters received  by the Commissioner from NARA microfilm  publication M752.
  
 
*[http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m742.pdf Selected Series of Records Issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands,1865-1872 M742]
 
*[http://www.archives.gov/research/microfilm/m742.pdf Selected Series of Records Issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands,1865-1872 M742]
Line 62: Line 65:
 
*Records of the Commissioner: Some of the records relate to offices and civilians who worked for the bureau  
 
*Records of the Commissioner: Some of the records relate to offices and civilians who worked for the bureau  
 
*Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer: Some of the records relate to the payment of claims for veterans  
 
*Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer: Some of the records relate to the payment of claims for veterans  
*Records of the Land Division: Some collections will identify the property owner of abandoned and confiscated lands  
+
*Records of the [https://catalog.archives.gov/id/10478198 Land Division:] Some collections will identify the property owner of abandoned and confiscated lands  
*Records of the Chief Medical Officer: Managed the hospitals and dispensaries and the treatment of patients
+
*Records of the [https://catalog.archives.gov/id/10478199 Chief Medical Officer:] Managed the hospitals and dispensaries and the treatment of patients
 
*Records of the Claims Division: Helped veterans with claims for bounties, pensions and back pay  
 
*Records of the Claims Division: Helped veterans with claims for bounties, pensions and back pay  
 
*Education Division: Worked with societies in establishing and maintaining local schools. Some records identify teachers  
 
*Education Division: Worked with societies in establishing and maintaining local schools. Some records identify teachers  
Line 70: Line 73:
 
*Records of the Archives Division
 
*Records of the Archives Division
  
The following [[Freedmen's Bureau, Washington Headquarters, Records of the Commissioner, Inventory]]  will provide additional details.   
+
'''The following [[Freedmen's Bureau, Washington Headquarters, Records of the Commissioner, Inventory]]  will provide additional details.'''  
 
 
 
 
 
      
 
      
 
*Freedmen's Branch Office,1872-1879
 
*Freedmen's Branch Office,1872-1879
 
*Records of the Assistant Adjutant General   
 
*Records of the Assistant Adjutant General   
*Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer
+
*Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer
 +
 
 +
=== Related Publication ===
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/748061?availability=Family%20History%20Library Jacqueline A. Lawson. ''An index of African Americans identified in selected records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.'' Bowie, Maryland : Heritage Books, 1995. FHL 973 F2Lja]
  
===To Browse this Collection===
+
===To Browse This Collection===
  
 
{{Collection_Browse_Link
 
{{Collection_Browse_Link
Line 85: Line 89:
 
}}
 
}}
  
== Collection Content  ==
+
==What Can These Records Tell Me?==
===Sample Images===
 
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px" caption="United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner">
 
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Cover Letter DGS 7675270_105.jpg|Cover Letter
 
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Denial of Claim DGS 7675270_282.jpg|Denial of Claim
 
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Endorsement DGS 7675270_380.jpg|Endorsement
 
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Register of Letters DGS 7675279_68.jpg|Register of Letters
 
</gallery>
 
 
 
==What Can this Collection Tell Me?==
 
  
 
The Bureau was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.  
 
The Bureau was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.  
Line 108: Line 103:
 
*Document dates
 
*Document dates
  
== How Do I Search the Collection?  ==
+
== Collection Content  ==
 +
===Sample Images===
 +
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px" caption="United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner">
 +
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Cover Letter DGS 7675270_105.jpg|Cover Letter
 +
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Denial of Claim DGS 7675270_282.jpg|Denial of Claim
 +
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Endorsement DGS 7675270_380.jpg|Endorsement
 +
Image:United States, Freedmen's Bureau Records of the Commissioner (14-1400) Register of Letters DGS 7675279_68.jpg|Register of Letters
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
== How Do I Search This Collection?  ==
 
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
 
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
*The name of your ancestor.
+
*The name of your ancestor
*The approximate age of your ancestor.
+
*The approximate age of your ancestor
*The place where your ancestor lived.
+
*The place where your ancestor lived
*The name of the former slave owner.  
+
*The name of the former slave owner
 +
 
