Re: 18th century servants & slaves
- From: Kdberr1@xxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2008 13:07:57 -0800 (PST)
I need to prove whether a specific slave was owned by a specific
person in the 1750s on the US DelMarVa. Alternately, the "slave"
was an indentured servant to the same person at the same date.
Whether slave or servant, he predeceased the owner.
How do I approach the search? What specific types of records would
be most likely to be helpful? If the county boundaries changed
would either ownership or indenture be re-recorded in the new
county? Would the presence of a free black have been duly recorded
somewhere in county records and if so, where?
Cheryl Singhals <singhals@xxxxxxxxx>
Have you tried court records for the area? It wouldn't be a state
yet, correct? That's all I can think of that would exist back then.
Other documents that may exist are wills and land records. Maybe
the freedman bought property.
Also, did chattel slavery exist that early (I can't remember).
Slowly over time slavery became attached to Africans only (for
example, passing laws that decided the status of the children of
slaves and free people). I just can't remember the year but I
believe VA officially tied slavery to blacks in the early 1700s.
Although the Free Blacks of NC, VA, MD site dates only to 1810, it
may be helpful in determining how to research. I believe the
creator used court records to find slaves.
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