Friday, September 9, 2016

The Slave Name Roll Project*: The Apprenticeship Indenture Rolls of Cherokee County, Georgia


"Power of Words" by Antonio Litterio,
via Wikimedia.org



By 1865 America's Civil War was over. With the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution (the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863) now recognized as law in the former Confederate states, previously enslaved individuals were now free.

While searching through Georgia will and probate records for information about some of my ancestors, I came across a series of documents for Cherokee County, Georgia Apprenticeship and Indentures from 1866-1904.(1) Every indenture for 1866 pertained to a former slave in Cherokee Country, as did most of the listings for 1867. The documents listed "freed negro" boys and girls by name, age, and the individual to whom they were indentured. There is also the statement that these young people had been counseled by the County Ordinary to make this decision. Responsibilities for the young person were clearly stated in the contract as were those of the employer. At the end of the period of indenture (the child having reached his or her legal age), the young person was to have been taught to read and write the English language as well as to have been taught a trade. The now adult was also to be given money (usually $100) and often a new suit of clothing. At the age of 21 for the boys and 18 for the girls, these former slaves would finally be able to live in freedom.

Each record is listed in the following format:
minor freed Negro -- to whom indentured -- age at the time of the contract -- type of work or trade -- # of years of the indenture -- date agreement was recorded
Note: I did not include any record which only referred to the individual as an orphan, likely to come under the care of the county, only those in which the indentured individual was described as being a "freed negro" or "freed child". I have left them in the order of how they were recorded rather than placing them in alphabetical order.

Joe McAfee -- to John M McAfee -- age 12 -- farm hand  -- 9 years -- 8 Jun 1866
Laura McAfee -- to John M McAfee -- age 6 -- farm hand -- 12 years -- 8 Jun 1866
Evaline McAfee -- to John M McAfee -- age 11 -- farm hand -- 7 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Sanford McAfee -- to John M McAfee -- age 13 -- farm hand -- 8 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Ed McAfee -- to John M McAfee -- age 13 -- farm hand -- 8 years -- 9 Jun 1866
George Wheeler -- to C M Wheeler -- age 15 -- farm hand -- 6 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Albert Wheeler -- to C M Wheeler -- age 13 -- laborer -- 8 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Emily Caruthers -- to Newton J Wheeler -- age 13 - house girl and laborer -- 5 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Lucy Dean -- to William H Dean -- age 10 -- laborer -- 8 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Harriet Hawkins -- to William W Hawkins -- age 12 -- laborer -- 6 years -- 9 Jun 1866
Joe Dupree - to William G Dupree-- age 15 -- laborer -- 6 years -- 14 Jun 1866
George Foster -- to William S Foster -- age 16 -- laborer -- 5 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Joshua Foster -- to William S Foster -- age 16 -- laborer -- 5 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Thomas J Evans -- to Phillip J Evans -- age 15 -- laborer -- 6 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Jane Evans -- to Phillip J Evans -- age 12 -- laborer -- 6 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Nero Underwood -- to Thomas G Underwood -- age 15 -- laborer -- 6 years -- 14 Jun 1866
Bob Strickland -- to Andrew J Covington -- age 12 -- laborer -- 9 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Alexander McCurley -- to George R McCurley -- age 10 -- laborer - 11 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Thomas McCurley -- to George R McCurley -- age 7 -- laborer - 14 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Mariah McCurley -- to George R McCurley -- age 9 -- laborer - 9 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Mariah Sorrells -- to Solomon Fuller -- age 9 -- housekeeper -- 9 years -- 16 Jun 1866
Jacob McGraw -- to George McGraw -- age 12 - husbandry [note: does not specify if it is animal or plant husbandry] -- 9 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Samuel Riggins -- to Sarrah Riggins -- age 9 -- husbandry -- 12 years -- 15 Jun 1866
Fanny Popham -- to William G Popham -- age 7 -- husbandry -- 11 years -- 5 Oct 1866
Sallie Donaldson -- to Joseph Donaldson -- age 11 -- husbandry -- 7 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Jessie Donaldson -- to Joseph Donaldson -- age 9 -- husbandry -- 12 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Edie Donaldson -- to Joseph Donaldson -- age 7 -- husbandry -- 11 years -- 16 Jun 1867
John Fletcher Conn -- to Sammuel Conn -- age 6 -- husbandry -- 15 years -- 16 Jun 1867
John Con -- to Samuel Con -- age 11 -- husbandry -- 10 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Henry Con -- to Samuel Con -- age 10 -- husbandry -- 10 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Emma Con -- to Samuel Con -- age 3 -- husbandry -- 15 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Dian Bruce -- to Burton Bruce -- age 10 -- housekeeping -- 8 years -- 16 Jun 1867
Rachel Pitman -- to William A Trasley -- age about 10 -- housekeeping -- 8 years -- 17 Jun 1867

