Morrow-Micheal Ports to speak at Lunch & Learn, 8 April,

Morrow, GA, March 16, 2016– Michael Ports will speak at the Georgia Archives on Friday, April 8, 2016. The free program, part of the Lunch and Learn series, starts at 12:00 p.m.

In his presentation, Mr. Ports will provide basic background information on the population of free persons of color in Georgia and the state laws governing their registration, guardianship, and manumission.

An 1818 statute of the Georgia legislature required all free persons of color to register with the inferior court of their county of residence. According to the statute, county clerks were required to record each freed man or woman by name, age, place of birth, residence, year of arrival in Georgia, and occupation. Specific examples, from most of the 22 counties with surviving registers, illustrate the wide variety of information recorded by the various court clerks.  And finally, Sylvia, a free woman of color, is followed from manumission, through the extant registers, court minutes, and probate records of Jefferson County.

Please join us and learn about these records, which contain vital identifying information for African American Georgians long before the Civil War or the watershed 1870 U.S. Census.

Reservations are not required to attend. Bring your lunch!!

For more information, please contact Jill Sweetapple at 678.364.3731 or email at