With this free collection, you can discover the names of your African American ancestors, read their personal letters, see where they settled after the Civil War, and much more.
Explore these records, for free.
A free Ancestry® account is required to access records.
Established in 1865 to help the nearly four million newly freedmen and women manage their transition from enslavement to citizenship, the Freedmen’s Bureau assisted with land and property, relief programs, medical care, and educational support—among many other important endeavors.
Explore the many types of records in this collection, such as employment registers, school and teacher reports, ration lists for clothing and medicine, and personal letters.
Search through marriage certificates and licenses, which include details such as names and ages of the bride and groom, where they got married, and how many children they had.
Established so the newly freed could place and save money, the Freedman’s Bank includes records with names of depositors, residences, birth places, and occupations.