Voters' Registration of 1867

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On March 23, 1867, Congress passed legislation that called for a registration of qualified voters in each military district. The text of this legislation can be found in the Statutes at Large in volume 15, page 2 (15 Stat 2). The commanding officer in each district was required to have, before September 1, a list of these voters from each county. These lists would be used to determine all who would be eligible to vote for any proposed Constitutional Convention in the state.

The registrant had to take an oath stating that he was not disqualified by law from voting. Those ineligible included Confederate veterans with a rank of major or above; any person who had previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, as an officer of the United States, as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, and who later engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gave aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, and whose "disability" had not been removed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.

Local military authorities often interpreted this prohibition to include anyone who held any type of office or who in any way benefited from either Confederate state or federal government patronage, thereby preventing a number of otherwise eligible citizens from voting.

The 1867 Voter Registration includes names of voters who registered in the period between 1867 and 1869. A few entries date from 1870, but these occur infrequently.

The Register entry may include the following information:

  • Name
  • Place of residence
  • Precinct
  • Length of residence (in state, in county, in precinct)
  • Native country or state
  • If naturalized, how, when, and where
  • General Remarks--race is noted when the registrant was "colored"

Ledger entries are grouped by county, and the names are listed chronologically in the order individuals presented themselves for registration.

Although some Voters' Registration lists appear in the Election Returns series of Secretary of State records, this group of ledgers contains the State Archives's only comprehensive listing of eligible voters in the state.

The original volumes have been microfilmed, and the film copies are available to be viewed onsite at 1201 Brazos in Austin, Texas. They may also be requested through interlibrary loan.

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Microfilm Listing

The 12 reels of the 1867 Voters' Registration are shown below, along with the counties contained on each reel. Please note that counties are not arranged in a strict alphabetical order.

Reel VR-1      Anderson, Angelina, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell

Reel VR-2      Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron

Reel VR-3     Chambers, Cherokee, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Davis (pgs. 312-339)

Reel VR-4     Davis (pgs. 312-351), Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, El Paso, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette

Reel VR-5     Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson

Reel VR-6     Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harris, Harrison

Reel VR-7     Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jack (page 393 marked "Jack County and Young"), Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Karnes, Kaufman, Kerr

Reel VR-8     Kendall, Kinney, Lamar, Lampasas, Lavaca, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Llano, Madison, Marion, Mason, Matagorda

Reel VR-9     Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Milam, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces/Duval, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker

Reel VR-10    Polk, Red River, Refugio, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Patricio, San Saba, Shelby

Reel VR-11    Smith, Starr, Tarrant, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt

Reel VR-12    Victoria, Walker, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Wood, Jack and Young (only page 393 appears, marked "Jack County and Young"), Zapata

 

 

Page last modified: November 12, 2013