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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Rockingham Co. VA Free Negro LIst 1839

Hi Helen,

First let me start by saying this is a listing for the year 1849 not 1839. I looked again and there are no Mickens/Nickens listed. This listing is for those free blacks in the Northwestern District of Rockingham listed by Joseph Burkholder.

I took a look at the 1850 census for Rockingham County and the Mickens are listed in the 56 1/2 District and none of the individuals on this list are from the 56 1/2 District, so it is quite possible that there is another list. The surnames that I saw in the 56 1/2 district were Johnson, Jackson, Marsey, Mauzy, Mickens and Nickona..and none of these surnames are on this list.

The listing that I posted is not, what I usually describe as a Free Negro Register but a Commissioner of the Revenue Listing..some counties have both, some have only Registers and no Commissioner records...heck some have neither one, or at least they have not been located yet. I research Henry County, VA, I have been unable to locate a Register, but have located Commissioner Listings......but I have located information on the Free Blacks in the County Court Order book, you might want to take a look at the Order Books.

I also noticed that Jacob was still alive in 1850 but gone from the census in 1860, I am going to assume that he died during that time frame, you might want to see if you can get hold of the Death Records for that time frame. VA began keeping Birth and Death records on a County level in 1853 and continued until 1896 (then discontinued for 16 years) is possible that his death is listed. According to the LVA there is a microfilm reel no. 26 of Rockingham Deaths for 1853 to 1893. It is possible that there are not records for all years or that NOT all deaths were recorded for either blacks or whites, but you might want to see.

I noticed that Rockingham was formed from Augusta County, and I have the book compiled by Katherine Bushman in 1989 on the Register of Free Blacks in Augusta Couty (available on line at the link below).........there is a Jacob Nickings listed in the Personal Property Tax books for 1803 along with an Abraham Nickings, Isaac Nickings and Bill Nickings.

(1806) Also a reference to a Polly Simpson who is said to be the wife of Abraham Nickings

In the register itself there is:

(entry 341)Nat NICKENS who registers on May 21, 1851.....born free as appears by the certificate under seal of the Clerk of the County Court of Rockingham. there is also:

an (entry 340) Eliza Nickens said to have been born free in Augusta.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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