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AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum

Tracing Slaves Name To Present Survivors?

I am a descendant (white anglo-saxon protestant) of pre-Civil War Archibald Taylor of Gloucester County, Virginia. While staying at an old house on my father's land there at Belle Farm, my brother Jim found the "Farm Journal" of Archibald Taylor, in which we discovered four lists of slaves, with much duplication in the lists, which involved the handing out of hats, shoes and blankets to the slaves.

I am wondering how I might be able to find a track from these individuals to their lineage of heirs, with the hopes of locating living heirs. It would be wonderful to be able to help surviving heirs of these men and women to trace their lineages back through the land my brother and I, through the arbitraries of history, stand to inherit. Or is this too far-fetched a dream, since the usual track is from the present back into the past?

Any help you can offer, any references to others who might help, would be greatly appreciated.

Here are the lists (with as accurate a transcription from the script as possible):
I. Blankets given out Decr 1828 to Great George, Bob, Little George, James, Jim, Nat, Lono on Cupid, Aly, Humphrey, Robin, John, Frank, Isaac, Old Tom - Betty Letty Violet Rachel Lavinia, Flora, 21
II. Blankets given out Nov. 1829
Women: Lucy, Winney, Milley, Scilla, Kate, Mary, Nancy, Diana
Men: Randall, Toney, Sam, Peter, Gilbert, Monmouth

III. Shoes given out Nov. 30, 1830 [to slaves]:
Cornelius, Frank (Ploughman), Bob, Nancy, Nat, Isaac, Humphrey, Gilbert, Aly -, Jim, Randall, Cupid, Harriett, Sam, Dasy [or Dary], Lewis, Mun, Old George, Robin, John, Lunnun, Viney, Ginney, Little Frank, Jack, Milly, Winney, Peter, Flora, May, Diana, Toney, Scilla, Seth [?], Kate, Lucy, James, Lucy (H), Betty, Violet, Amy, Rachael.

IV. Hats given out to:
Isaac (new), Humphrey, Aly -, Jim, Cupid, Lewis, Lunnum
Old hats to Peter, Robin, John, Gilbert

These lists were actually given in columns, enumerated. The longest list was that of shoes given out, with the number 43 reached, but 26 was skipped (by accident presumably), with Jack as no. 25 and Milly no. 27.

Thank you for your consideration.
Steven M. Greaves

P. S. -- If it would help to give you details on my own genealogy, I would be happy to, to fill in gaps between 1830 and the liberation of blacks during and after the Civil War. I realize it may be presumptuous to believe that these lists are of black slaves, but I have to begin somewhere and somehow, and it seems reasonable to believe these are lists of slaves, since Belle Farm was a plantation, now about 360 acres, not far from Williamsburg, VA.

I am sending this question also to Valencia King Nelson at Afrigeneas.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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