In March 1866, in order to ratify marriages and legitimate children, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act directing Justices of the Peace to collect and record in the County Clerk’s office the cohabitations of former slaves. Freedmen who did not record their marriages by September, 1866, faced misdemeanor charges.
Here is the first in a series of abstracts of Wilson County’s cohabitation records. Where found, information from the first two post-Emancipation censuses is included.
Cohabitation Records, Wilson County Marriage Records, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse, Wilson.