Originally posted on theGrio:
A new website has announced that 1.5 million handwritten records of newly freed slaves will be digitized and available for free so that millions of African-Americans can trace their ancestry further back then ever before.
The records were collected from the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was created by Congress in 1865 in order to assist newly freed slaves in their transition from slavery to citizenship.
“The records serve as a bridge to slavery and freedom. You can look at some of the original documents that were created at the time when these people were living. They are the earliest records detailing people who were formerly enslaved. We get a sense of their voice, their dreams,” said Hollis Gentry, a genealogy specialist at the Smithsonian.
Check out the website: Discoverfreedmen.org
The records will all be online by late 2016 and are planned to be completed at a time corresponding to the opening of the…
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