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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Emancipation in Mecklenburg VA

I am researching family members, some of whom were emancipated by a decedent whose will was filed in Mecklenburg County, Virginia in 1858. I recently obtained copies of wills, inventories and other probate documents in a visit to the circuit court there. I expected to find other documents (most particularly emancipation records). But no one in either the circuit court office or the public library knew anything about how emancipations were recorded in Mecklenburg County.

I am looking for suggestions about where else I should be looking for information and documents. In Virginia (most particularly in Mecklenburg County) in the 1850’s, what did an owner do to free a slave? Wouldn’t the slaves need a document to prove they were freed? I know that when slaves were sold a bill of sale would be given and a deed was often recorded, but was a deed recorded in an outright emancipation by the owner?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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