The Freedmen's Bureau digital collection currently includes records for Rutherford County, TN, and surrounding areas that are located in the following series of National Archives Record Group 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands:
- M816, Freedmen's Savings & Trust Co., 1865-1874, Registers of Depositors
- M1000, Records of the Superintendents of Education, Tennessee, 1866-1870
- M1911, Records of Field Offices, Tennessee, 1865-1872
- T142, Record of Field Offices, Tennessee, 1865-1872
Included are correspondense, detailed reports, contracts, bank records, lists, and receipts that document the post-emancipation experience of African Americans in middle Tennessee.
Items are indexed by personal name, place name, keywords, and Library of Congress subject headings. If a personal name is known, this is the best place to begin your search. For instance, searching the last name of "Holland" will pull up an 1865 labor contract that includes Robin Holland and Lewis Holland in a list of laborers; the record of a $200 payment issued to William Holland in 1868 for service in the U.S. Colored Troops; and a record documenting the compensation William Holland received from the U.S. government for the time he was held as a prisoner during the Civil War.
Searching keywords also is a useful portal to the records in this collection. For instance, typing in the term "Ku Klux Klan" in the search box will pull up four records. Using a more general keyword, such as "schools" will pull up more than 200 records. If "schools" is paired with "Nelson" in the Advanced Search option, however, the number of pertinent records is reduced to six.