 +
=== View the Images ===
 +
View images in this collection by visiting the '''{{RecordSearch|2431126|Browse Page|access=browse}}''':
 +
# Select '''Selected Series or Registers and Letters Received'''
 +
# Select '''NARA Roll Number - Contents''' to view the images.<br><br>
  
'''View images in this collection by visiting the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https://familysearch.org/recapi/sord/collection/2431126/waypoints Browse Page]:'''<br>To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:<br> ⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page<br> ⇒Select the appropriate "Selected Series or Registers and Letters Received"<br> ⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number - Contents" which takes you to the images<br>
+
{{Tip|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2431126 United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872]. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.}}
 +
 
 +
=== How Do I Analyze the Results? ===
 +
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.  Keep track of your research in a [[Use_Appropriate_Forms#Prepare_a_Research_Log | research log]].
  
 
== What Do I Do Next?==
 
== What Do I Do Next?==
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
 
===I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?===
 
*Use the information found to search for the family in census records.
 
*Use the information found to search for the family in church records.
 
*Use the information found to search for the family in land and probate records.
 
*Use the information found to search for the family in additional state and county records.
 
=== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now? ===
 
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
 
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
 
*Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
 
*Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names.
 
  
{{Tip|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/2431126 United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872]. Click on camera icon to see images.}}
+
===I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?===
 +
*Use the information found to search for the family in census records
 +
*Use the information found to search for the family in church records
 +
*Use the information found to search for the family in land and probate records
 +
*Use the information found to search for the family in additional state and county records
 +
 
 +
=== I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now? ===
 +
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name
 +
*Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
 +
*Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
 +
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
 +
*Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
 +
*Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names
 +
 
 +
=== Research Helps ===
 +
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in [[United States Genealogy|the United States]].
 +
* [[US Military Basic Search Strategies]]
 +
* [[Beginning United States Civil War Research]]
 +
* [[Locating a Confederate Civil War Soldier (1861–1865)]]
 +
* [[Locating a Union Civil War  Soldier (1861-1865)]]
 +
* [[GuidedResearch:United States|United States Guided Research]]
 +
* [[United States Record Finder]]
 +
* [[United States Research Tips and Strategies|Research Tips and Strategies]]
  
 
== General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records  ==
 
== General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records  ==
Line 143: Line 164:
 
== Related FamilySearch Historical Records Collection Articles  ==
 
== Related FamilySearch Historical Records Collection Articles  ==
  
*[[Alabama, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Alabama, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Arkansas, Field Offices Records of the Freedmen's Bureau (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Arkansas, Field Offices Records of the Freedmen's Bureau - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[District of Columbia, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[District of Columbia, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Georgia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Georgia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Kentucky, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Kentucky, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Louisiana, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Louisiana, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Mississippi, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Mississippi, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Missouri, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Missouri, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[North Carolina, Freedmen Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[North Carolina, Freedmen Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[South Carolina, Freedmen Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[South Carolina, Freedmen Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Tennessee, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Tennessee, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Texas, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Texas, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[Virginia, Freedmen's Bureau Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[Virginia, Freedmen's Bureau Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[United States Freedmen’s Branch Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[United States Freedmen’s Branch Records - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Assistant Commissioner (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[[United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Assistant Commissioner - FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
*[[United States, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
*[[United States, Records of the Superintendent of Education and of the Division of Education - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
  
==Citing this Collection==
+
==Citing This Collection==
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image. <br>
+
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
  
'''Collection citation''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872." Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publications M742 and M752. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1969 and 1973.}}<br><br>
+
{{Collection_Published}}
 
+
{{Image_Citation}}
'''Image citation''':<br> {{Image Citation Link
 
|CID=CID2431126
 
|title=United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872
 
}}
 
  
 
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
 
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
 
{{Contributor_invite}}
 
{{Contributor_invite}}
  
[[Category:NARA_Freedmen's_Bureau]]
+
[[Category:NARA_Freedmen's_Bureau Records]]
 +
 
