Caroline County African-American Freedman Bureau Records

In the government documents archived by the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is a single bound volume with two registries of African American residents of Caroline County taken by the Assistant Superintendant of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands in the Sub-District of Caroline County, Virginia. These registries were completed on printed forms described as registry of children, and of Marriages required by Circular No. 11 Series of 1866.

In this circular dated March 19, 1866, the assistant commissioner for Virginia, Col. Orlando Brown, ordered his subordinates to register the names of freedmen who were "cohabiting together as man and wife" and to "take pains to explain to colored persons . . . that they [were] firmly married by the operation of the law." As the basis for his order, Brown cited two February 27, 1866, acts of the Virginia General Assembly that made provisions for issuing marriage licenses and the registration and legalization of marriage relations entered into by former slaves.

Register of Colored Persons of Caroline County, State of Virginia, cohabitating together and husband and wife on 27th February, 1866.

Register of Children of Colored Persons in Caroline County, State of Virginia, whose Parents had ceased to cohabit on 27th February 1866, which the Father recognizes to be his.

The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is a non-profit archive open to the public located in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Please write or call for public hours or assistance in research within the collections.

Central Rappahannock Heritage Center
300 Central Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Ph. 540-373-3704

Last Updated on 30 October 2006
By Gary Stanton