Virginia Untold: Free Registers (indexing)

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Virginia Untold: Free Registers (indexing)

Virginia Untold provides digital access to records that document some of the lived experiences of enslaved and free Black people in the Library of Virginia’s collections. Please help improve the discoverability of these sources by transcribing one of the project's many record types, registers of free Black people.

In 1793, the Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring that all free Black people “be registered and numbered in a book to be kept by the town clerk, which shall specify age, name, color, status and by whom, and in what court emancipated.” The process was extended to localities in 1803. In 1834, the General Assembly added a requirement that each person be specified by marks or scars and the instrument of emancipation, whether by deed or will, be recorded. Registration language and process varied across the localities, thus the information in each register may differ, but generally speaking these registers document both free born and formerly enslaved people throughout Virginia.

This project is made possible through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant. NHPRC provides advice and recommendations for the National Archives grants program.

Accomack Co. "Register of Free Negroes", ca. 1806-1863

Accomack Co. "Register of Free Negroes", ca. 1806-1863

Some pages still need work. Help out!

147 pages: 2% complete (19% transcribed, 16% needs review)
Bedford County "Free Negro Register", 1820-1860

Bedford County "Free Negro Register", 1820-1860

104 pages: 42% complete (100% transcribed, 58% needs review)
Charles City County "Free Negro Register", 1835-1864

Charles City County "Free Negro Register", 1835-1864

39 pages: 66% complete (82% transcribed, 15% needs review)
Essex Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1810-1843

Essex Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1810-1843

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192 pages: 9% complete (11% transcribed, 1% needs review)
Essex Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1843-1861

Essex Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1843-1861

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106 pages: 17% complete (18% transcribed)
Fauquier Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1817-1865

Fauquier Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1817-1865

206 pages: 25% complete (100% transcribed, 74% needs review)
Goochland County "Free Negro Register", 1804-1864

Goochland County "Free Negro Register", 1804-1864

481 pages: 7% complete (92% transcribed, 85% needs review)
Greensville County "Land Processioned and A Register of Free Persons of Color", 1796-1863

Greensville County "Land Processioned and A Register of Free Persons of Color", 1796-1863

Some pages still need work. Help out!

271 pages: 58% complete (69% transcribed, 10% needs review)
Henrico County "Register of Free Negroes", 1844-1852

Henrico County "Register of Free Negroes", 1844-1852

80 pages: 38% complete (100% transcribed, 61% needs review)
Isle of Wight Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1852-1862

Isle of Wight Co. "Register of Free Negroes", 1852-1862

100 pages: 5% complete (98% transcribed, 93% needs review)
Displaying works 1 - 10 of 26 in total

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