Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Freedman's Bank Records

Freedman's Bank Record for Emeline Agnes Feeks
Until recently I believe my knowledge of the Freedman's Bank was roughly on par with most: that it was created immediately after the Civil War to serve the financial interests of former slaves.  But that isn't quite the whole case...

While looking up a cousin of an ancestor of mine, I was surprised to find her in the Freedman's Bank records at Ancestry - surprised because she was not African-American.

On her record her occupation is listed as "Matron in Orphan Asylum, Elizabeth (New Jersey)."

It turns out many community and religious organizations also used the Freedman's Bank.  If you also have relatives who were involved in one of these organizations, these records might be worth checking out.

In fact, I came across several entries for non-African-Americans who weren't affiliated with any organizations.

Don't ignore this resource just because you have no African-American ancestry, you might miss out on some valuable information.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting!