MEDIA
Cohabitation Register from Prince Edward County
Original Author: Prince Edward County Clerk
Created: 1866
Medium: Cohabitation register

Cohabitation Register from Prince Edward County

A Prince Edward County register lists the names of the African American men and women who had been "cohabiting together as Husband and Wife"—one couple, at the very top of the list, for twenty years—before Virginia law legalized and protected their existing marriages. City and county clerks in Virginia kept registers such as this one after the Cohabitation Act of 1868 was passed by the General Assembly on February 27, 1866. The information compiled included the names and ages of the married couple, when they began living together, the names and ages of their children, the occupation of the husband, and the identity of their "last owner" during slavery.

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