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The Freedmen’s Bureau: Records and Research during Reconstruction

Written on: January 29th, 2016 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

On Saturday, February 6 at 10:30 a.m., Certified Genealogist Michael Hait will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives focusing on one of the lesser known federal agencies, the Freedman’s Bureau. The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands operated from the end of the Civil War until 1872 under the U.S. War Department. During the less than ten years of its existence, the “Freedmen’s Bureau” existed to ease the healing of the nation torn apart by the war. Among its activities, the Bureau aided in the transition of those who had been born in slavery into their new lives as freed people. This program will focus on the types of records created by the Freedmen’s Bureau and how to use these records to identify genealogical information.

Michael Hait is a full-time professional genealogical researcher, writer, and lecturer. He has written case studies for several genealogical journals including the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. In 2012 Hait won 1st prize in the National Genealogical Society Family History Writing Competition for his article “In the Shadow of Rebellions,” exploring descendants of an enslaved woman living in 19th-century Maryland. Currently, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail


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