??? Someone just asked: … before driver licenses, social security cards (1930s), medicare cards (1930s), and birth certificates (1915-1925 in most places), how could someone prove that they were actually themself?
??? How did our ancestors prove their identification?
— A signed BOND pledged by others that could be contacted (marriage, loan, indenture, inheritance, etc).
— A deposition sworn to before a Justice of the Peace, or court, with witnesses known within the community.
———- Passports came under federal control in 1789, but could be issued not only by the Department of State but also by states and cities, and by notaries public with approval authority.
————— A freed Black would have written proof of their identity and freedom via a ‘manumission’ document registered with a court. A ‘free-born Black’ would have no more identification than a ‘free white’ … and if someone needed a new slave, kidnapping free blacks was not uncommon.