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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Re: Florida Contrabands in New York

The Freedmen's Bureau dealt with people of all classes. Remember that status-wise, our families weren't all necessarily homogenous. Thus although you may be able to trace a line in your family that was free, it doesn't mean that they didn't marry individuals who weren't descended from ex-slaves.

Then too, the Freedmen's Bureau dealt with free people of color, whites and everything else in between. So if you have relatives who were living in the areas where the Bureau had field offices, it would behoove you to search through them. The Freedmen's Bureau records have a wealth of information that would help whites who can't find their relatives in traditional county court sources.

I recently did a bit of research for a man living in Paris who had ancestors in Mississippi. I located labor contracts that identified the names of men, women and children who lived on the plantation, once owned by his ancestor. He's using the contracts to determine which, if any of those indviduals, were once owned by his family. He's also using these contracts to write a balanced history of the plantation. Traditional records would not reveal the names of the ex-slaves in their proper context.

I would suggest that you search for published histories on the Bureay's involvement in Florida, to determine the extent to which they became involved in local operations. This might help you determine whether or not you should pursue any further research into this area.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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