Cohabiting as man and wife.

State of North Carolina, Rowan County } 1st May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Peter Mull, a free man, and Eve Crawford, late a slave of Christine Brown, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in the year 1844, and wish to continue as such. Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

——

State of North Carolina, Rowan County  } 3rd May, A.D. 1866.

This day personally appeared Richard Cress (a free man of color) and Dathna Ann Latham, late a slave of Frederick Latham, who acknowledge that they have been cohabiting as man and wife since sometime in July, A.D. 1863, and wish to continue as such.   Obadiah Woodson, Clerk.

Cohabitation records, Register of Deeds Office, Rowan County Courthouse, Salisbury NC.

In March 1866, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to ratify the marriages of former enslaved persons.  Justices of the Peace were to collect and record in the County Clerk’s office so-called cohabitation records. Under penalty of misdemeanor charge, freedmen were required to register before September 1, 1866.

Neither Peter Mull nor Richard Cress found in pre-or post-Civil War census records. However,

Daily_Charlotte_Observer__13_Jun_1874

Daily Charlotte Observer, 13 June 1874.