Although I had previously found records for indentured servants in my research, these were the first I had come across that dealt essentially with children who had formerly been enslaved. These contracts present another view of life after the end of slavery in the southern United States. For this reason, I feel they can be helpful to researchers seeking to learn more about their previously enslaved ancestors.

Blogger Schalene Dagutis, through her blog Tangled Roots and Trees, developed the Slave Name Roll Project in 2015. This project is a means for listing the names of slaves as individual names are located through our research of wills, probate records, and property records. It gives us the opportunity to provide information so that present day descendants can make a connection to their enslaved ancestors.


(1) Georgia Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992, "Cherokee County, Apprenticeship Indentures 1866-1904"; accessed www.ancestry.com.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Slave Name Roll Project*: Estate of William Perkinson, Cherokee County, Georgia


"Power of Words" by Antonio Litterio,
via Wikimedia, org

Among the will and probate records for William Perkinson (1784-1865) of Cherokee County, Georgia, there were several indications that William had owned slaves.(1) In the appraisal of his estate, recorded 1 Mar 1866, the first four listings were of his four slaves:

  • Elias, a negro man
  • Ben, a negro man
  • Warren, a negro man
  • Daniel, a negro man

Additional records indicated that two of these slaves had been hired out at various times of the probate process and thus provided additional income which was included in the assets of William Perkinson's total estate. 
  • negro boy Elins, hired for 9 months to Stephen Terry
  • negro man Ben, hired for 9 months to Stephen Terry
  • negro man Ben, hired for 9 months to T D Perkinson
Among the sale records of Perkinson's estate, there was no indication as to what had happened to the four previously mentioned slaves. By the final return for the estate in June of 1866, the Civil War had ended and all slaves had been freed. This suggests that Elias, Ben, Warren, and Daniel may have remained in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Among the Will and Probate Records for Cherokee County was a list of Apprenticeship Indentures, 1866-1904. Virtually all of the 1866 entries were for freed negro boys and girls, indenturing them to an individual until each turned 18. During those intervening years, they were to be cared for, taught a trade, then released from their indenture. These young people where no longer slaves, but I plan to list their names, ages, and person to whom indentured in a future post.

Blogger Schalene Dagutis, through her blog Tangled Roots and Trees, developed the Slave Name Roll Project in 2015. This project is a means for listing the names of slaves as individual names are located through our research of wills, probate records, and property records. It gives us the opportunity to provide information so that present day descendants can make a connection to their enslaved ancestors.

(1) Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992, Cherokee County, Inventories and Appraisements, 1854-1924, p 341, William Perkinson Estate; accessed on www.ancestry.com.
(2) Georgia, Wills and Probate Records, 1742-1992, Cherokee County, Sales Bills, Vol B, 1855-1929, p 214, William Perkinson; accessed on www.ancestry.com.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My Top 10 Genealogy Programs

Gold Top 10 Winner by Sam Churchill / flickr


Randy Seaver in his blog Genea-Musing recently posted about his favorite genealogy programs. It started me thinking about those programs and web sites I most frequently use in my genealogy research. After compiling my list, I realized that my research strategies would be vastly different without my Top Ten. Some are free, some fee, some are web sites, others are software that I see as essential for my research. They are listed below in alphabetical order (after all,, I was a teacher and librarian forever).

