Discover your roots and unlock your future.
Search the Freedmen's Bureau records for your African American ancestors.
What Was the Freedmen’s Bureau?
Emancipation freed nearly 4 million slaves. The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to help transition them from slavery to citizenship, providing food, housing, education, and medical care. And for the first time in U.S. history, the names of those individuals were systematically recorded and preserved for future generations.
The Freedmen’s Bureau Project
The Freedmen’s Bureau Project helps African Americans reconnect with their Civil War-era ancestors. Join us in discovering your roots, and begin building your own family tree.
LEAD US INTO THE LIGHT
Grow Your Family Tree
Begin building your own family tree for free at FamilySearch.org. Link photographs, stories, and memories to your parents, grandparents, and other ancestors, and discover other records that let you uncover roots and branches you never knew about.
More about the Freedmen's Bureau Project
To help bring thousands of records to light, 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 Juneteenth (June 19) 2015, and with the help of more than 25,000 volunteers, was completed on June 20, 2016. As a result of the tireless effort of thousands, the names of nearly 1.8 million men, women, and children are now searchable online. Now that the images have been indexed, millions have access to the names of their ancestors, allowing individuals to build their family trees and connect with their heritage.