Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

BALDWIN COUNTY, ALABAMA

LARGEST SLAVEHOLDERS FROM 1860 SLAVE CENSUS SCHEDULES

and

SURNAME MATCHES FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS

 

Transcribed by Tom Blake, March 2003

 

PURPOSE. Published information giving names of slaveholders and numbers of slaves held is almost non-existent. It is possible to locate an ancestor on a U.S. census for 1860 or earlier and not realize that ancestor was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave schedules, because published indexes almost always do not include the slave census. The last U.S. census slave schedules were enumerated by County in 1860 and included 393,975 named persons holding 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, or an average of about ten slaves per holder. The actual number of slaveholders may be slightly lower because some large holders held slaves in more than one County and would have been counted in each County. Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, with about 1 in 70 being a slaveholder. It is estimated by this transcriber that in 1860, slaveholders of 200 or more slaves, while constituting less than 1 % of the total number of U.S. slaveholders, or 1 out of 7,000 free persons, held 20-30% of the total number of slaves in the U.S. The process of publication of slaveholder names beginning with these largest holders will enable naming of the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work. Surname matching of slaveholders with 1870 African Americans is intended merely as suggesting another possibility for further research by those seeking to make connections between slaves and holders.

 

SOURCES. The 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for Baldwin County, Alabama (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 27) reportedly includes a total of 3,714 slaves. This transcription includes 41 slaveholders who held 24 or more slaves in Baldwin County, accounting for 2,150 slaves, or about 58% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 248 slaveholders, and those slaveholders have not been included here. Due to variable film quality, handwriting interpretation questions and inconsistent counting and page numbering methods used by the census enumerators, interested researchers should view the source film personally to verify or modify the information in this transcription for their own purposes. This transcription was made from the Ancestry on line images of the microfilm. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database found at http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/ . Census data on African Americans in the 1870 census was obtained using Heritage Quest’s CD “African-Americans in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census”, available through Heritage Quest at http://www.heritagequest.com/ .

 

FORMAT. This transcription lists the names of those largest slaveholders in the County, the number of slaves they held and the first census page on which they were listed. The page numbers used are the rubber stamped numbers in the upper right corner of every set of two pages, with the previous stamped number and a “B” being used to designate the pages without a stamped number. Following the holder list is a separate list of the surnames of the holders with information on numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census who were enumerated with the same surname. The term “County” is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.  

TERMINOLOGY. Though the census schedules speak in terms of “slave owners”, the transcriber has chosen to use the term “slaveholder” rather than “slave owner”, so that questions of justice and legality of claims of ownership need not be addressed in this transcription. Racially related terms such as African American, black, mulatto and colored are used as in the source or at the time of the source, with African American being used otherwise.

 

PLANTATION NAMES. Plantation names were not shown on the census. Using plantation names to locate ancestors can be difficult because the name of a plantation may have been changed through the years and because the sizeable number of large farms must have resulted in lots of duplication of plantation names. In Alabama in 1860 there were 482 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 1,359 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list should not be a difficult research task, but it is beyond the scope of this transcription.

 

FORMER SLAVES. The 1860 U.S. Census was the last U.S. census showing slaves and slaveholders. Slaves were enumerated in 1860 without giving their names, only their sex and age and indication of any handicaps, such as deaf or blind Slaves 100 years of age or older were supposed to be named on the 1860 slave schedule, but there were only 1,570 slaves of such age enumerated, out of a total of 3,950,546 slaves nationwide. The transcriber noticed the following such slaves named in this county: 100 year old female black Minta (?), held by Rebeca McDonald on page 71B; and 100 year old male black Jana, held by J. D. Driesback on page 81 B. Freed slaves, if listed in the next census, in 1870, would have been reported with their full name, including surname. Some of these former slaves may have been using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder at the time of the 1870 census and they may have still been living in the same State or County. Before presuming an African American was a slave on the 1860 census, the free census for 1860 should be checked, as almost 11% of African Americans were enumerated as free in 1860, with about half of those living in the southern States. Estimates of the number of former slaves who used the surname of a former owner in 1870, vary widely and from region to region. If an African American ancestor with one of these surnames is found on the 1870 census, then making the link to finding that ancestor as a slave requires advanced research techniques involving all obtainable records of the holder.

 

MIGRATION OF FORMER SLAVES: According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Baldwin County population included 3,585 whites, 140 “free colored” and 3,714 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population of Baldwin County had decreased almost 12% to 3,159, while the “colored” population decreased about 26% to 2,845. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 38,759 whites, more than a ten fold increase, but the 1960 total of 10,309 “Negroes”was less than three times what the colored population had been 100 years before.) [These figures do not consider the affect of any County boundary changes that may have occurred.] Where did the freed slaves go who did not stay in this county? Dallas, Montgomery and Mobile counties in Alabama all saw increases in the colored population between 1860 and 1870, so that could be where some of these Alabama freed slaves went. Between 1860 and 1870, the Alabama colored population increased by 37,000, to 475,000, a 17% increase. Where did freed Alabama slaves go if they did not stay in Alabama? States that saw significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore more likely possible places of relocation for colored persons from Baldwin County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 to 545,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); North Carolina, up 31,000 (8%); Florida, up 27,000 (41%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).

