About the Project

During Black History Month in 2015 a Facebook group of Genealogy Bloggers began the Slave Name Roll Project with five contributions. The project objective is to record information about named slaves whenever and where ever they may be found so that African-American genealogists and family historians may break through the wall that is the 1870 census. Documents such as wills and other probate records, bills of sale, court cases and newspaper advertisements for run away slaves are often rich sources of information. Schalene Dagutis mantained the project page on her blog, Tangled Roots and Trees.

As we entered 2017, the project has grown to over 500 contributions. Thanks the Slave Name Roll Project being mentioned in an educational video about Documenting the Enslaved which was conducted on 28 February 2017, contributions have grown rapidly.

The Slave Name Roll Project is now a separate blog maintained by a group of volunteers and we are in the process of migrating the previously submitted information to this blog. Until that effort is completed, you may find it here: Slave Name Roll Project on Tangled Roots and Trees. Any contributions made after 1 March 2017 are included on this website.

We hope you will consider making contributions to this project as you find source documents which name slaves in your research. Simply, leave a comment on any post. Please include the following information:
  1. Name of the enslaved (usually only a given name)
  2. Name of the slave owner
  3. Source of the information (will, estate inventory, court case, deed, etc.)
  4. Date and location of the source information
Thank you for your contributions!

If you have a success using this project in finding your enslaved ancestors we hope you will share that success with us by leaving a comment.


  1. Avoyelles parish, LA


    1842, June 6
    (474, 476) Art. 29th
    Resolved that the Police Jury of Avoyelles have given their consent to the prayers of the petition of Leandre Guillot for the emancipation of his four coloured children-viz: Oliver, a boy, age ten years; Valbon a boy age about eight years, Jerome, a boy, age about six years, and Simelien, a boy, age three years, & that the prayers of said petition be considered as having passed at its first reading as required by an act of the Legislature approved March 28th 1831.

  2. The Slave Name Roll Project* : Estate of William Brooks Willingham, Walton County, Georgia

  3. Marshall County Republican and Free Trade Advocate
    Holly Springs, Miss.
    Saturday, August 4, 1838
    Vol. I
    No. I

    RANAWAY from the subscriber, on or about the 10th of June last, a Negro man named ABRAM, about 20 or 23 years of age, about 5 feet 6 inches high; light built and black complextion; has lost several of his teeth, and has a scar on one of his legs, occasioned; he says, by the bite of a dog. He is a shrewd, sensible fellow, and will no doubt try to get back to the neighborhood of Paris, Tennessee, where he was raised, and from whence he was brought and sold to me, in November 1836, by Nathaniel Dolahite. The above reward will be given for his apprenhension and delivery to me at Holly Springs, or fifteen dollars if safely lodged in any jail so that I can get him again. M McRAVEN

  4. Marshall County Republican and Free Trade Advocate
    Holly Springs, Miss.
    Saturday, September 15, 1838
    Vol. I.
    No. 7

    NOTICE. RUNAWAY from the subscriber on the 12th day of August last, my negro boy – about 26 years of age, about six feet high, very stoutly built, and very likely, it is suppoed that the said boy carried off a grey horse, thin in order and a pair of saddle bags. The boy has too fingers that grows together on his left hand – the owner lives 10 miles below Coffeeville, where he will give $50 to any person that will deliver him on his plantation. D. B. LINDSEY

  5. Marshall County Republican and Free Trade Advocate
    Holly Springs, Miss.
    Saturday, October 13, 1838
    Vol. I.
    No. XI

    RANAWAY. FROM the subscribers living in Carroll county, on the 10th September, a negro man named JIM, calls himself JIM KERR. Said boy is about 25 years old, tall and stout built, dark complexion, large eyes, and shows much of the white of them, a down look, hair covers much of his forhead limps on one of his feet; he can read and write, and has probably furnished himself with frie passes. His object will probably be to get on board some steamboat, and make his way to the np-countay. Said negro was purchased of Eaton, & Freeman, Natchez, and will not prehaps tell his owner's name. A Liberal reward will be given for his apprehensian. WM. & A. MURDOCK
    [Car. Enquirer Print. Fee, 5$]

    COMMITTED TO the jail of Lafayette county, Miss., a Negro Man by the name of JO, who says he belongs to a man living in Louisiana, thirty miles below New Orleans by the name of Cobb. The boy is five feet six and a half inches high; heavy built; rather yellow complexion; quick spoken when spoken to, and is about twenty-five years old. The owner is requested, prove property, pay charges, and take him away, or he will be dealt with according to law. CHARLES G. BUTLER, Sheriff Lafayette co.

