Free Database of the Week: FBI Records on Footnote

Free Database of the Week: FBI Records on Footnote

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Federal Bureau of Investigation July 26, historical records subscription service Footnote is making its collection of FBI Case Files free through the end of August. The files date from 1908 to 1922 and number 2 million records that might hold some surprises...

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Federal Bureau of Investigation July 26, historical records subscription service Footnote is making its collection of FBI Case Files free through the end of August.

The files date from 1908 to 1922 and number 2 million records that might hold some surprises for genealogists.

One 1918 case I happened across in the Miscellaneous Files category involved the discovery of a trunkful of whiskey at the Central Union Depot in downtown Cincinnati. A report named witnesses, the FBI agents who investigated, the man accused of shipping the trunk in violation of the Reed Amendment (which prohibited transporting alcohol to dry states), and the perpetrator’s female accomplice. Later documents show the pair was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Other types of cases include

  • “Mexican Files,” 1909-1921: investigations of violations of Mexican neutrality
  • “Old German Files,” 1915-1920: records of German enemy aliens, sympathizers, and others suspected of disloyalty, mainly during World War I
  • Bureau Section Files, 1920-21: records transferred from the Department of Justice concerning violations of federal laws.

The original records are at the National Archives and Records Administration in Record Group 65.

Click here to search the FBI Case Files database (you also can get to the database using the See All Databases link on Footnote’s home page).

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