AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Morris Family of Virginia
In Response To: Morris Family of Virginia ()
Emancipation was illegal in Virginia between 1723 and 1782 without legislative approval. There were only about two dozen slaves whose manumission was approved by the legislature during that time.
That explains why most African American families that were free during colonial times descended from white women who had children by slaves. (Freedom of the child depended on the freedom of the mother). There were over a thousand children born to white servant women by slaves in Virginia and Maryland during the colonial period.
Ann Morris (1691 in Norfolk County) and Elizabeth Morris (1705 in Middlesex County) were two examples. They proably had quite a few descendants several generations later.