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Fold3, formerly known as Footnote, is a subscription based genealogy website.  It contains digitized images of original documents from a wide array of sources like:

  • The Dawes Packet

  • The Guion Miller Roll

  • The Partial Indian Census

  • Naturalization records

  • Newspapers

  • Papers of the Continental Congress

  • Passport Applications

  • Pension Index

  • Revolutionary War Pensions

It has valuable partnerships with various archival spaces to provide a variety of content via its database.  Fold3 has focused its most recent efforts on gathering the best collection of military records online, its logo, the tri-fold, which is known by Military Personnel in its connection to the flag-folding ceremony that honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defense of their country.

Most important to African Americans on Fold3 are the following collections:

  • SC Estates and Inventories

  • The Civil War Pension Index

  • Civil War Service Records

Daughters of the American Revolution 
Washington, DC

Forgotten Patriots: African American and Amerindian Patriots by The Daughters of the American Revolution is a guide to service resources and studies on African and American Indian patriots during the Revolutionary War.  It documents minority service and can be purchased online at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library online store.  

Researchers, Archivists and Historians at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library have identified over 6,000 names belonging to African American and American Indian soldiers who contributed in significant ways to the American War for Independence.  

The guide is eight hundred and seventy four pages long and includes details like: 


  • Information on documented service

  • Historical commentary

  • An assortment of illustrations 

  • And an extensive bibliography of research sources related to various early American topics.  


For more information on the Daughters of the American 
Revolution Forgotten Patriots Guide go to:



The Freedman’s Bureau Online is a searchable data set that provides you with easy links to information that will get you closer to your goal of finding records relating to the aid administered to freedmen immediately following emancipation.  Search the records of the Bureau in your state and see if you can’t find any information giving you clues as to where to look for more of your African American ancestor’s records.  The Freedman’s Bureau was directly responsible for helping former slaves adjust to freedom.  Freedmen, once entirely dependent on whites for clothing, would be issued clothing and rations by the bureau in former Confederate territory. They operated hospitals and relocation camps and they recorded everything they did.  They helped freedmen find jobs, established schools and leased or supervised the working of abandoned lands.  They also legalized marriages and paid for the destitute to be reunited with their family.  

The assistant commissioners and the state superintendents of education handled all personnel records and issued a variety of standard reports concerning bureau programs and conditions in the states.  The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands and property in the former Confederate States, the Border States, Indian Territory, and the District of Columbia.

All of this, with names and locations, was recorded by Field Office Workers and Superintendents.  The Freedman’s Bureau gives us a very vivid look at the daily lives of our ancestors.  What we get is a story of love, a story of devotion, a story of sacrifice told with an emotional honesty that you can find nowhere else in the records.  


The American Freedmen's Inquiry Commission was established immediately following the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Its founders, sought to determine the condition of free slaves and because of this they appointed a Commission in March of 1863.  Appointed by U.S. Secretary of War, Edwin McMasters Stanton, to:

“…inquire into the condition of the Colored population emancipated by acts of Congress and the proclamations of the president, and to consider and report what measures are necessary to give practical effect to those acts and proclamations, so as to place the Colored people of the United States in a condition of self-support and self-defense..."

Located at Harvard these records are from 1862-1865 and were compiled by Samuel Gridley Howe who was head of the Commission.

National Archives and Records Administration Washington, DC

The Freedman’s Savings and Trust was a Civil War Era Financial Organization created to guide the economic development of former slaves.  The banks records hold 480,000 names.  It functioned from 1865-1874 and had its main branch at 701 Madison Place, NW Washington, DC.  The bank had 19 branches in 12 states and a large number of African American soldiers held savings account within the branch.  It is because of this that they are the largest lineage linked single repository of African American records to this day.

Although indexed by the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints almost a decade ago, keep in mind that there are many registers STILL missing.  This could be for numerous reasons, one of which being, newly freed African Americans changed their names several times following Emancipation and so your ancestor might still be there, not lost – but right under your nose.  

You can find information relating to:

    Birth date
    Birth place
    Where raised
    Former owner
    Employer
    Occupation
    Residence
    Relatives. 
    Account number
    Name of depositor
    Date of entry
    Place born
    Place brought up
    Residence
    Age
    Complexion
    Name of employer or occupation
    Wife or husband
    Children
    Father
    Mother
    Brothers 
    Sisters
    Remarks
    Signature
    Former master
    Former mistress
    Name of the plantation
    Copies of death certificates
Registration of the depositor's signature.



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