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Alabama 1867 Voter Registration Records Database

Several Alabama counties were not yet established at the time of the 1867 voter registration: Chilton, Cullman, Escambia, Geneva, and Houston. There is no voter registration book available for Clarke County.

 

The books for the following counties were severely damaged from mold: Dallas; Franklin; Lauderdale; Limestone; Lowndes; Monroe; Randolph; and Washington. Some information may be missing due to the extent of the mold damage.

 

If you would like to view any of the books in their entirety, please click here.

 

About the Database | History | Corrections to the Database | Search

 

About the Database
This database was created by staff and volunteers from the entries in the 131 volumes of the 1867 Voter Registration Records maintained by the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH). The volumes are significant genealogical records as this is one of the first statewide government documents that record African-American males living in Alabama. Because no index existed for individual volumes or for the records as a whole, and because of the deteriorating condition of the records, in 2004 ADAH staff began scanning the documents and keying the data from each entry into a computer database. When a successful search retrieves a name from the database, an image of the page where the entry resides will also be available for your use.

 

In creating the database, staff and volunteers were instructed to copy the entries exactly as they are written in each volume, to the best of their ability in interpreting the handwriting. If a staff member was unable to determine the spelling of an entry, s/he placed a question mark within brackets to indicate that the name/spelling is uncertain.

 

There are several points that users should understand about the 1867 Voter Registration Records before using the database. 1) Because the local military authorities responsible for registering individuals in 1867 may have interpreted the Act (see History) regarding the creation of the records differently, a number of otherwise eligible citizens living in the county may not be reflected in the volumes. 2) Each volume has columns for the following information: Name, Race, County of residence, Precinct, Length of residence (in state, in county, in precinct), Book and page where the individual's Loyalty Oath”  (Loyalty Oath series closed due to condition.  Appointment required for viewing.) is recorded, Native country or state, and other remarks. However, not every entry includes each piece of information. 3) Many entries have the first names abbreviated. The common abbreviations used are:

 

Chas = Charles
Geo = George
Danl = Daniel
Jas = James
Jno = John
Jos = Joseph
Robt = Robert
Thos = Thomas
Wash = Washington
Wm = William

 

History
The Alabama 1867 voter registration records were created as a direct result of a Reconstruction Act passed by the United States Congress on March 23, 1867. The act required the commanding officer in each military district to hold, before September 1, 1867, a registration of all male citizens, 21 years and older, in each county who were also qualified to vote and who had taken the loyalty oath. (See www.legislature.state.al.us/misc/history/constitutions/1868/1868enablinginst.html for full text of the act.) Each registrant visited the local registration office, took the oath, and was listed in the Voter Registration record.

 

Corrections to the Database:
Staff members will do their best to make any corrections to obvious misspellings or errors in data entry.



















Updated: November 1, 2012
http://www.archives.alabama.gov/voterreg/index.cfm