The Freedmen’s Bureau Project is helping African Americans reconnect with their Civil War–era ancestors. The Freedmen’s Bureau Project Celebration will be a live event that you can watch on December 6, 2016, at 9:00 a.m., EST.
The Freedmen’s Bureau Project was created as a set of partnerships between FamilySearch International and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum.
The project began on Junteenth (June 19) 2015. More than twenty-five thousand volunteers helped to index records from The Freedmen’s Bureau. Emancipation freed more than 4 million slaves.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help transition newly freed people from slavery to citizenship. The Freedmen’s Bureau provided food, housing, education, and medical care. This was the first time in United States history where the names of these individuals were systematically recorded and preserved for future generations.
People can use the Freedmen’s Bureau Project website to search for an ancestor. Type an ancestor’s name into the search box on that site and it will search FamilySearch’s extensive database of more than 5 billion searchable names in historical records. Those names can be added to your family tree.
A broadcast to celebrate the completion of the Freedmen’s Bureau project will be held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, December 6, at 9:00 a.m. EST. The broadcast will be streamed live at DiscoverFreedmen.org. The celebration is free to view.
During the celebration, Elder D. Todd Christofferson (who became part of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 5, 2008), will present a memento to Lonnie Bunch (the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture). The memento symbolizes the efforts of more than 25,000 volunteers who indexed nearly 1.8 million records that are now searchable online at FamilySearch.org.
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