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Africana Archives: Freedmen's Bureau Records
Record Transcriptions and Teachers' Resources
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The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was formed by an Act of Congress on March 3, 1865, to assist newly freed slaves and poor whites who had been left in need by the Civil War. The Freedmen's Bureau, which was in charge of all government operations concerning freedmen, was administered by the War Department and was in operation from 1865 until 1872, when it was disbanded.

The records of the Freedmen's Bureau are contained in the National Archives' Record Group 105, Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. The National Archives has taken steps in recent years to preserve the Freedmen's Bureau records and to make them fully accessible to researchers. The records not only contain the names of many thousands of freed slaves, but also provide details about the lives of freedpersons during the Reconstruction Period in America.

As part of our ongoing effort to provide you with new and unpublished records that document slaves, freedpersons and their descendants, we have begun to transcribe microfilmed Freedmen's Bureau records from the National Archives. We will continue to add records to our database, and this page, as our work continues. Please be sure to revisit this page to access our latest transcriptions! Please see our list of suggested websites and lesson plans at the bottom of this page, to learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau, and how to use Freedmen's Bureau records in the classroom.


Image: Freed African American Family, Live Oak Florida
With Kind Permission of the Florida State Archives Online



Transcribed Records in Our Database:

Aiken, Aaron Eugene. Record of Bank Account

Aiken, Catherine. Record of Bank Account

Aikens, Jos. & Sylvia. Bank Account Record

Ash, Harriet with Charles. Bank Account Record

Ash, Mrs. Harriet. Bank Account Record 1868

Ball Family Freedmens Labor Contract, Comingtee Plantation. Berkeley District, SC

Barnwell, William. Bank Account Record 1868

Bonneau, Francis P. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Bright, Eugenia. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Brown, Andrew. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Brown, Anna. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Brown, Augustus. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Brown, Josiah. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Bryan, Jane. Bank Account Record 1872

Butler County, AL Freedmen Rations Distribution, 1867

Butler County, AL Selected Freedmen's Bureau Labor Contracts

Campbell, Cuffy. Bank Account Record 1868

Clifford, Sarah. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Collins, Fanny. Bank Account Record 1870

Complaint Alleging Illegal Slave Trade. GA, TX, Cuba. March 2, 1867

Cook, Edward James with Philis Rivers. Bank Account Record 1867

Coxson, Lot. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Danridge, Sarah. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Davis, Hannah. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Denisson, Margaret. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Destitute Persons in Edgefield District, SC

Destitute Persons in Fairfield District, SC

Destitute Persons in Greenville District, SC

Destitute Persons in St. James Goose Creek, St. Johns Berkeley, and St. Stephens

Destitute Persons in St. James Goose Creek, St. Stephens, and St. John Berkeley, SC

Destitute Persons in St. James Goose Creek, St. Stephens, and St. Johns Bekeley, SC

Destitute Persons in St. James Goose Creek, St. Stephens, and St. Johns Berkeley, SC

Destitute Persons in St. James Goose Creek, St. Stephens, and St. Johns Berkeley, SC

Edwards, Brister. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1872

Edwards, Flora. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1872-1873

Ford, Benjamin. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Freedmen Relocations, NC>Yazoo County, MS 2004-03-11

Freedmen in Andersonville, GA in 1866

Freedmen Living on Roanoke Island, NC in January 1866

Freedmen Living on Roanoke Island, NC Likely to Become Destitute (1866-1867)

Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company Records, Charleston, SC, Part 1

Frost, Peter M. Bank Account Record 1871

Gardner, Rosanna. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Geddis, Amos. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1870

Gibbs, Rebecca with Rose Johnson. Bank Account Record 1868

Gillens, Jackson. Bank Account Record 1868

Gilliard, Mary. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Goodwin, James. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Goodwine, Lewis. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Gourdin, Susan A.E. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Grant, Jacob. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Green, Augustus. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1874

Green, Stephen. Bank Account Record 1869

Harrison, Richard. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Hayward, Emma J. Bank Account Record 1871

Herbert, G.B. Labor Contract with Eliza Herbert, Butler County, AL

Howard, George. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Jerry, Frank J. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Johnson, Fanny. Bank Account Record 1873

