US, Maryland and Delaware—Freedmen's Bureau, Register of Pensions and Bounty Claims, 1865–1872


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About This Project

  • Congress established the Freedmen's Bureau on March 3, 1865, and the work of the bureau continued over the next several years. Operating under the direction of the War Department, the bureau supervised, organized, and managed all matters relating to refugees, former slaves, and lands abandoned or seized during or immediately after the Civil War. The bureau was involved in wide range of activities, but one of its major purposes was to help former slaves reunite with family members and become self-sufficient. One invaluable result of the activities of the Freedmen's Bureau is the rich repository of records that were created and collected during its administration.
  • The documents in this collection include pension, land, and bounty claims and letters and documents dealing with such claims.

How to Help with This Project

  • If you have not already done so, you must register as an indexing volunteer. To register and to download and install the indexing program, click here for the indexing home page. Click Get Started, and follow the instructions on the page.
  • After you register, click the Begin Indexing link on the indexing home page, and sign in to the indexing program with your username and password. Then click the Download Batch button, and select this project name from the list. To see the project name on the list, you may need to select Show all projects at the top of the Download Batch window.

Skill Level: Intermediate

  • This project is recommended for volunteers who are familiar with the indexing process and are comfortable using various system features.

Sample Images

Characteristics and Description

  • All records are claims and supporting documents of pension, land, and bounty claims for the Freedman's Bureau.
  • The records are typed or handwritten on handwritten or printed forms, and the location of information on the forms varies over time.
  • Each batch could include up to four images.

Records Access

  • The completed index will be freely accessible online to the general public when the collection is published.

Additional Information