Mormon Church Puts Ex-Slaves’ Bank Records on CD-ROM
Records from the short-lived Freedman’s Bank, an institution created for recently freed slaves following the Civil War, have been compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, into a searchable CD-ROM database. The CD-ROM is expected to be a major resource for African Americans and others who are conducting research about their ancestors.
The CD-ROM, containing detailed financial and family information on nearly 480,000 depositors, was released in February by the Mormon Church. It sells for $6.50, which covers the cost of producing the disc, according to church officials.
Washington Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who spoke at the CD-ROM’s unveiling ceremony in Washington, told reporters that she found a great-great-grandfather among the records. Holmes thanked the Mormons for the 11 years of work that went into the project, noting that the Mormon Church “has taken (the Black community) to the well to satisfy this thirst” about family history.
The bank was chartered by Congress in 1865 as a savings institution. A total of 36 branches opened in 17 states before its collapse in 1874.
The CD-ROM can be ordered by calling 1-800-537-5971 and asking for item 50120 or through the Internet at <www.family
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