This can apply to other researchers in other states; right now I am sticking with North Carolina only because of the research I am doing. I took this from North Carolina Discoveries concerning Slavery Statistics for N.C. in 1860.
Slavery Statistics for North Carolina in 1860
In 1860 the white population of North Carolina was 629,932. The black population in the state was 361,522 -- 30,463 of which were free.
In 1860, only Virginia had more free blacks than North Carolina.
In the South as a whole, there were only 300 owners of more than 300 slaves, and only four of those slave owners were North Carolinians.
There were 85,000 farmers in North Carolina in 1860, and less than 27,000 of them owned any slaves at all.
Among slave owners on the North Carolina Coastal Plain, about 1 in 20 had 20 or more slaves.
Among slave owners in the North Carolina Piedmont, about 1 in 50 had 20 or more slaves.
Ownership of 20 or more slaves marked one as a 'planter' not a 'farmer,' making North Carolina a state of farmers and not planters.
North Carolina counties with slave population of 50% - 70%:
Thirty-two North Carolina counties had a slave population of less than 25%; forty North Carolina counties had a slave population of between 25% and 50%.
Source: 'North Carolina Through Four Centuries' by William S. Powell (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1989
It is just one of those things to consider...for instance, the person you are looking for probably was just one of two persons on that farm or plantation. \