Matagorda County, Texas

Links to index and pages are at the bottom of this page.

"I, do solemnly swear (or affirm), in the presence of Almighty God, that I am a citizen of the State of Texas ; that I have resided in said State for ____ months next preceding this day, and now reside in the county of Matagorda, in said State; that I am twenty-one years old; that I have not been disfranchised for participation in any rebellion or civil war against the United States, or for felony committed against the laws of any State or of the United States, that I have never been a member of any State legislature, nor held any executive or judicial office in any State, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I have never taken an oath as a member of Congress of the United States, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I will faithfully support the Constitution and obey the laws of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, encourage others so to do, so help me God."


The Reconstruction Act of March 13, 1867 required the commanding officer in each military district to have, before September 1, a registration of all qualified voters in each county. These lists would be used to determine all who would be eligible to vote for any proposed Constitutional Convention in the state.

The registrant had to take an oath stating that he was not disqualified by law from voting. Those ineligible included Confederate veterans with a rank of major or above; any person who had previously taken an oath as a member of Congress, as an officer of the United States, as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, and who later engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or gave aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, and whose "disability" had not been removed by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.

Local military authorities often interpreted this prohibition to include anyone who held any type of office or who in any way benefited from either Confederate state or federal government patronage, thereby preventing a number of otherwise eligible citizens from voting.

The 1867 Voter Registration includes names of voters who registered in the period between 1867 and 1869. A few entries date from 1870, but these occur infrequently.

The Register entry includes the following information:

Voter registration number                

Date of registration                                          


Place of residence                                           


Length of residence in Texas                                

Length of residence in county

Length of residence in precinct

Native country or state

If naturalized, how, when, and where

"General Remarks"--race is noted when

   the registrant was "colored."

Ledger entries are grouped by county, and the names are listed chronologically in the order individuals presented themselves for registration.

Although some Voters' Registration lists appear in the Election Returns series of Secretary of State records, this group of ledgers contains the State Archives' only comprehensive listing of eligible voters in the state.

The original volumes have been microfilmed, and the film copies are available to be viewed at the Texas State Library, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. They may be requested on interlibrary loan. The actual volumes are housed in the archive area and must be viewed at the archives.

The films can be found in many large genealogy libraries. They can also be ordered by the LDS Family History Centers for viewing in their library.

The Bay City Public Library has a set of the films as well as a the CD-ROM index of all counties compiled by Donaly E. Brice and John C. Arron entitled Index to the 1867 Voters' Registration of Texas. The CD-ROM can be purchased from Heritage Books at 1-800-398-8809 or www.heritgebooks.com.

The original registrations were apparently filled out on forms that were signed by the applicant. Those forms were later transcribed into a ledger. The ledgers were then filmed for wider distribution. If the transcriber was not familiar with the persons registering and the handwriting was difficult to read, mistakes in spelling could occur. Many of the registrants could not write and fill out their own form so they only provided the information and signed their name or put their mark. Since many could not read, it was the responsibility of the registrar to spell the name as he understood it to be. Take into account that the name that you are searching may be spelled differently than you expect. Another reason is the illegibility of the microfilm in some areas. After the first draft of compiled, it was read against another copy of the microfilmed version as well as the ledger at the Texas State Archives. Every effort was made to compile an accurate transcription.

This Matagorda County registration is printed in landscape mode to allow more column area.

The index  is sorted alphabetically by surname.

Microfilm Listing

The 12 reels of the 1867 Voters' Registration are shown below, along with the counties contained on each reel. Please note that counties are not arranged in a strict alphabetical order.

Reel VR-1      Anderson , Angelina, Atascosa, Austin , Bandera, Bastrop , Bee, Bell

Reel VR-2      Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie , Brazoria, Brazos , Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron

Reel VR-3      Chambers, Cherokee, Collin , Colorado , Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Davis (pgs. 312-339)

Reel VR-4      Davis (pgs. 312-351), Denton , DeWitt, Ellis, El Paso , Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette

Reel VR-5      Fort Bend , Freestone, Galveston , Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Grayson

Reel VR-6      Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harris, Harrison

Reel VR-7      Hays, Henderson , Hidalgo , Hill, Hood, Hopkins , Houston , Hunt, Jack (page 393 marked " Jack County and Young"), Jackson , Jasper, Jefferson , Johnson, Karnes, Kaufman, Kerr

Reel VR-8      Kendall , Kinney, Lamar, Lampasas, Lavaca , Leon , Liberty , Limestone, Live Oak, Llano, Madison , Marion, Mason, Matagorda

Reel VR-9      Maverick, McLennan, Medina , Milam, Montague, Montgomery , Nacogdoches , Navarro, Newton , Nueces /Duval, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker

Reel VR-10    Polk, Red River , Refugio, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Patricio, San Saba, Shelby

Reel VR-11    Smith, Starr, Tarrant, Titus, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt

Reel VR-12    Victoria, Walker , Washington , Webb, Wharton, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Wood, Jack & Young (only page 393 appears, marked " Jack County and Young"), Zapata


The registrar(s) for Matagorda County actually recorded the place of residence in Matagorda County . So instead of listing Matagorda County as the residence, most of the registrations list the town, plantation or area of the county where the person was living at the time of registration. The remarks column for Matagorda County included few entries. Most often the remark was "rejected on revision" with no other details as to the reason. Those that were rejected have a line drawn through their names in this transcription to coincide with the ledger entry. The other remark that was primarily used was the term "colored." Those entries have been included in this record as they appeared. Take into consideration that mistakes could have occurred in the original ledger entries by marking someone colored who wasn't or most often by neglecting to mark colored by the name of someone who was.

