Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies

hbs0063Here is another book where the title does us the favor of telling us exactly what the book is about, Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies. Of course there is more to it than saying this book is just a research guide. If fact, this guide has a very specific purpose and focus. The emphasis in this book is for non-plantation slaves. More than half of all slaves lived and worked where fewer than 20 slaves to an owner. Only around 25% of all slaves lived on large plantations with more than 50 held slaves.

According to the author, plantation records exist for many large plantations, but few for smaller ones. Many researchers fail to look beyond these important but limited records. To search beyond these few large plantations, researchers must learn what and where to search. This guide covers several key sources available.

Through this book, the researcher will find research methods and types of analysis useful in locating both slaves and their owners. The case studies are very specific and carry large amounts of useful information and directions; plus, they include charts, diagrams, and sample extracts form original source. Learn methodology, better understand records, and improve your research skills.


Table of Contents

List of Genealogical Charts

List of Tables


I. The Challenges of Slavery to the Family Historian

  • The Preliminary Survey
  • Afro-Americans and Where to Find Them in the Federal Census

II. Utilizing County Records

  • Vital Records: How Available Are They?
  • How to Effectively Approach Probate Records
  • County Deed Books: The Black Genealogist’s Best Friend
  • Treasure Hunting in the Court Order Book
  • Evaluating the Tax Lists
  • Additional Source Material

III. Case Studies

  • Case Study One: Milly Copenhaver
  • Cast Study Two: Cowan-Gillespie Slaves
  • Case Study  Three: Simon, commonly called Si



A: Probate Records

B: Deed Abstracts

C:   Court Orders

D: Selected Reference



Slave Genealogy: A Research Guide with Case Studies is available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $19.11.

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