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Freedmens Bureau Narrative Reports

Freedmens Bureau Narrative Reports

Want to know a great way to find out about the lives of your enslaved ancestors after the end of the War? The narrative reports of the Freedmens Bureau. I have discussed the Bureau records numerous times in this blog. They are a critical resource for the tumultuous five years between 1865 and 1870. Genealogists […]

Searching Ancestry Databases: Things You...

Searching Ancestry Databases: Things You Should Know

Since Ancestry remains the primary website for genealogy research, I’d like to share a few tips for researching its databases. For the first example, I’ll use the marriage database below called Maryland Compiled Marriages, 1667-1899: We Must Know the Source Typically, we put the names of our ancestors in the search box. If the search came up empty, we might conclude […]

Researching Soldiers in World War I

Researching Soldiers in World War I

My great-grandfather Lawson Holt served in the Army during World War I. Like most, his were among the records destroyed during the infamous 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. This post shows how it is possible to still find out more information about your ancestor’s military service, even though those files are gone. […]

Freedmen’s Bureau Record Uncovers Likely

Freedmen’s Bureau Record Uncovers Likely Slaveowner

I made a big discovery recently courtesy of Familysearch’s newly indexed Freedmen’s Bureau Labor Contracts. A Little Background Several years ago, I used cluster research to trace my Tennessee ancestor Mike Fendricks back to his Alabama roots. At a standstill with Mike, I traced the roots of Dee Suggs, a man Mike lived with in […]

The Ku Klux Klan Hearings

The Ku Klux Klan Hearings

In 1871, the U.S. Government held hearings on the rampant violence in the South by the Ku Klux Klan and other white terrorist organizations. The official name of these records is the “Report of the Joint Select Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States.” However, they are often referred […]

Perry Simpson Found in Freedmen’s Bureau

Perry Simpson Found in Freedmen’s Bureau Records

Finally- I found a needle in a haystack. I found my 4th great-grandfather, Perry Simpson, in Freedmen’s Bureau records! I have probably looked through thousands of pages of these records through the years and that is no exaggeration. I found his name in a Register of Letters Received in the Field Office Records for Maryland […]

Researching U.S. Colored Troops

Researching U.S. Colored Troops

For many years now, I’ve been interested in researching U.S. Colored Troops who served in Union forces from the communities where my family lived. Almost 200,000 black people, slaves and free blacks, served in the Union Army and Navy. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation began the process of large-scale recruitment of black men into the service as […]

 
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