African American Resource Center
New Orleans Public Library

African American Genealogical Research in New Orleans
Register of Free Colored Persons Entitled to Remain in State 1840-1863

This register is a product of the Mayor’s Office from 1840-1864. Free African Americans, who were not born in the City of New Orleans, or who were born in the Parish of Orleans and were emancipated after birth, had to be registered with the Mayor’s Office. The roster lists the name of the individual, sex and color of the person, the age of the person, occupation, place of the person’s birth (parish, county or state, country), date of arrival (in the majority of entries this section is blank) remarks, and the date the information was recorded. Information in the remarks column explains who emancipated the individual or vouched for that person’s free status through the witnessing or notarizing of the act of emancipation.

The roster is arranged in chronological groups, years 1840-1857, 1856-1859, 1859-1861, and 1861-1864. Only a handful of entries are from the year 1864. In each chronological group, names are recorded alphabetically by the first letter of the last name or as in some cases, the first letter of the only listed name. The majority of the information is recorded in English. However, in the first chronological group, particularly the year 1841, information is written in French and some subsequent entries are recorded that way as well. The register is available on microfilm in the Louisiana Division of the New Orleans Public Library and is catalogued as “Register of Free Persons of Color Entitled to Remain in the State 1840-1863,” microfilm no.AA430.

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