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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

FPOC's in the Miami Valley of Ohio 1804-1857

Registers of Blacks in the Miami Valley: A Name Abstract (1804-1857), Stephen Haller, Ohio Historical Society and Robert H. Smith, Jr., Wright State University (1977)

From the Introduction…..From 1804 to 1857, black people in Ohio had to register their freedom papers with the clerk of courts of common pleas in the county where they desired residency or employment. Few of these registers have survived into the 20th century. These from four (4) Miami Valley counties have survived. The counties are Greene., Logan, Miami and Montgomery. Researchers in Black genealogy now have access to over 800 names. Abstracted from the actual freedom papers are name and certificate number (if listed) of freed slaves, name of owner or guardian, date and place of officially recorded freedom, date and place of officially recorded presence in Ohio, additional information (age and family relationships), and the page number of the register in which the information is recorded.

Researchers desiring more information should be aware of an abundance of social history documented in the texts of the individual freedom papers, such as physical description of slaves, dates and places of birth, personal comments of owners, names of witnesses and other parties, and occasionally the owner’s stated reasons for freeing his slaves.

There were some rather large groups of manumissions, for example the 380+ Randolph Slaves (1846) from Charlotte Co., VA are listed, the Brown family from Brunswick Co., VA…..Godfrey Brown bought his freedom (1822) and later purchased & freed his wife and 15 children.

Free Born AA’s from North Carolina settled in these counties…Dempsey, Archer, Byrd and Heathcock (1830’s). These families left NC because of the ever changing laws regarding FPOC’s in NC. The Mendenhall slaves from Guilford Co., NC (1854), Newlin’s from Orange Co., NC (1849).

These families (direct & collateral) may be picked up from the 1830 Federal Census for Ohio and followed throughout the following Census years. The migration into Ohio of FPOC’s comes from all Slave-holding States, but in the early years from the turn of 1800 thru the Civil War the majority were from VA, NC & MD. This book along with the two others mention in this thread of Ohio FPOC’s are excellent resources.

If you have family in these areas get your local library or genealogy society to invest in these books, or add them to your private libraries.

Art Thomas

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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