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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Indian ancestry in Petersburg

I have been abstracting the Petersburg Register of Free Negroes and have reached no. 2500 in 1838 and will probably continue until at least no. 3000. This register appears to be unique in that it looks like nearly all residents registered. People came from all over the state to Petersburg and used their certificates of freedom from other counties to register. Most were from Prince George, Dinwiddie and Chesterfield, but there were also many from Southampton, Sussex, Greensville, Brunswick, Surry and Richmond City. There were also some from Amelia, Charles City, Caroline, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Henrico, Isle of Wight, King William, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Powhatan, Princess Anne, Spotsylvania and Wythe counties. Many of these counties such as James City, Prince George, Dinwiddie and Nottoway do not have surviving Free Negro Registers. So these are very important records.

Here's some Indian ancestry from these records:
Isbell won her suit for freedom on descent from an Indian in Richmond Superior Court in 1815. She was the mother of Mary, Lilly and Aggy Wilson of Petersburg. Lilly was the mother of Essex, Mary was the mother of Jane and Angeline and Aggy was the mother of Caroline who married a slave. Here are their registers:

No. 1107, Mary or Mary Wilson a woman of Colour, yallow brown complection 5 feet high, supposed about 20 yrs old, has had holes in her Ears. She is daughter of Isabel descendent of an Indian, and set free by a Judgment & decree of the Richmond Superior Court of Chancery in June 1815 in a suit against Maraime Church & others & her two children as follows
No. 1108, Jane Wilson 3 yrs old 28 August 1820
No. 1109, Angeline Wilson 1 yr old 19 February last 1821.
Jane is of light brown complection & has curled hair near the same colour of her complection. Angeline brown complection & dark brown hair
No. 1111, Lilly Wilson, a free girl of colour, five feet two & a half inches high of a dark brown complexion 19 years of age was raised in the town of Petersburg & is the daughter of Isabel who is the descendant of an Indian & was set free by a Judgment & Decree of the Superior Chancery Court of Richmond in June 1815 in a suit against Mariam Church & others is now registered at the request of her said mother this 20 June 1821.

No. 1112, Essex an infant child of Lilly Wilson about 12 months old of a light brown complexion with bushy curly hair. 20 June 1821.

No. 1394, Caroline Wilson (daughter of Aggy Wilson) who was a daughter of Isbell Wilson who recovered her freedom by suit in the General Court and was a descendant of an Indian, about 22 yrs old, 5 feet 6 in: high of dark complection or nearly black, was born free in Pochahontas (the Chesterfield section of Petersburg) as appears by the oath of Peggy Pichot of said town. 26 April 1826.

No. 1742, Elizabeth Booker, Infant daughter of Caroline Wilson, (wife of Jack Booker a slave) 3 yrs old Septr last, brown complection…born free. 13 June 1831.

There is also a register for a descendant of Mary Month, a free Indian from Middlesex and Spotsylvania counties:

No. 2156, David Month, 5 feet 5 ½ inches high about 31 years of age, black complexion…born free as appears from a certificate of registry from the Clerk of Spotsylvania County. No. 40. 5 June 1832.

Paul


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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