Freedmen’s Bureau Records – Much More Valuable to Anyone’s Southern Research Than You Might Have Thought!

By , May 16, 2011
Diane L Richard

Diane L. Richard

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Road
Durham, NC 27705
Click for map

We are pleased to announce Diane L. Richard as the presentor of next month’s meeting. She will be presenting on the Freedmen’s Bureau Records. Diane is a professional genealogist who is active with several genealogical societies and publications. She is the President of the Wake County Genealogical Society, assistant editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, and editor of Upfront with NGS, the Online Blog of the National Genealogical Society. If you have not had the opportunity to learn about these invaluable records, which include freedmen and all impoverished North Carolinians regardless of race, now is the time!

Program Summary:

The impact of the Civil War was keenly felt by most of those living from DE to TX, including North Carolinians, regardless of race or original circumstances. Many pertinent records are found in the Records of Field Offices for the various states, including the State of North Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872, National Archives microfilm publication M1909 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2004) – the basis of the examples used during this talk.

It is very important to note that a common misunderstanding is that this record group only encompasses records of freed slaves. While it does contain records of freedmen, it includes a lot information about ALL impoverished North Carolinians, regardless of race. If a family tree contains confederate soldiers who were wounded or killed in action, their surviving parents, spouses or children might be found listed in these documents as they requested or received rations, were declared destitute, etc.

If your ancestors were freed, they might also be found receiving rations, or being a party to a contract, etc. Or, maybe their children attended a school.

Topics discussed in this talk include:

  • Short History of the Freedmen’s Bureau
  • Short History of the Freedmen’s Bureau in NC
  • Samples from select record groups
    • Request/Applications for Relief/Rations
    • Ration Lists/Destitute Lists
    • Indentures and Contracts
    • Hospital/Medical treatment
    • Freedmen School Records
  • Other relevant Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Diane Richard’s website is Mosaic Research and Project Management and she can be reached by email at

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