The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the official repository of the permanently valuable records of the U.S. Government. NARA's vast holdings document the lives and experiences of persons who interacted with the Federal Government. The records created by post-Civil War Federal Agencies are perhaps some of the most important records available for the study of black family life and genealogy. This discussion will focus on NARA's Reference Information Paper 108.
This reference information paper describes three post-Civil War Federal agencies' records: the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company; and the Commissioners of Claims. Case examples will be shared to illustrate the value of researching these important records.
Reginald Washington is a retired archivist/ genealogy specialist with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). He lectures frequently on records and research procedures at the Nat