  6. Marshall County Republican and Free Trade Advocate
    Holly Springs, Miss.
    Saturday, October 27, 1838
    Vol. I.
    No. XIII

    COMMITTED TO the jail of Lafayette county, on the 4th inst a negro man, who says his name is Louis about 24 years of age, bright yellow complexion, 5 feet 4 inches high, heavy built, weighs about 165 lbs and says he belongs to David Blount of Virginia, who was on his way to the south when the boy left him. The owner is requested to come forward, prove property, pay charges and take him away or he will be dealt with as the law directs. C. G. BUTLER, Sh'ff

  7. Marshall County Republican and Free Trade Advocate
    Holly Springs, Miss.
    Saturday, January 19, 1839
    Vol. I.
    No. XXII

    $25 Reward. RANAWAY from the subscriber, about the month of April last a NEGRO MAN named JOE, about 5 feet six or seven inches high, stout built, yellowish a little in his complexion, aged about 27 or 30 years, his back badly scarred. He was arrested and put in the jail of Lafayette county, in this State, from the description given by an advertisement in the Holly Springs Republican. I learn from the Sheriff of Lafayette county, that said negro BROKE JAIL about the 20th November last, and that he was supposed to be taken in a swamp near Memphis, Tennessee, but not secured as far as I can learn.
    The above reward will be given to any one who will secure him in any jail, or give me information so that I may get him again. Address me at Columbus, Mi. JOHN A. CRIGLER.
    Janauary 19, 1838, 4w. (Columbus Dem.)

  8. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of Caleb Powell

  9. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of Isaac Arledge Jr

  10. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of John Broom

  11. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of William Broom

  12. Blandford, Massachusetts
    Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records
    Probate Date 19 Sep 1769
    Probate Place Hampshire, Massachusetts, USA
    Item Description Probate Records, Vol 11-12, 1767-1777
    David Hugh Campbell owned a negro slave named Dinah that he left to his wife Janet Campbell(Robertson) in his will.


  13. Hi Schalene, Freedpeople of Robert E Lee's Arlington Estate, District of Colombia http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/infirm-former-servants-of-r-e-lee-1868-the-arlington-estate

  14. Georgia Patrick Allman or Patrick Almand http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/patrick-allmanalmand-born-c1835 Thank you.

  15. Elbert & Clarissa Lanier, Bulloch County Georgia 1866 http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/elbert-lanier-bulloch-county-georgia
    Thank you Schalene

  16. Hi Schalene, This is my first contribution. Peter G Evans Estate Record, Guilford County, NC. Page 2 of 76 pages. Here's the link: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9GN-2F2W?mode=g&i=1&cc=1911121

    Inventory of the Estate of Peter G Evans decd. made by his Executors to May Term of Guilford County Court 1864.

    List of Negroes:

    Sam old Lewis Judy
    Bob " Calvin Agnes J.
    George " Daniel Mary
    Joe " Boby Jane
    Elias Clark Susy J.
    Shadrick Alick Harriet
    Henry Randall Adaline J.
    Bill Fossett Osborne Jr. Tamar
    Ashley Stuart Marina
    Osborne Maria
    Jerry Julia
    Joe Jr. Francinia
    Jonas dead Susy old
    Ned Tamar "
    Scipio Fanny "
    Nelson Flora
    George Arr Agnes
    Osborne, Jr. Rose
    Sam Hannah
    David Eliza
    Arch Henrietta
    Charles Martha
    Wilson (Dead) Louisa
    William Mary
    Nash Violet
    Henry Adeline (dead)
    Davy Celia
    John Beth
    Preston Rinah
    Jim Fanny
    Bob Dicy

