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)
- Name of former owner
- 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