District of Columbia Court and Emancipation Records, 1820-1863 is a free collection at FamilySearch with images of records created when slaves in Washington, DC were freed. These include:

  • Manumission Records, 1856-1863. US District Court for the District of Columbia. NAID 4314538
  • Writs of Habeas Corpus, 1820-1863. US District Court for the District of Columbia. NAID 6277088
  • Fugitive Slave Case Files, 1851-1863. US District Court for the District of Columbia. NAID 4306299
  • Emancipation Records, 1862-1863. U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. NAID 4314547

 

You’ll need to be logged in with a free FamilySearch account to search these records. It’s easy to register for a free account at FamilySearch.

 

 

What Can I Learn from Emancipation Records?

 

These records may include:

  • Name of slave/freed person
  • Age or birth date (these may be approximated)
  • Gender
  • Name of former owner
  • Residence
  • Names of other family members or witnesses
  • Document dates

 

 

 

How Can Emancipation Records Help Me Find Other Records?

 

With information from these records you may be able to:

  • Use the age to find vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses
  • Emancipated individuals may still have family members who are slaves. Be sure to look for other individuals who may be related
  • Look for the slave holder and records they kept which may provide information about those who were enslaved

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