Cohabitation Records

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United States > Rural Records of the Southern United States > Cohabitation Records

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Cohabitation records were created to identify and legitimize marriages and children born to those in slavery. The information may include names of individuals, ages, places where born, last known slave holders, and approximate year of marriage or cohabitation. These records are a valuable resource in indentification of former slaves. It is most likely the first time persons born into slavery are included in a public record. Records may be found in local courthouses, state archives and libraries, and other small town or local respositories.


  • History of Slave Marriage in the United States
  • Christopher A. Nordmann. "Jumping Over the Broomstick:Resources for Documenting Slave Marriages." National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (September 2003): 196-216.
  • Reginald Washington. “Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony” Prologue (spring, 2005): 58-
  • Thomas E Will. “Weddings on Contested Grounds: Slave Marriage in the Antebellum South” The Historian 62 (Fall 1999): 99-117
  • Elaine C. Everly. “Marriage Registers of Freedmen” Prologue (Fall, 1973):
  • Barnetta McGhee White comp. Somebody Knows My Name: Marriages of Freed People in North Carolina County by County. 3 vols. Athens, Ga.: Iberian Publishing Co., 1995 FHL 975.6 V2wb
  • v. 1 Alexander-Guilford Counties; v.2 Halifax-Sampson Counties; v.3 Stokes-Wilson counties

See also:[edit | edit source]

Rural Records of the Southern United States