The X indicates that the person signed with his mark. That would have been the case for most of the African-American registrants, but that assumption cannot be applied to all. Many Anglo registrants also signed with an X which might have either indicated an inability to write their names or the refusal to sign their name because the registration was a reconstruction document.

Several names in the ledger were listed incorrectly with the first name appearing as the surname. Those that were found were changed after comparing the name to the Matagorda County 1870 census and brand records. Be aware that it is possible that there are others that weren't changed. Even though your ancestor's name may not appear on the 1867 list, that does not mean that he was not in Matagorda County at the time. He may have been considered ineligible or he may have refused to register. Population figures indicate that ten percent of the whites were disallowed and twenty-five percent failed to register.

Mistakes were also found in precinct numbers and in some of the years of residence. For example, someone who had been living in Texas for 8 years, could not be a resident of Matagorda County for 15. When the correct number could be determined, it was included in brackets [  ].

Due to the restrictions in using columns, those who were naturalized, have an N in the remarks column and the full record is included as a separate section at the beginning of the registration.

The 1867 Voters' Registration is a valuable research and genealogy tool. For those researching the citizens of the Republic of Texas this registration gives the number of years of residence in Texas . Your ancestor may have been missed on earlier records during the time of the Republic, but may appear here. Most importantly it is the first time freed African-Americans could register for anything on the federal level of government. African-American researchers are also encouraged to use this registration as a companion to the 1870 Federal Census and local county records such as brand and deed records.







AL - Alabama

AR - Arkansas

DE - Delaware

DC - District of Columbia

FL - Florida

GA - Georgia

KY - Kentucky

LA - Louisiana

MD - Maryland

ME - Maine

MA - Massachusetts

MS - Mississippi

MO - Missouri

NJ - New Jersey

NY - New York

NC - North Carolina

OH - Ohio

PA - Pennsylvania

RI - Rhode Island

SC - South Carolina

TN - Tennessee

TX - Texas

VT - Vermont

VA - Virginia

AFR - Africa

BAD - Baden

ENG - England

FRA - France

GER - Germany

HAN - Hanover

IRE - Ireland

NAS - Nassau

POL - Poland

PRU - Prussia

SWE - Sweden


d - day

m - month

Pt - Precinct of residence

St - # of years in Texas

Co - # of years in Matagorda County

Pt - # of years in Precinct

Nat - Nativity (place of birth)

Rem - Remarks (see below)




C               Colored

N               Naturalization -  information at end of document

R on R     Rejected on Revision - usually because the person held a public office during the time of the Confederacy

X               Signed with an X



Allen, John                           By Annexation to U.S.

     [This entry had a ditto mark, but since he was born in Maine , it was a possible error on the part of the transcriber.]

Baxter, William, Sr.             Act of Annexation to U.S.

Clauder, Jacob                   By District Court, Matagorda County , Fall Term 1869, Matagorda City

Cookenboo, Henry            Naturalization of Parents

Dietrich, Conrad                 By District Court Oct 5, 1855 Matagorda City

Dietrich, Sebastian            By Distict Court Mar 18, 1853 Matagorda City

Duffey, August                    By Annexation to U.S.

Duffey, Peter                        Letters of Citizenship Aug 7, 1867 Matagorda County Court

Elliott, William                      Annexation of TX to US

Foreman, James                 Letters of Citizenship Aug 7, 1867 Matagorda District Court

Franz, Conrad                     By Annexation

Franz, Conrad                     Articles of Annexation to U.S. 1845

Glatz, Julius                         Naturalization Papers Oct 17, 1859 Matagorda County District Court

Green, Michael                    By Act of Annexation

Kemff, John                         Naturalization Papers Aug 16, 1856 El Paso , TX

Mahavier, Valentine           Naturalization Papers Oct 22, 1856 , Matagorda City

Maylins, Herman                 By Naturalization of Father

Nolte, Joseph                      Aug 5, 1867 Matagorda County Letters of Naturalization

O'Connell, Michael             Act of Annexation

Patrick, Joseph                   By District Court in 1868, Matagorda County

Phillips, John B.                 By Act of Annexation

Pope, Charles                     Papers of Naturalization, Dec. 20, 1859 , Indianola , TX

Prissick, William                 Act of Annexation to U.S. 1845, Matagorda City

Ryman, Baltez                     Letters of Citizenship 22 Oct 1856 Matagorda County

Salziger, Jacob                   By Act of Annexation at New Braunfels

Salziger, John G.                Act of Annexation

Scott, Charles C.                Annexation of Texas by U.S.

Seerden, Frank                   By District Court, Matagorda County., 1868 Spring Term, Matagorda City

Steger, John                        Papers of Naturalization, Oct. 12, 1852 , Mat. Dist. Ct.

Straus, Jacob                      Letters of Administration Feb 23, 1864 in Florida

Vogg, Frederick                  By Annexation to U.S.

Vonweg, William                 By County Court May 28, 1866 , Matagorda City

Wendel, Jas. Ford              City of Matagorda in District Court

West, Gustave                     By Annexation to U.S.



The number before each name is the registration number. Choose the correct numerical range in the next group to view the entry.

A - C D - I J - O P - S T - Z





101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-400
401-450 451-500 501-550 551-600 601-650 651-700 701-743  


Copyright 2004 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Dec. 2, 2004
Mar. 4, 2009