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New FamilySearch Records Allow African-Americans to Find Slave Ancestors

MR says: You can help with this exciting, collaborative project to recover the name of Civil War-era African Americans through indexing.

Through a national collaborative effort launched on Juneteenth, African-Americans will now be able to trace their Civil War-era ancestors through the release of 1.5 million digitized records containing 4 million names collected by agents for the Freedmen’s Bureau.

“For many years, these records have been kept and not distributed or used by the public to help individuals,” said Amarillo Texas Stake President Kyle Vest. “Many African-Americans try to trace their genealogy back, and when they do, they get stuck at about 1870 because they have a difficult time finding any of their ancestors or any records.”

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Emancipation Day, FamilySearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced at a press conference in Los Angeles that it will be working with the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum and Genealogical Society on the the Freedmen’s Bureau Project.

“The objective of the Freedmen’s Bureau Project is for us to take all those records and index them onto the computer so that individuals can now search out their family history,” said Vest.

Lead image courtesy of Amarillo Globe News.
Read the rest of this story at amarillo.com
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