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New FamilySearch Collection ~ South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872

New Digitized Collection for African American Genealogy in South Carolina
3 Generations of Doctor Family in Letter to Freedmen's Bureau M1910 Reel 89 Taget 1

FamilySearch this week digitized all 106 rolls of the microfilm series Records of the Field Offices for the State of South Carolina, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872 (NARA Micropublication M1910). This new collection of 118,737 images is one of the most significant for tracing formerly enslaved ancestors in South Carolina. The 106 rolls of microfilm span the date range of 1865 to 1872.

Freedmen's Bureau records are an invaluable resource for learning where your ancestors were prior to 1870 and can often provide clues for discovering an ancestor's final slaveholder. Among these records are labor contracts, rations lists, land warrants, military bounty claims, letters received and sent, applications for restoration of property to former slaveholders, transportation requests, hospital records and more.

When used in conjunction with the 1869 South Carolina state census, 1868 voter registrations and 1869 militia enrollments, these records can help you learn a lot about where ancestors were, and what they were doing, prior to 1870.

The records are also a valuable source of primary documents for educators to use in the classroom.

The collection is not yet indexed but you can access all 106 rolls of microfilm online. We look forward to exploring these records with you! If you find a treasure, please share it here in the comments. We would love to hear how your research in these records is going.

You can view the reel guide for this collection here in our research library. The guides provide an in-depth look at what each microfilm contains, to help you select which films you would like to view.

To view our Quick Start Guide for this new collection, please see Accessing and Navigating the New FamilySearch Collection "South Carolina, Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872"

You can access the new free collection South Carolina Freedmen's Bureau Records, 1865-1872 here. We are developing a series of blog posts about this new collection. Topics include navigating the records, types of records and the information each contains, and how to use these records to corroborate family oral history and break through the 1870 brick wall.

Please see the Table of Contents in the sidebar in the upper right corner of this page to view and access the articles we have created for this collection.

Happy Ancestor Hunting from the Crew at Lowcountry Africana!


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    January 11, 2014 5:51 amPosted 1 year ago
    Lisa Allen

    Hi my name is Lisa Allen I am trying to trace my family history. My grandmother was Elizabeth Mitchell her parents were Isaac & Evilena Mitchell. They were born on Edisto Island. If anyone has information please contact me.
    Thank You.

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    December 31, 2013 1:14 pmPosted 1 year ago
    James E. Campbell

    A sincere Commendation for this Act of Recovery, Reconciliation, and Reconstruction. Most significantly is the fact of its genesis in South Carolina . . . many thanks and please continue with courage. This can become America's and, most strategically, South Carolina's version of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee. An invaluable contribution to "Knowing".

    • January 2, 2014 9:02 amPosted 1 year ago

      Hi James,
      Thank you so much for these kind words. Much appreciated!



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