  • Ancestry - This fee site continues to provide online access to a growing database of records that would be beyond my means to physically locate on my own. Their shaky leaf hints provide suggestions of resources, events, or individuals for me to fully research myself.
  • Digital Archives of Norway - For those of us with Norwegian ancestors, this free site is a must. In addition to census records and information on Norwegian genealogy resources, the web site contains online images of church records from across the entire country. Yes, the text is written in Norwegian, but by keeping Google Translate on and some Norwegian vocabulary cheat sheets I found on Family Search, I have been able to learn so much about the Norwegian side of my family.
  • Family Search - This free web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints provides online access to genealogy records from around the world. Some are similar to those records available through Ancestry. Other records are available only on Family Search. Some records are indexed, others must be browsed to locate information. The Family Search Research Wiki is filled with helpful hints, history and geographical information, and links to external web sites on specific counties or geographical areas.
  • Family Tree Maker - Bottom line, I would be lost without a genealogy software program, and Family Tree Maker remains my choice. It is my primary place to record everything that I learn about my family through my research. I like that I can develop new trees as I research a possible family relationship, then easily merge it into my primary tree if it is clearly a branch of my family tree. And, thanks to some new practices I started after my Genealogy Do-Over, I maintain much of my research log in the software itself.
  • Find A Grave / Billion Graves - These two, free web sites are helpful for locating cemeteries, burial locations, and photos of headstones or grave markers. Although the two sites are similar, each site maintains its own unique database. There is some duplication of names between the two sites, but using both sites greatly expands the scope of my research. I also appreciate the opportunity to gain access to Billion Graves' premium ($) resources by submitting new photos of grave markers or by transcribing information from photos of markers.
  • Fold3 - I maintain a fee subscription to Fold3 and use if frequently to search for military records, pension records, and, as a real bonus for one with many Georgia ancestors, access to old issues of The Atlanta Constitution. It has also proved helpful in locating information about the military units in which various family members have served.
  • Georgia's Virtual Vault - If you have ancestors who lived in Georgia, this is a fabulous web site. The Vault is a prime example of a state providing free access to certain digitized state records, i.e. marriage records, land purchases, confederate enlistment and pension records, maps, photos, the list goes on.
  • Google Drive - The free suite of programs has turned out to have many genealogical applications for me. I've found so many uses for Google Sheets, their spreadsheet app. Sheets lets me keep lists of materials to request for interlibrary loan, newspaper articles to locate, books to browse when I visit area university or genealogical libraries, timelines. Using Google maps, I have developed maps of family residences, ancestor farms in Norway, family migration routes, etc., all saved and accessible on Google Drive. The beauty is that all this information is available to me whenever and where I have internet access, on my smartphone, my laptop, or a library computer.
  • Hathi Trust Digital Library - HathiTrust is a partnership of academic and research libraries that provides both indexing and some full-view documents on its web site. It is similar to Google Books in providing access to numerous books that are out of copyright as well as access to a wide variety of research texts. The big plus for me is being able to have a guest account. This allows me to maintain my personal collection of go-to resources. I have a Georgia collection, a military records collection, and several others.
  • Transcript freeware - This free (for personal use) software was developed by Jacob Boerema. Basically, the software allows you to open a document pdf file or a photo into the top half of a split screen for viewing then to key your transcription of the document in the bottom half of the split screen. A previous post explains more about how you can adjust the light, font size, or contrast of the image to make the image easier to view. This is no autocorrect in Transcript, so your transcription can show the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of the document's writer. I've also found that transcribing a document often helps me pay closer attention to details that I might have overlooked were I just reading the document.
That is my list, for now, Already I can think of 10 more sites that have earned favored status for me. Now, it is your turn. What are your Top 10 sites or programs?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Slave Name Roll Project*: The Camps of Rutherford County North Carolina

