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Free Negro Affidavits

The Library of Virginia has added free Negro affidavits to their website. They are letters to the county courts which certify the freedom of persons granted free Negro certificates. They contain much more information than the certificates which usually only state age, height, complexion and scars. For example, there is a Henrico County marriage bond for Phebe Ligon and Thomas Findley with Jeremiah and Hannah Liggon as witnesses on 10 May 1788. Jeremiah's freedom affidavit explains that he was born about 1762, the son of William Ligon, "a melatow," and Hannah Ligon, "a Black woman," who both served their time as apprentices almost fifty years previous [Ligon, Jeremiah, 1800, African American Narrative Digital Collection, LVA].

Aaron Weaver's affidavit in Princess Anne County, Virginia, states that he and Martha Nicken were married in Northumberland County on 7 February 1766 and gives the names, ages of their children, and the names of the people their children married.

Go to
and click on "DigiTool" in the fifth line. Then click on All African American Narratives. You will get over 10,000 items in alphabetical order, sorted by title. You can click on "Refine" in the far upper right hand corner and search by title, date, or search "All Fields" for names of all individuals mentioned in the records.

Selma, if you search the LVA site for "African American Narratives," you don't get them all-just the ones that have been transcribed.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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