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The United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by Congress in 1865 to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved people make the transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. In the process, the Bureau created millions of records that contain the names of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees. In an effort to enhance the accessibility of these important materials, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives and Records Administration (where the original records of the Freedmen's Bureau are held), FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian's Transcription Center, have teamed up to transcribe more than 1.5 million pages from the Freedmen's Bureau records (the largest crowdsourcing project ever undertaken by the Smithsonian). Completed transcriptions will allow genealogists, historians, and researchers around the world more easily search for and locate information recorded on Freedmen's Bureau pages related to African American history and the post-Civil War era. Join in by transcribing and reviewing ongoing projects below, and click here to learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau and this important collaborative project.

45% Complete

307 Total pages
132 Contributing members
Virginia Assistant Commissioner, Endorsements Sent, Volume 7 (28), Jan. 1–June 29, 1867

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Virginia, Series 2: Endorsements Sent.

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

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30% Complete

92 Total pages
51 Contributing members
Virginia Assistant Commissioner, Personnel Records, Station Books and Rosters of Officers and Civilians, Vol. 2 (41), 1868

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Virginia, Series 11: Personnel Records.

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

71% Complete

297 Total pages
68 Contributing members
Virginia Assistant Commissioner, Records Relating to Bureau Functions, Monthly Ration Reports, Aug. 1865–Aug. 1867, Part 2

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Virginia, Series 7: Records Relating to Specific Bureau Functions.

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

39% Complete

266 Total pages
27 Contributing members
Virginia Assistant Commissioner, Records Relating to Bureau Functions, Monthly Reports on Confiscated and Abandoned Lands, Feb. 1867–Aug. 1870, Part 1

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Virginia, Series 7: Records Relating to Specific Bureau Functions.

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

66% Complete

290 Total pages
46 Contributing members
Virginia Education, School Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports, Dec. 1869–Jan. 1870, Part 1

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 4: School Reports. 

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

0% Complete

291 Total pages
6 Contributing members
Virginia Education, School Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports, Dec. 1869–Jan. 1870, Part 2

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 4: School Reports. 

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

42% Complete

235 Total pages
30 Contributing members
Virginia Education, School Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports, Sept.–Nov. 1869, Part 3

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 4: School Reports. 

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau

37% Complete

233 Total pages
21 Contributing members
Virginia Education, School Reports, Teachers Monthly School Reports, Sept.–Nov. 1869, Part 4

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Virginia, Series 4: School Reports. 

 

Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Virginia during the Reconstruction Era.

Browse projects by Freedmen's Bureau