Trip to Alabama Archives

By , June 25, 2004 6:17 am

Finally got over to Montgomery and the Archives. Wasn’t exactly a bust but didn’t find the breakthrough info that I was hoping for.

1867 Voter Registration List:
1867 Voter Registration Lists Available on self-service microfilm. This series was created in accordance with an act passed on March 2, 1867, “to provide for a more efficient government of the rebel States,” and particularly to extend suffrage to the millions of freedmen across the south. All adult black and white males who had sworn an oath of loyalty to the United States were eligible to register to vote. Included is the person’s name, race, length of residence in the state, county and precinct, the book and page where his oath is recorded, naturalization information, and reasons for rejecting some registrants. Arranged alphabetically by county, thereunder chronologically by date of registration.

Only able to look at this on microfilm which was unreadable for the precincts I’m researching. Archives in process of refilming and digitizing these records and was not able to look at actual registers. Told they are heavily water-damaged and quite fragile.

Loyalty Oaths 1867-8
Loyalty Oaths. In order to regain their voting rights under the Reconstruction Acts of 1867, men who had borne arms against the United States or otherwise actively supported the Confederacy were required to swear an oath of loyalty to the government of the United States. This series consists of bound volumes of the loyalty oaths from each county and from the major cities in the state. The oaths contain the voter’s name, county of residence, his oath swearing loyalty to the United States government, his voting precinct, and the voter registrar’s name. Arranged alphabetically by county. Some volumes are closed due to their fragile condition.

Not exactly a perfect substitute for the voter Registrations which also list race but at least something! Found great-grandfather:

    Clark Thomas No 1082 dated 2 July 1867

Also looked at the Chattel Mortgage Records (1870-1871) and the Chancery Court Minutes (1848-1868). Didn’t find anything on my main lines.

Tax Collector, Tax Abstracts 1907-1911 and 1912-1916
Alphabetical listing of the taxpayers of the county, a breakdown of assorted taxes, total taxes due, address of each taxpayer and fees assigned by assessor.

Found Robert Norris and J. Henry Norris. Both paid taxes on personal property. Neither owned any real estate. Sample entry for Robert in 1910:

    Beat 3 Receipt #859 Paid 10/28 Name Norris Robert Value Real Estate — Value Personal Property $180 Toal Taxes $2.52

Could not photocopy because these record books were in such fragile condition. Archivist suggested I photograph them. Took 36 pics. Got back on photo disc today. None of them came out ! !

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