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Did Your African American Ancestor Register to Vote in Georgia, Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868?

Robin foster
by Robin foster
Georgia Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868 Search Page
“Georgia, Reconstruction Registration Oath Books, 1867-1868.” Database. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 5 December 2018. Georgia Department of Archives and History, Morrow, Georgia.

After the Civil War, Georgia was divided into forty-four districts of three counties. To register, a voter had to take the oath of allegiance to the United States government and to swear he had never supported the Confederate States of America. Over 95,000 white and over 93,000 African-American voters became registered in the Georgia, Reconstruction Registration Oath Book, 1867-1868. They can be searched at FamilySearch.org. The original oath books are available at the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Atlanta. The oath books contain: 

  • Voter’s name
  • Date of registration
  • County of residence
  • Race is sometimes included
  • Signature – registrant’s Oath of allegiance to the United States

To find someone in this database you need to search according to the person’s name and what county they lived. Search using their nickname or abbreviated name if you are unable to find them using their official name.

What Do the Oath Books Tell Us About Our Ancestor?

Only some entries give the race of the voter, but several of the volumes do not designate African Americans. The name of the person is given. The city and county where the person lived is also given. The registration of Kitty Heard from Elbert County, Georgia is given below from the oath book collection at FamilySearch.org:

Kitt H Heard, Col, Reconstruction Registration Oath Books 1867-1868
Kitt H Heard, Col, Reconstruction Registration Oath Books 1867-1868 dist. 30 vol. 181-184 Elbert County book C Oglethorpe County, Elbert County, Madison County book D Madison County book E Elbert County, Oglethorpe County, Madison County Supplemental Oath Book: 2, 208, https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS9W-Q6L

Other Places to Look for These Individuals

Once you find your ancestor among the oath books the next thing would be to search among the following records:

  • Census records
  • Land records
  • Additional state and county records
  • Freedmen’s Bureau Records
  • Probate records
  • Tax records

Sharpen the Saw

Were you able to discover an ancestor among Georgia, Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1868? Let us know on our Facebook Group.

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