    1. Thank you for your first contribution!

  17. Hi Schalene, Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia Tall Boyd and his sister Maria, also Scott Boyd and Patty enslaved by James & Charles Harrell/Horrell.
    Willis enslaved by Tillman
    Thank you, Martine

  18. Hi again Schalene, Mary Bell nee Rice, Howard County, Missouri, slave holder Kitty Diggs. Her father Spot(s)wood Rice, slaveholder Benjamin Lewis. Angela Walton Raji wrote extensively about Spotswood Rice so you may already have this information. Thank you, Martine

    1. Thanks! I found the link by searching your website.

    2. Apologies Schalene..I think I was so tired by the time I finished that I didn't realise that I had not left a link and I did it twice! I will try not to do that again.. Martine

    3. No worries! Thanks for your continued contributions.

    4. It is an honour to contribute and has become the highlight of my research week. I have just seen your post asking for date and source. I will add that to my next posts for sure.

  19. Hi Schalene, Edward/Ned & Margaret Tate, Clark County Arkansas. Possible slaveholder Randolph Brown and/or father of Emily C Tate. Thank you.

    1. Thanks! I found the link by searching your website.

  20. George Heard & Lish Anne Shackleford, Clarke County, Arkansas 1865 Marriage Record, slaveholder unconfirmed but identified 3 Shackleford slaveholders in Clarke County at that time. http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/george-heard-lish-anne-shackleford-arkansas

  21. Jeptha V Harris 1865 Labour Contract, Lowndes County, Mississippi
    Jim's family;Jim, Julia Anne & William
    Emerson's family; Emerson, Susan, Willis & William
    Randall's family; Randall, ?? & Betty
    Daniel's family; Daniel & Delia
    Henry Moore's family; Sam & Bill
    Sampson's family; Sampson, Jane, Indiana, Bill, Cornelius, Savannah & Ivory
    Solomon's family; Solomon & Julia
    Mack;s family; Mack, Julia Anne, Emily & Milicent?
    Cloe's family; Granville & Elijah
    Adam's family; Adam & Gus
    Crockett's family; Crockett & Georgia Anna
    Andrew's family; Andrew & 2 sons
    ​Jesse's family; Jesse & Jane

  22. Kentucky Freedmens Bureau Marriages, Owensborough, Kentucky
    Henry & Kitty Ware m 1853, children Eliza, Charles & Ellen, marriage acknowledged 1867
    Andy & Rosetta Weir m 1846, children Mary Margaret, Diana, Martha Jane, Elizabeth, Harriet Ann, Francis, marriage acknowledged 1869
    Washington & Mercy Weir, marriage acknowledged 1886

  23. Slaves owned by James Rouse of Henderson County, KY. List found in James Rouse's will in Will Book C, p. 179, 1861 and also in an inventory of his estate found in Inventory & Appraisement Book E, p. 405, 1863.
    Eliza (child of Ned and Kitty)
    Catharine & 2-3 children

  24. Connecticut: town of New Milford (in Litchfield County):

    On 1 February 1806, Philip Wells emancipated his slave Rhoda. This event is recorded in New Milford Deeds 24:627 as follows:

    Emancipation of Rhoda, a Negro woman
    We the subscribers having examined into the age character and health of Rhoda a Negro woman now a slave to Philip Wells, she having signified to us her desire to be freed & set at liberty from her said Master; do by these give liberty, and approve of her manumission.

    New Milford February 1st 1806 Josiah Starr Justice of Peace

    I hereby Certify that I have and do by these presents manumit and set at liberty my Negro woman named Rhoda from all claim I have on her as a Slave; and do hereby fully & forever free & set her at liberty from all claims & demands that I or my heirs have or might have upon her as a Slave, as aforesaid; as witness my hand.

    Josiah Starr}witnesses Philip Wells
    Nath'el Taylor}
    Recorded Feb'ry 20th 1806.
    pr. Elisha Bostwick, Register.

    1. This is quoted in:

      Barbara Jean Mathews, The Descendants of Governor Thomas Welles of Connecticut and his Wife Alice Tomes, Volume 2 (Wethersfield, Conn.: Welles Family Association, 2015), 449.

