Missouri, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Missouri, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
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|US Flag 1863-1865 (35 stars)|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Freedmen and Refugee Records|
|Record Group||RG 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands|
|Microfilm Publication||M1908. Records of the Field Offices for the State of Missouri, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1872. 24 rolls.|
|National Archives Identifier||434|
|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.
- Sharon Batiste Gillins.A Window into the lives of black and white ancestors: Freedmen's Bureau field office records. NGS Magazine 39 #1 (January-March 2013): 34-38.
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection consists of scanned images of records from National Archives microfilm publication M1908 Records of the Field Offices for the State of Missouri, 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 state level staff officers; Office of the Disbursing Officer and by NARA roll number.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Missouri, Freedmen's Bureau Records Field Office Records, 1865-1872.|
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.
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[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.
- The following link will provide a description of the record types found in this and other Freedmen's Bureau collections. Freedmen's Bureau Record Types
- Officers' Manual. Washington, 1866
Collection Inventory Table
- The inventory will include for each individual collection the National Archives Identifier Number (NAID) and preliminary inventory entry number.
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
Records with Freedmen and Refugees Names
- Roll 24, Register of Marriages at Cape Girardeau, July - August,1865
- Roll 24, Registers of Adjusted Claims, 4 volumes, ca. 1868-1870
- Roll 24, Register of Bounty Claims, September, 1867-October,1871
- Roll 24, Missouri Commission, to award claims for military service
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- Their place of residence
Search the Index[edit | edit source]
|This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.|
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select the Freedmen's Bureau Office or Subordinate Field Office Location
- Select the NARA Roll Number-Contents to view the images.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Records of the Field Offices for the State of Missouri, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865-1972 : NARA, RG 105, M1908. Click on camera icon to see 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]
- Search for the family in census records
- Search for vital records, such as birth, marriage, and death
- Search for church, land and probate records
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. Former slaves may have had used multiple names or changed their names until they decided upon one particular name. 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 Missouri.
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
- Records of the Commissioner
- Records of the Assistant Commissioner
- Superintendent of Education and the Division of Education Records
- Freedmen’s Bank
- 1870 Census
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
- Elaine Everly, Willna Pacheli, comp. Preliminary inventory of the records of the field offices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands : record group 105.Washington, D.C. : National Archives and Records Service, 1973.
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.