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RootsTech 2016
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46301 - Freedmen’s Bureau Project Index-A-Thon at RootsTech

Session Description


Any one with access to a computer that is interested in helping make the documents of the Freedmen’s Bureau freely searchable online.



Thursday, February 4, 7:30 p.m. MST



LIVE: RootsTech computer labs at the Salt Palace 251 B and E.

Only 135 seats are available so registration is required to get a seat in the computer lab. Register for a seat at


ONLINE: Live stream video of the event from RootsTech on Facebook at


ANYWHERE: Let us know you are participating by joining our Facebook event at



FamilySearch International, in an agreement with the National Archives & Records Administration of the United States, received microfilm copies of documents gathered by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (a.k.a., the “Freedmen’s Bureau”). The Freedmen’s Bureau was in operation officially between 1865 and 1872 to aid freed slaves transition to citizenship, refugees displaced by the Civil War, and restore lands to those whose property had been confiscated. The handwritten historical records from this era have been digitized, but a vast majority of them are not yet searchable online. This event and the Freedmen’s Bureau Project seek to use volunteers to transcribe the digital images thus making them readily accessible for anyone seeking to understand more about the estimated 4 million individuals contained in these records.



To participate from home or outside of RootsTech, simply download the FamilySearch Indexing program on your computer (Windows or Mac desktop or laptop only) and create a FamilySearch account. You will be able to index along with those at the live event from the comfort of wherever you have an Internet connection.


The first 30 minutes of the live stream will focus on an introduction to the project and how to get started. Those in the classroom or who have indexed before can get started right away. But for those are unfamiliar with we are doing or who would like to teach others, this will be more of a training.


The last 60 minutes will be spent actually indexing and answering questions from the live stream audience. We’ll get the reactions of those in the room and try to share tips and tricks for anyone who might get stuck while indexing.


For more information and updates on the event, go to the event’s Facebook page at


Additional Information
Computer Lab
1 hour
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