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Posted 26 Mar 2001   For week ended March 02, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 03Mar01

By Kent Larsen

Church Gets Wide Coverage of Freedman's Bank CD-ROM Release

WASHINGTON, DC -- The LDS Church got wide coverage for its release yesterday of a CD-ROM containing financial and family information on about 480,000 depositors in the short-lived Freedman's Bank. The Church held a 13-city press event at 12:30 yesterday (EST). According to Mormon News correspondent Christopher Rosche, more than 100 guests attended the event at Washington's National Press Club, and many others attended events in 12 other cities: Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Raleigh, Miami, and St. Louis.

Among those attending the event were Washington DC's representative in congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, who told the press conference that she had found her great-great-grandfather, Richard Holmes, on the CD, which was given to her ahead of the event. According to Rosche, she told reporters that her family had been searching for him for many years.

One of the reasons that this CD is so important is that it provides a bridge between post-civil war vital records and the records of slaveholders. The Freedman's Bank required depositors to identify their former owners, list the names of all members of their families (including children that had died and family members sold away before the war) and give their current residence.

Reports of the release and press conferences have appeared in nearly every newspaper and media outlet in the US, mostly through the Associated Press, Reuters and Fox News. But major newspapers also wrote their own articles [Mormon News is including below a complete list of the news stories we have identified.]

However, in spite of the Church's stated desire, the subject of a New York Times story and many articles elsewhere, news reports have almost uniformly referred to the Church as the "Mormon Church."

List of known articles about the Freedman's Bank CD-ROM Release (following the press conference Monday):

LDS and Freeman Database
NPR All Things Considered 26Feb01 N1
By Shirley Jahad

Ex-slave records lead woman to her roots
Chicago IL Sun-Times 27Feb01 N6
By Cathleen Falsani: Religion Reporter

CD Fills in Blanks on Lineage
Chicago Tribune 27Feb01 N6
By Robert L. Kaiser: Tribune Staff Writer

Web extra: CD-ROM to help link blacks to ancestors
Deseret News 26Feb01 N6
By Carrie A. Moore: Deseret News religion editor
LDS Church formats, indexes records of bank

Mormon Church linking millions to genealogy
KXAS TV5 Dallas TX 26Feb01 N6

Mormons release ex-slaves' records
MSNBC (Reuters) 26Feb01 N6
By Sue Pleming
CD-ROM offers blacks chance to trace family's histories

Mormons Release Database for Blacks Searching Roots
New York Times 27Feb01 N6
By Winnie Hu

Rich Lode of Black History Opens
Salt Lake Tribune 27Feb01 N6
By Bob Mims: Salt Lake Tribune

CD-ROM has bank records of ex-slaves
Tampa FL Tribune 27Feb01 N6

Ex-Slaves' Bank Data Compiled on CD-ROM
Washington Post pgB03 27Feb01 N6
By Linda Wheeler: Washington Post Staff Writer

Database on Freed Slaves Released
Yahoo!News (AP) 26Feb01 N6
By Janelle Carter: Associated Press Writer

See also:

Another Family History Tool for African Americans
LDS Church Press Release 26Feb01 N6

Freedman' Bank Records &Utah State Prison
LDS Church Press Release 26Feb01 N6

From Tragedy to Family History Treasure
LDS Church Press Release 26Feb01 N6

Breakthrough in Black Family History Research
LDS Church Press Release 26Feb01 N6


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