19 June 2015

FamilySearch Makes Historic Announcement Regarding Historical Records of African American Families

Bank Record

SALT LAKE CITY – On Friday, June 19th Elder D. Todd Christofferson, leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made an historic announcement  regarding the release of Civil War-era free slave records at a press event in Los Angeles.

FamilySearch, the largest genealogy organization in the world, in partnership with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum, are working together to make these records available and accessible on-line for those interested in their ancestry.

·         The Freedmen’s Bureau was organized following the passage of the 13th Amendment to assist newly-freed slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia. 
·         From 1862-1872, the Bureau gathered handwritten, personal information on freed men, women and children, including marriage and family information, military service, banking, school, hospital and property records.
·         In 2001, the FamilySearch Freedman’s Bank project provided more than 460,000 historical records and, at the time, were the largest bank of Civil War-era slave records.
·         Records, histories and stories will be available on DiscoverFreedmen.org.
·         To engage on social media use #DiscoverFreemen

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FamilySearch is the largest genealogical organization in the world providing billions of ancestral records. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our commitment to helping people connect with their ancestors is rooted in our beliefs—that families are meant to be central to our lives and that family relationships are intended to continue beyond this life. Learn more at FamilySearch.org.