News Release

A Genealogical Milestone:  The Freedmen’s Bureau Project

An exciting new family history project has just been launched. The Freedmen’s Bureau Project will help both black Americans and black Canadians reconnect with their Civil War–era ancestors. The project will restore thousands of records and assist individuals in making connections with ancestors who were part of this history. (The Freedmen’s Bureau Project is a partnership between FamilySearch International, a non-profit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the National Archives and Records Administration; the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. 

Canada (especially Upper Canada, as it was then known, but also other provinces), played a critical role in the Underground Railroad, which served as the means for black slaves to reach freedom in the north. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 individuals entered Canada in the 1840s and 1850s through this path.

The project is soliciting individuals who would like to be involved in this historic genealogical effort. Volunteers will assist in making these records searchable online. The work can be done by personal computer and at the convenience of the volunteer. All are welcome to participate. For further information, go to

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