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AfriGeneas Brick Wall Forum

Re: Rebecca Lipscomb, Cumberland Co, VA

Hi Sally,

In your query you asked "is there some central source of information on individual slaves"..and I would say No..and I have looked and so have many others. The best you can do, as do all genealogist no no matter who they are looking for, is place Rebecca in time and place and understand the context in which she begins her life as an enslaved individual in Virginia.

According to your posting Rebecca is the slave of Henry Lipscomb ( I noticed various spelling for that surname when I took a look at the 1820 and 1830 census)..although Rebecca is not named until 1801 when he frees her, you place her with him beginning in 1787 when she has or soon after has a child. You place Henry's date of birth as 1760, I would place her date of birth as 1770 +/-. (you mentioned that she is listed in the Free Negro Register for Cumberland, there was there no age given, any physical description?).

You say that you looked at the PPTax records, to no avail, and you are right one Rebecca is just like another Rebecca, if you don't have a frame of reference in which to place her.

I asked if she might have been willed or deeded to him by either of his parents, you did not respond so I am assuming not (were the larger extended Lipscomb family members slave owners?). So that leaves either he purchased her either from someone else in his community in King William prior to his migration to Cumberland (or maybe in Cumberland when he got there), have you looked at the wills and deeds and inventories for other individuals in King William (or Cumberland) for that time period who might have been disbursing and or selling property?

Or Henry could have purchased her from one of the many slave ships that were arriving in VA during that time, into the James, the Rappahannock, Hampton, etc. These ships were coming directly from Africa or islands in the West Indies. For details on these ships see the book VA Slave Trade Statistics 1698-1775 published by the LVA. Needless to say there are no passenger lists..just the number of slaves onboard and from where. The advertisement for the sales of these individuals appear in the VA Gazette for that time period.

Rebecca is emancipated in 1801 and "many of their children"..but you do not say I am assuming that Henry frees those who were born prior to her emancipation, because their status would be based on her status at the time of their birth. Those children born after she was emancipated would have been born free. Did she have other children after she was emancipated?

As for emancipating 2 children "needlessly", nothing is needless in that time frame in VA, especially for black folk. Can I ask does Henry identify himself as the father of all these children? Although by law it is the mother and her status that counts.

Should you give up? No. Is it hard. Yes. Is there one source. No. Sometimes you just have to look at everything.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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