LDS gift opens up a vast new path for African-American genealogical treasurers
Index of nearly 2 million names given to the Smithsonian.
Up to now, genealogical research on African-American families often ran into a dead end after the search reached back to 1870, the first census that documented newly freed slaves as U.S. citizens.
The LDS church donated an indexed database of the Freed African-Americans which can now bridge the gap between freedom and slavery and reunite, on paper, families that were once torn apart by slavery.
FamilySearch’s team also uncovered and indexed the names of 1,781,463 people found in marriage and hospital registers, education efforts, census lists, labor contracts, and apprenticeship lists. This is the largest collection of records that impact the African-American population today. The bureau records present the genealogist and social historians with an unequaled wealth of information about matters as varied as issuing food and clothing, investigating racial conformations, settling freedmen on abandoned or confiscated lands and establishing schools. The bureau helped secure deeds to property so people could build schools.
The indexing team attracted volunteers from the 36 chapters of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, black colleges and churches, and any organization that might have an interest.
Source: Sunday, December 11, 2016, Salt Lake Tribune.
The messages I learned from this article:
A group of dedicated volunteers can organize various sources of data and compile significant data. It is heartwarming to know that this information will be of great value to many families. Continue sharing your personal knowledge and resources; that is what genealogy and family history is all about. The more we share the more we learn. The numerous records used in this search can always open doors.