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. Congrats Schalene, the new site is lovely. Thank you for all the work you have done in providing us with a place where we can honour those who were not honoured in life and help families to find them. Sincerely, Martine Brennan

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.)

  9. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of Caleb Powell

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

  11. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of John Broom

  12. Fairfield District, South Carolina
    Will of William Broom

  13. 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.


  14. 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