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kjgibson
11 April 2008, 09:22 PM
I have a lot of relatives from Mississippi and Louisiana who were plantation owners. Not noble history but there it is. It made me kinda queasy the first time I saw my own name on a Slave Schedule. But I don't want to dismiss or brush it away either. Its a fact that many of my ancestors owned slaves.

Anyway, I'm wondering, how do you record the slave schedules?

I added an event but the report language doesn't quite work. So maybe it needs to be a fact rather than event. What information would you include?

Thanks,
Karen

ML Hollister
04 October 2009, 01:45 PM
I have a lot of relatives from Mississippi and Louisiana who were plantation owners. Not noble history but there it is. It made me kinda queasy the first time I saw my own name on a Slave Schedule. But I don't want to dismiss or brush it away either. Its a fact that many of my ancestors owned slaves.

Anyway, I'm wondering, how do you record the slave schedules?

I added an event but the report language doesn't quite work. So maybe it needs to be a fact rather than event. What information would you include?

Thanks,
Karen

I have recorded this information in notes and spreadsheets. I have included the number of slaves owned. One family owned hundreds of slaves and in this case a spreadsheet is helpful. In another family with smaller holdings of human property, I did give specifics. Sometimes depending on how many slaves were owned and how the enumerator recorded the information, you can identify family groups. If one assumes that you are attempting to give the historical context within which your ancestors lived, then identifying slave ownership helps to provide that context. If you check the number of slaves over time, you might learn how the family's property grew or declined. Were slaves given as gifts when a daughter married? Were their runaways? Research in African American genealogy has grown quite abit. For example, there are Freedman Bureau records (RG105) available in the NARA regional offices (some on-line) that show labor contracts between former slave owners and former slaves during Reconstruction (by state and by county). These contracts describe the terms of work and provides the names of the slaves and their ages; these are often by family groups. African Americans are currently using this information to track their ancestors across the Great Divide -- between emancipation and slavery. It is not impossible that you could intersect with the descendants of the slaves owned by your family because a freed slave's descendant is looking for your family. Why? Because the slave owners created documentation...and that's what family historians are all looking for! To learn more: see Finding A Place Called Home by Dee Parmer Woodtor, PH.D. Sorry for the long answer to a short question.

I would also refer you to: Elizabeth Shown Mills' excellent book and resource Evidence Explained copyright 2007: Section 6.25:
CITING PERSONS NAMED ON SLAVE SCHEDULES
Occasionally, but not often, slaves may be named on a slave schedule;
sometimes by both first and last names. More commonly, the census
names the “head” of that group of slaves, in the manner that the pre-
1850 census named only household heads. When we cite an individual
who appears on the slave schedule, we will likely want to specify
whether that person is a slave or a household head.
277
When naming someone in that capacity, the natural inclination is to
refer to that person as, say, “William Crosby, white” or “William
Crosby, owner.” Odds favor both assumptions. However, not all slave
owners were white and not all household “heads” named on slave
schedules were owners. While census instructions asked for names of
owners, many returns cite managers of farms with absentee owners.
All we can accurately say, without independent evidence, is that the
individual was an “owner or manager.” That phrase should also cover
situations in which quasi-free slaves were allowed to live independently,
renting rooms from a white or free-black person who would,
theoretically, provide oversight.

S McCormick
04 October 2009, 09:12 PM
ML Hollister ended "

theKiwi
04 October 2009, 11:03 PM
I have done some work with the slave schedules of a single Mississippi County - Copiah County for 1850 and 1860 and analysed the results of the entire county. This analysis can be seen here

http://lisaandroger.com/2009/06/giving-a-little-back/

Cheers

Roger

thboyd
05 October 2009, 09:00 AM
This is not really an answer to your question, but I recently read a book in which the author had researched the descendants of the slaves that his family had owned and then got in touch with those descendants. It was a wonderful book, especially for anyone, like me, whose family owned slaves. The book is "Slaves in the Family" by Edward Ball. The Balls were one of the original settlers of South Carolina and possibly the largest slave owner in the state. His ancestors kept detailed records on their slaves which is not only a genealogical resource, but also a sociological resource on the whole institution of slavery in America.

Tom

ML Hollister
05 October 2009, 08:07 PM
I have done some work with the slave schedules of a single Mississippi County - Copiah County for 1850 and 1860 and analysed the results of the entire county. This analysis can be seen here

http://lisaandroger.com/2009/06/giving-a-little-back/

Cheers

Roger

Very interesting. May I ask if you diligently and manually copied the information from the slave scheules to your worksheet/spreadsheet? I have had a great deal of success looking for ancestors in the Freedman Bank records which are also at ancestry. You can search by name and by states. Thanks for sharing.

theKiwi
05 October 2009, 10:27 PM
Very interesting. May I ask if you diligently and manually copied the information from the slave scheules to your worksheet/spreadsheet? I have had a great deal of success looking for ancestors in the Freedman Bank records which are also at ancestry. You can search by name and by states. Thanks for sharing.

No, it came from search results online (shhhh) which I massaged in FileMaker Pro to get those results.

Roger