~ Discovering Your Family's Past To Shape Your Future ~
If you are not already with the Freedmen’s Bureau, it was an organization established to help transition former slaves to freedom following emancipation. For ten years – 1862 to 1872 – the bureau gathered handwritten documents on freed men, women, and children, including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital, and property records.
4 million new records – 1100 microfilm rolls! – will be released for free to the public. And you can be a part of this historic event. Partnering with FamilySearch, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and its 30 chapters around the country have created the Freedmen’s Bureau Project – an effort to index all 12 million names in those records. To do so, they’ve invited the public to pitch in at discoverfreedmen.org to index the records; the images are already available publicly at that site. Once indexed, they will be searchable and break down brick walls for many African American families searching for their ancestors.
So what are you doing tomorrow? Indexing, I hope!