Internet Archive has digitized microfilms online for the Mississippi Field Office, US Freedmen’s Bureau Records. The twenty-three digitized microfilm reels are linked below.


What is the Freedmen’s Bureau?

The Freedmen’s Bureau is short for the US Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, an agency set up by Congress, after the US Civil War, on March 3, 1865, to provide relief and assist newly freed slaves as they adjusted to their new freedoms and became self-sufficient.

The Freedmen’s Bureau has the largest collection of African American records and the government has partnered with other organizations to digitize, index, and provide searchable collections of these records.

Freedmen’s Bureau records contain all types of records for African Americans including, legalized marriage records, family reuniting and relocation records, ration records, hospitalization and medical records, labor contracts, apprenticeship records, school records, military bounty claims, pensions, back pay, and more.


What types of information can I find in these records?

  • Freedman’s name | Former slave’s name

  • Complaints

  • Petitions

  • Bounty Land inquiry

  • Military units person was a part of

  • Other records & requests

  • Date

  • Agent filing the request

  • Office that received the request


Where else can I find Freedmen’s Bureau records online for free?

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has partnered with FamilySearch, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum to extract names from US Freedmen’s Bureau records.

Before scanning these microfilmed images, page by page, you can first try a search at to see if the records you need have already been indexed (information extracted from browsable images such as these and turned into searchable text records). will take you to FamilySearch where you’ll be required to login with a free account. There is never a charge to use online records at FamilySearch and creating an account at FamilySearch is easy.

Here is some information if you have questions about why you need to create a FamilySearch account and any options you have if you don’t want to create an account.


The collection at Internet Archive

Internet Archive has a list of digitized microfilms for the Mississippi Field Office, US Freedmen’s Bureau Records.

Most of these records are handwritten, in cursive, and need to be scanned, page by page. It’s a slower process but this is similar to how researchers still search, image by image, undigitized microfilms on microfilm machines at libraries and archives.

Here is an example of an image from the US Freedom Bureau’s records:

Arkansas Freedmen's


2 responses to “Mississippi Field Office, US Freedmen’s Bureau Records online”

  1. Hello:

    I have my Great Grand Dad’s (J.W. Matthews) land deed. It is dated 1873. I want to know more about my GGD. How do I research information about him? Can you help me?

    1. Frankie,

      Thanks for visiting the OnGenealogy directory of resources. We don’t provide family research assistance but you can visit FamilySearch Help to locate a volunteer library near you where you can get help. You might also check your local library to see if they have staff who assist with research.

      Best with your family history,



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