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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: locating fpoc prior to 1850


Could you provide me with a bit more information, or direct me to the thread of previous posts on this family? What were their approximate ages, when were they registered and where? Do have a transcription or abstract of the registers? Sometimes abstracts leave off important information. Furthermore, what bits of information did Hallie Q. Brown provide on this family?

As Jane suggested, you need to search through the tax records. There are two areas that you need to search. The records appear amongst those of the Auditor of Public Accounts. One set of records survive amongst the records of the First Auditor of Public Accounts (Record Group 48) and the other set are amongst the files of the Second Auditor of Publica Accounts (Record Group 50). Some of the tax lists are on microfilm, and others are in manuscript form at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. Some of the lists you viewed at the Mormon center are identifical to what you will find in Richmond. However, I don't know if the Mormons have both sets of lists. You'd have to contact a reference librarian in Richmond to determine if they do. The library published a guide to the auditor's records, and I can't recall the author's name, except that his surname was Kolbe I think.

From my understanding, there were three sets/copies of tax lists on free blacks. One list went to the constable/sheriff or official receiving/collecting the tax and another copy was kept by the tax commissioner. A third copy went to the state Auditor of Public Accounts with a report on taxes collected and those that were delinquent. Thus you may have to search the local county/city court records AND the state auditor's records to get a full run of the tax lists for each year.

What I've written is based upon my experiences in researching Norfolk records from the 1830's to the 1850's, and it's off the top of my head, so your area may not mirror what I've found.
I suggest that you get a hold of a good article or publication on tax assessment and collection in Virginia to better understand the process.

I would also suggest that you look through the local newspaper near the time of year when taxes were assessed and collected. The advertisement section of the newspaper should include a notice detailing the tax assessment and collection process. It may also include references to free blacks...

And you should also search through the court records for lists of delinquent tax payers. I've found them in the court minutes and loose papers/ended law causes in Norfolk.

Generally, the records will probably be most numerous during the 1830's (post-1831 -Nat Turner Rebellion & post-1835 anti-slavery postal campaign), and then again during the 1850's (post-1850-Fugitive Slave Act). I don't know when your family migrated out of the state, or when they were born, but if they were living in the state during these two decades, they're bound to appear in SOME record.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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