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Newly Digitized Freedmen’s Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Smithsonian: “Anyone with an internet connection can now access more than 3.5 million records documenting the lives of free Black people during the Reconstruction period. Created by genealogy company Ancestry, the free online portal amounts to a treasure trove of information about Black communities in the United States between 1846 and 1878, reports Rosalind Bentley for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The newly debuted tool will allow researchers to study the records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (also known as the Freedmen’s Bureau) with unprecedented ease. Though some of the documents, which are housed at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, D.C., have been digitized previously, the searchable database offers a new level of accessibility. Users can find the resource here…”

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