Alabama Occupations

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Alabama's Child Labor Affidavits and Child Labor Registers offer an unique record from which to acquire a birth date and place for persons born around the 1890's.

The Code of Alabama, Adopted by Act of the Legislature of Alabama; approved July 27th, 1907, yeilded to societial pressures of the day regarding child labor. Children were being used widely in manufacturing in the United States. Southern states employed children at four to five times the rate of New England textile states. Source: 1910 Report on Condition of Women and Child Wage-Earners in the United States, Volume 1: Cotton Textile Industry, published by the U.S. Commissioner of Labor.

Chapter 184 of the 1907 Alabama code sought to regulate the employment of child labor in mills, factories and manufacturing establishments. It provided that no child under the age of 12 should be employed in manufacturing. Cotton mills used child labor extensively in Alabama in the late 19th century and early 20th century, with one in five employees reported as child laborers in 1910.

The law also provided that it was unlawful to employ anyone under the age of 18 without first requiring the child to present on a blank provided by the employer, an affidavit in parent or guardian or other person standing in parental relation, stating the date and place of birth of the child. The blank was then to be filed by the employer within ten days of the employment of the child in the office of the probate judge of the county.

The Family History Library has acquired on microfilm Child Labor Affidavits and Registers, recording the birth place and birth date of employed children ages 12 to 18, from ten of Alabama's 67 counties; Autauga, Barbour, Bullock, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Marengo, Mobile, Perry and Tallapoosa.

The above sources are listed in the Keyword Search of the Family History Library Catalog under Child Labor. They can also be found in the Family History Library Catalog under these titles and links:

Alabama, Autauga - Court records
Alabama, Barbour - Court records
Alabama, Bullock - Court records
Alabama, Dallas - Court records
Alabama, DeKalb - Court records
Alabama, Elmore, Tallassee - Business records and commerce
Alabama, Marengo - Probate records
Alabama, Mobile - Occupations
Alabama, Perry - Court records
Alabama, Perry, Ellawhite - Court records
Alabama, Perry, Uniontown - Court records
Alabama, Tallapoosa - Court records