Reuniting the Black Family: Volunteers Index Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Researcher Camilla Jackson, with over 10,000 names in her family tree, learns to index. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

At its September meeting, members of the Houston Texas Chapter of the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS) heeded the “call to action” issued by FamilySearch as they received instruction on indexing Freedmen’s Bureau Records from volunteers of the Friendswood Texas Stake.

Jesse Williams, chapter president, who had successfully learned the indexing process, enthusiastically supported the Freedmen’s Bureau Records Project, as it mirrors the AAHGS goal stated on their website. “Our primary task is to nurture the interest and collaboration of genealogical and family history research. … We believe that the collective compilation and corroboration of our family histories will generate a more accurate portrayal of African American family life, history, and culture. … We believe that through these endeavors the restoration and strengthening of the African American family is made possible.”

As emancipation freed nearly 4 million slaves, the Freedmen’s Bureau (1865–1872) was established by Congress to help transition them from slavery to citizenship, providing food, housing, education, and medical care.  Read the full article. 

About Liv Taylor-Harris

A genealogy hobbyist who has been honoring ancestors and families across Texas and the US since 1989!

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