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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Re: Robert and Sarah EATON NC
In Response To: Re: Robert and Sarah EATON NC ()

What I mean is to look at the neighbors, in particularly the white neighbors, nearby your family in the earliest census you can find them in. Preferrably it would be 1870, but also try 1880, first looking for the closest white EATON family nearby,(probably at least within the same township if there are none immediately near, the EATONs were big slaveholders) and then research them in the census to see if they had slaves (check the slave schedules for the family name) and if they do, research them further back through the census and the deed and will books. If there is no white EATON family nearby, you might try the white family who is immediatly close to yours in the census, and search their records in the same way to find mentions of your family. If you can find your slave family listed as a unit in someone's will is the best case scenario, but if they weren't a unit during slavery times, you've got more of a challenge.
By the way, part of this thread has apparently been moved to the Surnames and Family Research Forum on Afrigeneas, and I posted a reply to one of the messages that shows up there which you might want to read:

And I see your family in 1880 as follows:
1880 United States Federal Census
about Robt. Eaton
Name: Robt. Eaton
Home in 1880: Kitrells, Granville, North Carolina
Age: 50
Estimated birth year: abt 1830
Birthplace: North Carolina
Relation to head-of-household: Self (Head)
Spouse's name: Sarah
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Farmer
Marital Status: Married
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Household Members: Name Age
Robt. Eaton 50
Sarah Eaton 25
Mumphret Eaton 18
Angeline Eaton 15
Martha Eaton 12
Walter Eaton 8
Robert Eaton 6
Molly Eaton 5
Sally Eaton 3
Janie Eaton 2

I don't see them under the EATON name in 1870, but that's not surprising to me. I don't know why, but so many of the former slaves in NC are very difficult to find in 1870, mostly because I have noted they didn't always use the same surname, or even 1st name, at times. I've only been able to locate some by trying looking for first names only, sometimes they had different surnames in 1870; also, on occasion, I have found the surname, but most of them had different first names. I recognized the family when at least 2 of the family first names matched, and the entire family had the same general ages as they did in the other census. And it may require a page by page search of first the Township, then the rest of the County if you don't find them in the same location as the other census. NC is a nightmare when it comes to locating former slave families in 1870, as far as I'm concerned, but it can be done with a lot of time and patience.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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