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How Many Slaveowners Were in the South?

How Many Slaveowners Were in the South?

This is the third in a series of posts (see previous posts here and here) where I am asking us all to consider reevaluating some of our beliefs surrounding slavery. People everywhere like to make the point that: “Only one in three southerners held slaves.” Why do people say that? It’s often a part of […]

Africans Enslaved Other Africans: NOT

Africans Enslaved Other Africans: NOT

“Africans enslaved other Africans” has become a common refrain these days in discussions about the African Slave Trade. People usually invoke this phrase to make an argument that Africans themselves bear responsibility for selling their own people. I also hear this a lot from the descendants of slaveholders, which of course comes across as a […]

Slaves in Pre-Marital Agreements

Slaves in Pre-Marital Agreements

In our search for ancestors who were once slaves, let’s not forget that they were often named in pre-marital agreements. This is one record that is often neglected in our research. I have mentioned before the need to research the slaveholder’s wife, since we know that this was often how men gained ownership of slaves. […]

The Community Reveals the Family

The Community Reveals the Family

The power of researching our ancestors in the communities where they lived cannot be overstated. Above is a portion of a census table I created showing dwelling and family number, name, age and a few other notations. John and Abigail Waters John and Abigail Waters lived with their immediate African-American neighbors in the community of […]

Fooled Again: The Green Barnes Family

Fooled Again: The Green Barnes Family

The family of my ancestor Green Barnes recently proved to me again that we all need to be diligent when trying to reconstruct our families. It also illustrates how original sources, assumptions and human nature sometimes conspire to confuse us. This recent odyssey started when I was reviewing the obituary for a collateral ancestor, Cora […]

 
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