Freedmen’s Bureau Project Completed with Nearly 2 Million Records of Freed Slaves Indexed

A project to index the records of 4 million freed African-American slaves is now completed, almost a year to the day after the project was launched by the LDS Church’s FamilySearch International genealogy service with an announcement June 19 of last year at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

The Freedmen’s Bureau Project has marshaled the efforts of 18,940 volunteers working coast to coast in the United States and Canada, uncovering the names of nearly 1.8 million of some 4 million pre-Civil War era slaves.

Nationwide chapters of the Afro-American Genealogy and Historical Society and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture — slated to open later this year — partnered with FamilySearch to undertake the project, which drew upon documents from the National Archives and Records Administration.

The full announcement of the completion may be found at


Such a wonderful story. So important!


This is a great project and I congratulate the indexers! However, I see a large problem: It’s not just freedmen who have been indexed — I went to and just so I could see some of the original records I did a search for my maiden name… The first original document I clicked through to is “Registers of Persons Taking Oaths” April-Nov. 1865, in Petersburg, Va. Absolutely wonderful source as a “census” of at least a good many inhabitants in Petersburg, southside Virginia, and few other places, complete with (supposed) place of residence. The problem is that those who needed to take oaths of allegiance to the US were white Confederates. And I can identify some folks in the register and know for certain that they were white and in some cases were (former) CSA soldiers returning home.


Reblogged this on familytreegirldotcom and commented:
This is good news, great partnership. Thanks for sharing the information Dick Eastman. These records will be vital for anyone research African American and Refugees. Thank you to all the individuals who spent time indexing these records. I can’t wait to access them.


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