  25. The following does not include names of the enslaved, but might be helpful, nonetheless:

    Mathias Harmon’s Bill of Sale
    Smyth County Virginia, Will Book 3, p. 162

    Citation: (EE Citing an individual volume, p. 522-523)
    Src. Lst. Entry: Virginia. Smyth County. “Will Book 3.” County Clerk’s Office, Marion.
    1st ref.: Smyth County, Virginia, Will Book 3:162, sale of slaves of Mathias Harmon: County Clerk’s Office, Marion.
    Subs.: Smyth Co., Va, Will Book 3: 162.


    “[in left column]
    "Matthias Harmon

    [Body of page]
    "The following property was sold by the administrator of Matthias Harmon Decd
    James B Crockett a Negro man $ 1020 00
    Ransom Tilson a Negro Girl 1015 00
    Hezekiah Harmon a Negro man 755 00
    Hobson Clack a Negro woman & child 1251 00
    $ 4041 00

    "Given under our hands April 20th 1858
    Henry Harmon
    J. Wagoner
    "Virginia: At a Court held for Smyth County 17 May 1859
    The sale Bill of the personal estate of "Matthias Harmon De’cd was presented in Court and ordered to be recorded.

    "Teste W C Sexton C”

    1. Zola, I will leave your comment as it is indexed by search engines in case it is useful to researchers. Thank you.

  26. Henry Jemison Family Bible Record, including list of slave's names. Bibb County Georgia

  27. http://ourownhistory.blogspot.com/2017/06/friends-of-friends-friday-will-of_30.html Will of Godfrey Tucker of Elbert County, GA 1827

  28. Lewis and Mary Barker married Davis County, Kentucky 1843. SH Andrew Jones, Davis County also. Validated 1869 Owensboro, Kentucky. Freedmens Bureau Record http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/lewis-and-mary-barker-davis-county-kentucky

  29. Marriage of Elijah Field and Minta Ann Fields 1856 Kentucky, acknowledged 1868 Kentucky Marriages, Freedmens Bureau records. http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/elijah-fields-and-minta-ann-fields-kentucky

  30. Marriage of William Reed/Neal and Sophina/Luphnia Reed 1857 acknowledged 1868 SH Henry Reed,occ. Millwright, born Pennsylvania (Kentucky Marriages, Freedmens Bureau Records) http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/davies-county-kentucky-1857

  31. Milton Davidson, SH Daniel Griffith, Daviess County Kentucky
    Caroline Davidson, SH Emma Hunter, Jefferson County, Kentucky?
    Plea for restoration of son George 1865, Owensboro, Kentucky

  32. I have a long list from the will of George Faris KEESEE, who died in Sumner Tennessee in 1825. The list includes first names and which family member he "left" them to. As follows(as best I can make out the handwriting):

    To his wife Agnes: Daniel, Aice(?), Ben, Gabriel, (Chaina?)

    To his daughter, Larree (or Laura) Smith, wife of Lance Smith: Clay, Tailor, Big Rachel, Ann, Charles, Harris.

    To his daughter Patience Smith: Penny, Gillen, Peter, Gin, Hardy, Andy.

    To his daughter Rhody (Rhoda) McKnight (wife of William McKnight): Chapel, Iram(Isram?), Mary, Harriet, Jacob, Little Bob.

    To his son Thomas Keesee: Booker, Big Isram, Clock(?), M---, Gabriel, China.

    To his daughter Agnes Lyon (my g-g-g-g-grandmother, wife of John Lyon, lived in Todd County, KY as of the 1850 census): Rose, Ben, S---, Esther, Nelson, Will.

    To Champness Ball (his grandson by his deceased Daughter, was raised by Agnes Lyon): Willis.

    To his daughter Nancy Henry (wife of William Henry): Daniel, Hidi(?), Hint(?), Ise(?), Jack Charity.

    To his son George Faris Keesee Jr.: David, Buster, Big Bob, Tim, Tom, Stephen. (all names written very clearly.)

    To Robert Saunders, husband of his deceased daughter Jane: Rachel.

    To his son Champness: Bery.