Johnson, Isaac B. Bank Account Record 1870

Johnson, Isaac D. Bank Account Record 1870

Johnson, Isaac D. with Charlotte. Bank Account Record 1872

Johnson, Jacob. Bank Account Record 1871

Johnson, Robert with Rose. Bank Account Record 1869

Johnson, Rose. Bank Account Record 1870

Johnson, Wesley . Bank Account Record 1871

Jones, Catherine. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Jones, John G. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Labor Contract in Georgia, March 7, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 17, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 20, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 21, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 22, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 24, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 26, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 27, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Feb. 28, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, Jan. 20, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, March 10, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, March 12, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, March 3, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, March 6, 1866

Labor Contracts in Georgia, March 8, 1866

Ladson, Charles E. with Rachel. Bank Account Record 1869

Ladson, Edwd. Bank Account Record 1872

Latson, James. Bank Account Record 1868

List of Destitute Freedmen Relocated from Charlotte, NC to Yazoo, MS

Mackey, Richard. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Mackley, Mary E. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Major, Andrew. Bank Account Record 1868

Manigault, Prince. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Middleton, Joseph. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Myers (Meyers), Lucy. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Myers, Martha. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC 1871

NC Freedmen Living on Roanoke Island, NC Likely to Become Destitute (1866-1867)

Newton, Peter Pierson. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC 1871

Notice (Notes), Robert. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Nowell, Robert. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1871

Payne, John. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Perry, Cecelia. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Pew, Rosetta. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Pinckney, Daniel. Bank Account Record 1872

Prier, Charlotte. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Records of the Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company, Charleston, SC

Rivers, James. Bank Account Record 1871

Robinson, Chanty. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Robinson, Frank. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Salters, Willoughby. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Sanders, Hampton. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1872

Simmons, John. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Simons, Hagar. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Singleton, Benjamin C. Bank Account Record 1871

Singleton, Nancy. Bank Account Record 1872

Smith, Ceasar. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Smith, Joe. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Sparks, William M. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Steffens, Henry. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Vanderhorst, Mary E. Bank Account Record 1872

Walker, Amelia. Freedmen's Bureau Records. 1871

Walker, Marguarita and Leslie, Mary. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC

Washington, Anthony. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Washington, Betsy. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC, 1871

Williams, John. Bank Account Record 1870

Williams, London. Bank Account Record 1871

Wilson, Heyward. Freedmen's Savings and Trust Record, Charleston, SC


Related Reading:

Ball Family Freedmen's Labor Contracts, Comingtee Plantation, Berkeley District, SC, March 1, 1866
USF Africana Heritage Project Co-Administrator Alana Thevenet has traced freedpersons in Berkeley District, SC forward to the 1870 census and beyond.

Further Reading: History of the Freedmen's Bureau:

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Freedmen's Bureau by Jessica McElrath, for About.com.


Suggested Websites:

The following websites contain online transcriptions of Freedmen's Bureau records:

The Freedmen's Bureau Online The largest and most comprehensive collection of Freedmen's Bureau records online. Here you will also find links to other websites that contain Freedmen's Bureau records.

The Valley of the Shadow: The Freedmen's Bureau Records, Browse by Topic from the Valley of the Shadow Project at the Virginia Center for Digital History.

Freedmen's Bureau Records, West Tennessee compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith

Wayne County, Tennessee Freedmen Marriages 20 April 1866 - 26 January 1867 transcribed and input by Robyn N. Smith.

Early Hernando County History: The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands ("The Freedmen's Bureau") Read Jeff Cannon's vital research on Freedmen in early Florida.


Lesson Plans and Teachers' Resources, Freedmen's Bureau:

The sites below offer free lesson plans that make use of Freedmen's Bureau records:

Lesson Plan: Freedmen's Bureau: Labor Contract or Re-enslavement? from the Alabama Archives' Teacher Packet "Using Primary Sources in the Classroom."

Defining U.S. - Lessons: Reconstruction thematic unit for elementary students, from Defining Us: A Teaching American History Grant Project

The Freedmen's Bureau: Success or Failure? lesson plans for middle and high school students, by John Soos, Sudbrook Middle Magnet School, Baltimore County Public Schools, featured at the UMBC Center for History Education

Discovering the Past/Considering the Future: Lessons from the Eastern Shore by Margaret Andersen, developed for the Delaware Black History Project at the University of Delaware.

References for This Article:
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Freedmen's Bureau by Jessica McElrath, for About.com.
Copyright 2004 The University of South Florida and The Africana Heritage Project. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. For more information, contact the Africana Heritage Project via e-mail.