Freedmen’s Bureau, Fred Watts, NC-AAHGS

Date: Thursday February 11th.

What is the Freedmen’s Bureau and why all the excitement?

The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized near the end of the American Civil War to assist newly freed slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia. From 1865 to 1872, the bureau opened schools, managed hospitals, rationed food and clothing and even solemnized marriages. In the process it gathered priceless handwritten, personal information including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital and property records on potentially 4 million African Americans.

 “The indexing of these records will allow many African Americans to create a link to their Civil War-era ancestors for the first time”, said Thom Reed of FamilySearch. “This effort will bring to life the names of those who came before us and honor their great legacy and will allow us to connect our families past and present.” 

Join us February 11 at 7 Pm when Fred Watts, NC_AAHGS and expert in the Freedmen’s Bureaus will review some content in these records, show examples of indexing activity, and guide us to get involved in this indexing effort. 

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