Georgia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Georgia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
This article describes a collection of records at
United States
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Record Description
Record Type Freedmen and Refugee Records
Record Group RG 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands
Collection years 1865-1872
Microfilm Publication M1903. Records of the Field Offices for the State of Georgia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. 90 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 434
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

Why Should I Look at This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was established in the War Department in March of 1865. It was commonly called the Freedman’s Bureau and was responsible for the management and supervision of matters relating to refuges, freedmen, and abandoned lands. The Bureau assisted disenfranchised Americans, primarily African Americans, with temporal, legal and financial matters, with the intent of helping people to become self-sufficient. Matters handled included the distributing of food and clothing; operating temporary medical facilities; acquiring back pay, bounty payments, and pensions; facilitating the creation of schools, including the founding of Howard University; reuniting family members; handling marriages; and providing banking services. Banking services were provided by the establishment of the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company, or Freedman’s Bank.

The Bureau functioned as an agency of the War Department from approximately June 1865 until December 1868. In 1872, the functions of the Bureau were transferred to the Freedmen’s Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office. The Bureau assisted over one million African Americans, including many of the nearly four million emancipated slaves, which was over 25% of the population of former slaves in America.The records identify those who sought help from the Bureau at the end of the Civil War. Most supplicants were freed slaves, some of which were military veterans. In addition, a few veterans who were not African Americans also sought help from the Bureau. Freedmen’s Bureau records are usually reliable, because the records were supplied through first-person correspondence or the recording of a marriage.

Also available is a field office personnel coverage table which shows where the field offices in Georgia were located, the names of the employees, what office they held, and the dates they served. Freedmen's Bureau Georgia Field Office Personnel Coverage Table

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of scanned images of records from National Archives microfilm publication M1903Records of the Field Offices for the State of Georgia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands which is part of Record Group 105 Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands.

The images are generally arranged in the order the records were microfilmed with the records of the state level staff officers; Chief Quartermaster and Disbursing Officer, Surgeon in Chief, first then the local field office records are arranged alphabetically by location and by NARA roll number.

The state is divided into Districts, under Sub-Commissioners

  • District of Savannah: Bryan, Bullock, Chatham, Effingham, Liberty, McIntosh, Sapelo Island, Screven and Tatuall,
  • District of Brunswick: Appling, Camden, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Glynn, Pierce, Ware and Wayne
  • District of Thomasville: Berrien, Brooks, Decatur, Lowndes and Miller
  • District of Albany: Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Dougherty, Early, Lee, Mitchel, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Terrell, Webster and Worth
  • District of Columbus:Chattahoochee, Harris, Macon, Marion, Merriwether, Muscogee, Troup
  • District of Macon:Baldwin, Butts, Dooly, Houston, Jasper, Laurens, Montgomery, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Pulaski, Spalding, Telfair, Twiggs Upson, Washington, Wilcox and Wilkenson
  • District of Augusta: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Greene, Hancock, Jefferson, Lincoln, Morgan, Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren and Wilkes
  • District of Athens: Banks, Clarke, Elbert, Franklin, Gwinnette, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe, Rabun and Walton
  • District of Atlanta: Campbell, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Fayette, Forsyth, Harolson, Heard, Henry, Milton, Newton and Paulding
  • District of Rome: Bartow, Catoose, Dawson, Faunin, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Towns, Union, White and Whitefield

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Georgia, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Record Types[edit | edit source]

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (often called the Freedmen’s Bureau) created many different record types necessary to supervise relief efforts including education, health care, food and clothing, refugee camps, legalization of marriages, employment, labor contracts, and securing back pay, bounty payments and pensions. These records include letters and endorsements sent and received, account books, applications for rations, applications for relief, court records, labor contracts, registers of bounty claimants, registers of complaints, registers of contracts, registers of disbursements, registers of freedmen issued rations, registers of patients, reports, rosters of officers and employees, special and general orders and circulars received, special orders and circulars issued, records relating to claims, court trials, property restoration, and homesteads.

Collection Inventory Table[edit | edit source]

The inventory will include for each individual collection the National Archives Identifier Number (NAID) and preliminary inventory entry number.

Hospital and Medical Locations

  • Albany, Dispensary, Roll 39, Registers of Patients, 3 volumes
  • Americus, Dispensary, Roll 40, Register of Patients
  • Atlanta, Freedmen's Hospital, Roll 46, Registers of Patients, Register of Patients at the Dispensary of Atlanta Medical College
  • Augusta, Freedmen's Hospital, Roll 49, Register of Patients, Register of Patients at Smallpox Hospital
  • Brunswick,Dispensary, Roll 54, Register of Patients
  • Columbus, Dispensary, Roll 57, Register of Patients, Ration Returns, Register of Outdoor Patients and Receipts
  • Darien, Dispensary, Roll 61, Register of Patients and Prescription Book
  • Macon, Freedmen's Hospital,Register of Patients Treated at Hospital, 3 volumes; Register of Medications Administered to Patients
  • Newton, Dispensary
  • Savannah, Lincoln Hospital, Roll 86, Registers of Patients, 4 volumes, Register of Sick and Wounded and Case, Diet and Prescription Book

Records with Freedmen and Refugee Names For details about the contents of these records, their history, and help using them, see the wiki article: United States Freedmen’s Branch Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

For a list of field office staff that frequently appear in these records see Freedmen's Bureau Georgia Field Office Personnel Coverage Table.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before search this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The date of the event, residence or the name of a spouse or parent

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the Freedmen's Bureau Office or Subordinate Field Office Location
  2. Select the NARA Roll Number-Contents to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the age to calculate a birth date and to find other records such as birth, christening, and death
  • Search for the family in the 1870 census
  • Use the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules to approximate where the slaves lived
  • Search the land and probate records of the slave owner for the names of their slaves

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Georgia.

Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]

Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]

Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying you sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.