An 1818 statute of the Georgia legislature required all free persons of color to register with the inferior court of their county of residence. According to the statute, county clerks were required to inscribe each freed man or woman by name, age, place of birth, residence, year arrived in Georgia, and occupation. While not all clerks performed their duties to the letter of the law, these source records contain vital identifying information for African-American Georgians long before the Civil War or the watershed 1870 U.S. census. The ensuing registers, varying in their completeness, survive for twenty-one Georgia counties. Transcriptions of the aforementioned registers are available in the series from genealogist Michael A. Ports “Georgia Free Persons of Color.” This is the third book in that series; it consists of transcriptions of the free black registers for the Georgia counties of Baldwin, Columbia, Lincoln, Lumpkin, Taliaferro, and Thomas.
Ports, Michael A.
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