What I enjoy most about the 2014 Spring Ancestor Challenge is the flow of information, resources, and support from the various research tribes within the AAGSAR Village! The Texas Tribe has been PHENOMENAL to work with. In fact, it was Texas Tribe member, Terrence Garnett (My TX/LA Roots), who provided me with a copy of the Texas Voters Registration Lists 1867-1869 for my 3x great-grandfather Osborn Rowte (Routt) that provided an excellent clue about when he arrived in the Washington County Texas area!
Why is this 1867 Texas Voters Registration List so pivotal to my research?
This Voters Registration List is the first record to enumerate newly free slaves and all those who survived the Civil War in Texas. Therefore, it is the earliest public record I have after the 1860 US Census and prior to the 1870 US Census, that list my great-grandfather by name! So it is so-o-o-o exciting to learn that Osborn Routt registered for the privilege to vote on 28 June 1867 in Washington County, Texas! Line 1340 of the registry below has the following information: 
Date of Registry: 28 June 1867
Name: Osborn Rowte
Place of Residence: [blank]
Time of Residence –
In State: 14 yrs
In County: 14 yrs
In Precinct: [blank]
Signature of Elector: Osborn Rowte [X]
General Remarks: Colored
According to the 1870 United States Federal Census, Osborne was 28 years old living in Washington County, Texas with his wife Sallie, and their children Jefferson, Buchanon, Mary Francis, and Louisa (my 2x great-grandmother)! Based on this information from the census, his estimated year of birth is around 1842. 
Though this Voters Registration List does not corroborate Virginia being his place of birth reported in the 1870 census, it does however report that he had lived in the Washington County, Texas area for 14 years by 1867 which would put his arrival in the state of Texas around 1853.
So based on this 1867 Voters Registration List and the 1870 US Federal Census, I know:
- Osborn Routt was born in Virginia around 1842
- Osborn Routt lived in Virginia at least until 1853
- Osborn Routt was around 11 years old when he arrived in Washington County, Texas in 1853
Assuming that Osborn’s owner brought him to Texas, my conclusions at this point are:
- The slave owner owned or purchased land in Washington County, Texas before or around 1853
- The slave owner may have been born or lived in Virginia
What are my next steps?
- Search the 1870 US Federal Census of Washington County, Texas for other freedmen whose birthplace is Virginia
- Search the 1870 US Federal Census of Washington County, Texas for landowners born in Virginia and who owned land in the area since 1853 or earlier
- Search the 1867 Voters Registration List of Washington County, Texas, for those landowners I’ve identified from Virginia to determined if they’ve lived in the area since 1853 or earlier
- Search the 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules to find which landowners I’ve identified owned slaves
1. Ancestry.com. Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: 1867 Voter Registration Lists. Microfilm, 12 rolls. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.
2. “United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MXGF-FYD : accessed 24 Feb 2014), Osborn Route, Texas, United States; citing p. , family 184, NARA microfilm publication M593, FHL microfilm 000553107.