"Power of Words" by Antonio Litterio,
via Wikimedia.org

Thomas Camp, my sixth Great Grandfather, died in 1798, leaving 10 children from his first marriage and 12 children by his second wife. Six of these younger children remained in the Rutherford County area of North Carolina for the rest of their lives . Thomas' will makes no mention of any slaves, but looking at the wills of his children who lived in Rutherford County provided some information as to how they had managed the property which had been left to them in their father's estate.

Son Crenshaw Camp, in a will written in 1808, ten years after his father's death, mentioned one slave, a Negro boy named Embro who was to be given to Crenshaw's brother George Camp.(1)

Daniel Camp, another of Thomas' sons, served as the sheriff of Rutherford County, NC in the late 1790s. In the middle of a book of will transcriptions was information concerning a slave transaction that involved Daniel. The slave Stantee had been the property of William Nevills and was described as "an african by birth nearly thirty six years of age about five feet ten, high complexion, very dark".(2) Sheriff Camp had overseen the public sale of Stantee to Lewis Beard; the auction had been held on 25 August 1795 to settle a debt of Mr. Nevills.

The will of a William Camp in this volume turned out not to be "my" William Camp. The will, however, provides information concerning several slaves who were part of the estate of another William Camp.(3) This will, proved in Rutherford County in February of 1855, mentioned the following:

  • a negro woman named Ferre to my wife Elizabeth
  • a negro boy named Wade to my wife Elizabeth, Wade to go to my son John Camp upon her death

There were several interesting records concerning Thomas Camp's son Joshua Camp.(4) The inventory of the estate provided the names of 17 slaves who were part of Joshua's estate: 

  • [men] Sandy, Major, Dick, Sam, Frank
  • [women] Liz, Judy, Harriet, [fourth woman's name was unreadable]
  • [boys and girls] Gardison, William,  Adam, Henderson, Albert, Polly, Martha, Victory.

Additional probate documents concerning Joshua Camp's estate (pages 673-674 of the same volume of records) provided further information concerning the sale of some of the slaves in October of 1853, including:

  • Frank was purchased by J T Camp [Joshua's son John T Camp, estate executor]
  • Sandy was purchased by J T Camp
  • Dick was purchased by John First
  • William was purchased by James Phillips
  • Albert was purchased by George Camp [probably Joshua's son]
  • Nancy Camp [Joshua's widow] purchased an unnamed male and female
  • Major was purchased by J O Simmons

After I wrote the first draft of this post, I was looking for other Camp family members in the 1870 census for Rutherford County, North Carolina. In my search I saw the census records of two Rutherford County residents who may well have been some of Joshua's former slaves - Frank Camp and Gardison Camp - now farmers, now free, now with their own families, their stories continuing.


Blogger Schalene Dagutis, through her blog Tangled Roots and Trees, developed the Slave Name Roll Project in 2015. This project is a means for listing the names of slaves as individual names are located through our research of wills, probate records, and property records. It gives us the opportunity to provide information so that present day descendants can make a connection to their enslaved ancestors.


(1) North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Rutherford County, Wills 1782-1898, vol. A-F, p85, will of Crenshaw Camp; accessed on FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org.


(2) North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Rutherford County, Wills 1782-1898, vol. A-F, p44, indenture between Daniel Camp and Lewis Beard; accessed on FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org.
(3) North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Rutherford County, Wills 1782-1898, vol. A-F, p287, will of William Camp; accessed on FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org.
(4) North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, Rutherford County, Estates, 1847-1854, Vol. C, p 183, estate of Joshua Camp; accessed on FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org.