Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings has posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post for us to think of our Genealogy Wish List of databases not yet digitized. This one got my attention because I can think of several databases I wish were online (especially if offered for FREE).
Here is his challenge:
I think that we all want lots of imaged and indexed databases online for our pajama-clad viewing pleasure... so for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, let's express our wishes for databases we want the genealogy companies to bring to us:
1) Define one or more genealogy or family history databases, that are not currently online, that would really help you in your research. Where does this database currently reside?
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land is one database I would love to have access to from home.
From the National Archives (NARA) page we read:
The records left by the Freedmen's Bureau through its work between 1865 and 1872 constitute the richest and most extensive documentary source available for investigating the African American experience in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Historians have used these materials to explore government and military policies, local conditions, and interactions between freedpeople, local white populations, and Bureau officials.
These records present the genealogist and social historian with an unequaled wealth of information that extends the reach of black family studies. Documents such as local censuses, marriage records, and medical records provide freedpeople's full names and former masters; Federal censuses through 1860 listed slaves only statistically under the master's household. No name indexes are available at this time, but the documents can be rewarding, particularly since they provide full names, residences, and, often, the names of former masters and plantations. [See Record Group Number 105]
I have personally visited the Memphis library and looked at the microfilm for the Freedmenís Bureau. It is not indexed or digitized, which makes finding the person you are looking for a lot more difficult. I am hopeful that in the future this indexing and digitizing will be done.