The Newsroom Blog

Freedmen’s Bureau Project Reaches Milestones

Less than six months into the Freedmen’s Bureau Project, the initiative has reached two notable milestones. More than 10,000 indexing volunteers have contributed to the project, and together they have made 440,865 records (15 percent of the total) searchable online.

The project was announced in June 2015 by FamilySearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The goal is to make more than 1 million Civil War–era historical documents — records of about 4 million freed men, women and children — available online in time for the September 2016 opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Freedmen’s Bureau, organized under an 1865 Congressional order at the conclusion of the Civil War, offered assistance to freed slaves in many ways. Handwritten records of these transactions include records such as marriage registers, hospital or patient registers, educational efforts, census lists, labor contracts and indenture or apprenticeship papers and others. The records were compiled in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Since the digitizing project’s launch in June 2015, 10,223 online volunteers have contributed from across the United States. Visit to learn how to help.

Additional Resources

Freedmen's Bureau Project: Connecting African Americans With Civil War–Era Ancestors

Milestones Reached in Freedmen’s Bureau Project

Browse the Blog

About: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, please also visit the home page.

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.