African American Records

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African American Reference Reports

Records created by post-Civil War Federal agencies are perhaps some of the most important records available for the study of African American genealogy. Reconstruction-era Federal records document the black family's struggle for freedom and equality and provide insight into the Federal government's policies towards the nearly four million African Americans freed at the close of the American Civil War. The records help bridge the gap for the transitional period from slavery to freedom. African American Reference Reports describe research strategies for some of the most frequently used records relating to African American genealogy, including service in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), Buffalo soldiers, District of Columbia emancipation records, the Freedmen's Bureau, Freedman's Bank, and WPA Slave Narratives.

Click on the title to view a PDF version of the reference report.


Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872

By State

Freedmen's Savings and Trust Company, 1865-1874

Military Service


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