AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum
Crosskeys & Royall Family Slaves MA, SC, GA, FL
I'm descended from John Riley of Coosawhatchie, Beaufort Co., SC, and William Croskeys/Crosskeys and William Royall, of James Isl., SC. They were white planters who (along with their relatives and descendants) owned several plantations and slaves in SC, FL, and GA.
I am posting this here in case someone researching the Royall slaves ever visits Afrigeneas. I hope this isn't too long-winded, but perhaps this information will help someone.
I don't have access to any daybooks or plantation records for the Royalls (assuming any have survived) but would be happy to share information about the Royall family for anyone who needs
Most of the Royalls still living in the South don't appear to be interested in researching the family. The two main family historians, "Miss Petie" and Admiral Royall, are both deceased.
I'm told Admiral Royall submitted quite a bit of information about the Royall family to the Royall House Association in Boston and the New England Genealogical Society. I am not a member of either, but I eventually intend to subscribe to the latter. If I discover anything else concerning the Royall slaves, I will be sure to post it.
If any daybooks did survive, they are probably either in the hands of Furman Univ., Wake Forest Univ., Univ. of NC Chapel Hill, the Univ. of SC, or the SC State Archives. The Royalls were related by marriage to the Furmans and William Royall's grandson and namesake helped found Wake Forest University.
Source: Will of William Royall, Charleston County Will Book, Vol. 40, pgs. 187-188 Dated 1831. Proved 1834.
Ruth (Rivers) Crosskeys (abt 1750-1826/34), widow of William, left her daughter Elizabeth (Crosskeys) Royall (1774-1840), wife of William Royall, the following slaves (mentioned in Ruth's will and William Royall's): "...negroes named Charles, Silvia, Rynah and her children Saturday, Cuba, Hannah, Jinny and Miriah"
Also bequeathed to Elizabeth in the will of her husband, William Royall, Jr. (1757-1834): "...Elsey, Phillis and her children Robert, Carolina and Henny and little George and John"
These slaves were to reside on the plantation "Simpsons." This plantation is on James Isl., Charleston Co., SC. It was purchased from Hume Greenhills estate.
William left his daughter Elizabeth "Eliza" (Royall) Rivers (1796-1865 -- child of his 1st wife Martha Samwayes) the following slaves: "...Negroes namely Mareah, and her children Peter, Cinder, Franc and Roxan, (also) Lucy, Rose, Fanny, Jinny, ?uaco, Hager, Amy, Cuba, Leah, country George, Alonzo and Ned, Vinture, Favour..."
William left his son William Royall, III "the following Negroes namely London, Cuffy, Elijah, mill Tom, Bella, Franc, Hannah, Sylvia, Peter, Polly, Flora, Mahalah, Carolina, Old Hannah, Sam, John, Andrew, big Betty, Cathrine, Mary, Ben and Jim..."
To his son Croskeys, William left: "...the following negroes namely ‘Gola George, Luck, Belmont, long Tom, little Betty, Sandy, Henry, Elsy, Charles, Scilla, Grace, Chloe, Elsy, Emma, Cash, little George, Robert, Elsy, Phillis, Carolina and Henny..."
"...Item the first Eight mentioned negroes (Charles, Silvia, Rynah and Rynah's children Saturday, Cuba, Hannah, Jinny and Miriah) to my Said wife Elizabeth shall at her decease, be equally divided between my Sons William and Croskeys agreeable to the last mention Will and Testament of their Grand Mother Ruth CROSKEYS deceased. The Seven negroes last mentioned (Elsey, Little George, John, Phillis and her children Robert, Carolina and Henny) named to her my Said Wife above, after her decease are disposed of, by distribution, as will be found above."
"...Item all the parts of my estate real and personal herein intended for the support and maintenance of my daughter Eliza RIVERS during her natural life, shall at her decease, revert and be divided equally amongst her children (Winfield Montgomery Rivers, Maria Theresa Rivers Sibley, William Bainbridge Rivers and Capers Michel Rivers) when they attain the ages of twenty one years, and to the heirs of their bodies forever."
I wonder if the Cuba mentioned above, is the same Cuba mentioned in a letter written over thirty years later by William's daughter-in-law, Mary Ann (Riley) Royall, wife of William Royall, III?
In a letter dated Nov 4, 1862, Thomasville, GA, she wrote to her son that "Cuba's daughter," a 15 years old slave named Grace, died on Sept 23, 1862, at the Royall's home in Thomasville. They called for a doctor, but no one could discover what was wrong with Grace. According to Mary she was a "very intelligent & useful" young woman, "almost as large as her mother (Cuba)."
In another letter she mentions (dated Aug 16, 1862, Thomasville) to her granddaughter Mary Ann Royall, daughter of William Royall, IV, of Wake Forest, NC, that her slaves Peters and Andrew sent there
In another letter (dated Dec 12, 1862, Thomasville) she mentions the slaves of her son Horace Royall, of Savannah & Camden Co., GA. He was living in FL during the war. The slaves had driven up with Horace's wife to see Horace's mother. "Stephen drove the buggy & Abram came along to see his relations."
Other Royall slave information:
In 1804 William Royall, II, petitioned the SC General Assembly, seeking compensation for a male slave named Jack, who was convicted and executed for the murder of another Royall slave, a woman
Bill of Sale, Charleston Co., SC, Nov 15, 1810
I have copies of the last two records and the letters.
Royalls in the Census & Slave Schedules:
1790 Census St. Andrew's Parish, Charleston Dist., SC
1790 Census St. Andrew's Parish, James Isl., Charleston Dist., SC
He was listed twice in 1800 Census:
1800 Census St Andrews Parish, Charleston Co., SC
1800 Census James Isl., St Andrews Parish, Charleston Co., SC
Slaves all ages 28
1810 Census St Andrews Parish, Charleston Co., SC
40 slaves all ages
1810 Census St Andrews Parish, Charleston Co., SC
slaves 13 all ages
1820 Census St. Andrew's Parish, James Isl., Charleston Dist., SC
Misc. Notes: According to the Royall House Association some of the Royall slaves in MA are thought to have come from Antigua. It is quite possible that some of the Royall slaves in SC may also have come from their as our ancestor Samuel Royall traveled to Antigua on at least one occasion. One of the Royall slaves in SC was named 'Gola George suggesting that either he or his ancestors may have originally been from Angola.
There was a book published mentioning the family of Fortune Howard, a former slave of Isaac Royall of Boston. "Twenty Families of Color in Massachusetts," by Franklin A. Dorman.
The Royall Family Association's website also has a page including information about some of Isaac Royall's slaves in Boston: http://www.royallhouse.org/slavetenure.php
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