Black Family History Day

An important addition of marriages and letters was completed for free public access online earlier this year and shared at the 11th annual Black Family History Day Symposium at the National Archives at Atlanta (NARA). The event was co-sponsored by the Church's Atlanta Public Affairs Council.

The Symposium, held Feb. 26, was created in 2001 in conjunction with the national release of the Freedman's Bank records — financial records of African-Americans following the American Civil War and part of the world's largest genealogical library with over 2 billion records.

The Freedman's Bank records include information on 480,000 former slaves who deposited more than $57 million in the Freedman's Savings and Trust Co., which failed in 1874. They have become a rich source of documentation for black family research because its thousands of signature cards contain personal information about the individual depositors: names and ages, places of birth, residence, occupations, names of parents and siblings; and, in some cases, the names of former slave owners.

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