 +
{{H-langs|en=United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner - FamilySearch Historical Records|pt=Estados Unidos, Agência de Libertos, Registros do Comissário (Registros Históricos do FamilySearch)}}

Latest revision as of 09:29, 25 June 2019

United States

Access the Records
United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872
CID2431126
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
Flag of the United State (1863-1865).png
US Flag 1863-1865 (35 stars)
NARA logo circular black on white.jpg
National Archives and Records Administration Logo
Record Description
Record Type Freedmen and Refugee Records
Record Group RG 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands
Collection years 1865-1872
Microfilm Publication M742. Selected Series of Records Issued by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872. 7 rolls.
  M752. Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872. 74 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 434
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of images of the records of the Commissioner (Oliver O. Howard) of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau).The following link will provide a description of the record types found in this and other Freedmen’s Bureau collections.Freedmen's Bureau Record Types

This collection includes name and subject indexes, letters and endorsements sent, circulars and special orders that were issued by Oliver O. Howard Commissioner of the Bureau from NARA microfilm publication: M742, and indexes and registers and letters received by the Commissioner from NARA microfilm publication M752.

Additional records of the Washington Headquarters located in the National Archives include the following:

  • Records of the Commissioner: Some of the records relate to offices and civilians who worked for the bureau
  • Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer: Some of the records relate to the payment of claims for veterans
  • Records of the Land Division: Some collections will identify the property owner of abandoned and confiscated lands
  • Records of the Chief Medical Officer: Managed the hospitals and dispensaries and the treatment of patients
  • Records of the Claims Division: Helped veterans with claims for bounties, pensions and back pay
  • Education Division: Worked with societies in establishing and maintaining local schools. Some records identify teachers
  • Records of the Chief Quartermaster: Provided transportation to refugees, freedmen and teachers
  • Records of the Assistant Inspector General: Distributed supplies to freedmen and refugees in need
  • Records of the Archives Division

The following Freedmen's Bureau, Washington Headquarters, Records of the Commissioner, Inventory will provide additional details.

  • Freedmen's Branch Office,1872-1879
  • Records of the Assistant Adjutant General
  • Records of the Chief Disbursing Officer

Related Publication[edit | edit source]

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Freedmen's Bureau, Records of the Commissioner, 1865-1872.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The Bureau was created in 1865 at the end of the American Civil War to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.

The information varies by record. You may find any of the following:

  • Name of the freedman
  • Name of the freedman’s former owner
  • Date of the record
  • Birthplace
  • Residence
  • Age
  • Document dates

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The approximate age of your ancestor
  • The place where your ancestor lived
  • The name of the former slave owner

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Selected Series or Registers and Letters Received
  2. Select NARA Roll Number - Contents to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the information found to search for the family in census records
  • Use the information found to search for the family in church records
  • Use the information found to search for the family in land and probate records
  • Use the information found to search for the family in additional state and county records

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
  • Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. Search all possible names along with variations or spellings of their known names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

General Information About Freedmen's Bureau Records[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was established in the War Department in March of 1865. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bureau and was responsible for the management and supervision of matters relating to refuges, freedmen, and abandoned lands. The Bureau assisted disenfranchised Americans, primarily African Americans, with temporal, legal and financial matters, with the intent of helping people to become self-sufficient. Matters handled included the distributing of food and clothing; operating temporary medical facilities; acquiring back pay, bounty payments, and pensions; facilitating the creation of schools, including the founding of Howard University; reuniting family members; handling marriages; and providing banking services. Banking services were provided by the establishment of the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company, or Freedman’s Bank.

The Bureau functioned as an agency of the War Department from approximately June 1865 until December 1868. In 1872, the functions of the Bureau were transferred to the Freedmen’s Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office.

The Bureau assisted over one million African Americans, including many of the nearly four million emancipated slaves, which was over 25% of the population of former slaves in America.

The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves, some of which were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans who were not African Americans also sought help from the Bureau. Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.

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