 

SLAVEHOLDER LIST:

 

AIKIN, John G., 59 slaves, page 77

ATKINS, Thomas, 78 slaves, page 75B

BELT, Thomas W., 44 slaves, page 75B

BONNER, G. M., 66 slaves, page 65B

BOOTH, Joseph Jr., 25 slaves, page 74

BOOTH, Joseph, 86 slaves, page 72

BROUGHTON, Edward, 39 slaves, page 82B

BYRNS, Thomas Sr., 26 slaves, page 78B

DAVIS, Elizabeth, 40 slaves, page 70B

DAVIS, H. J., 32 slaves, page 73

DRIESBACK, J. D., 72 slaves, page 81B

ELLISON (see Kennedy & Ellison)

EARLE, Francis, 52 slaves, page 72B

GRIST, A. & J. R., held to service, 101 slaves, page 64

GRIST, John W., 43 slaves, page 79B

HALL, G. B., 39 slaves, page 71B

HALL, Joseph, held to service, 53 slaves, page 83B

HALL, Young Charles, 37 slaves, page 78

HARDEN (see Riddett & Harden)

HARRIS, Mumford?, 24 slaves, page 63

HASTIE, J. H., 26 slaves, page 78

HEMPHILL, F. F., 52 slaves, page 68

KENNEDY & ELLISON, 112 slaves, page 66

KINGSLY, R. G., 41 slaves, page 65

KITCHEN, William, 29 slaves, page 68B

MCDONALD, A. J., 25 slaves, page 81

MCDONALD, Rebeca, 87 slaves, page 74

MILNER, B. C., 36 slaves, page 83B

MOORE, R. H., 42 slaves, page 73

NORTHERN RAIL ROAD COMPANY, 41 slaves, page 82

RIDDETT? & HARDEN, held to service, 38 slaves, page 80

SALLE, William, 32 slaves, page 69

SIBLEY, Cyrus, 71 slaves, page 62

SIBLEY, Origan, 130 slaves, page 61

SILVER, Joseph, 67 slaves, page 75

SMITH, James R., 102 slaves, page 67

STARKE, Mary D., 36 slaves, page 69

STEADHAM, Edward, 59 slaves, page 70

VAUGHAN, Ann, 28 slaves, page 77

WEATHERFORD, A. McG., 31 slaves, page 76

WILKINS, William, 25 slaves, page 71

WILLIAMS, John G., 53 slaves, page 79

 

SURNAME MATCHES AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS:

(exact surname spellings only are reported, no spelling variations or soundex)

(SURNAME, # in US, in State, in County, born in State, born and living in State, born in State and living in County)

 

AIKIN, 26, 2, 0, 4, 1, 0

ATKINS, 406, 31, 0, 25, 13, 0

BELT, 113, 1, 0, 4, 1, 0

BONNER, 658, 122, 5, 119, 81, 1

BOOTH, 361, 30, 0, 22, 15, 0

BROUGHTON, 152, 13, 0, 9, 6, 0

BYRNS, 8, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

DAVIS, 13725, 1122, 17, 1004, 698, 12

DRIESBACK, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

EARLE, 79, 7, 0, 6, 5, 0

GRIST, 30, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

HALL, 5875, 578, 7, 510, 383, 6

HARDEN, 577, 49, 0, 29, 19, 0

HARRIS, 11315, 1052, 10, 910, 648, 7

HASTIE, 3, 3, 1, 3, 3, 1

HEMPHILL, 195, 7, 0, 7, 4, 0

KENNEDY, 781, 148, 0, 129, 100, 0

ELLISON, 382, 35, 1, 31, 20, 0

KINGSLY?, 3, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

KITCHEN, 81, 11, 2, 9, 8, 2

MCDONALD, 899, 137, 2, 109, 78, 0

MILNER, 116, 25, 0, 19, 14, 0

MOORE, 8698, 1016, 8, 917, 635, 4

RIDDETT?, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

SALLE, 19, 2, 0, 1, 1, 0

SIBLEY, 91, 5, 2, 6, 3, 2

SILVER, 37, 2, 0, 3, 2, 0

SMITH, 29087, 2290, 11, 1820, 1286, 8

STARKE, 100, 37, 0, 24, 23, 0

STEADHAM, 4, 2, 0, 3, 2, 0

VAUGHAN, 480, 69, 0, 50, 46, 0

WEATHERFORD, 44, 13, 0, 11, 10, 0

WILKINS, 920, 35, 2, 37, 16, 2

WILLIAMS, 28865, 2335, 25, 2095, 1417, 21

 

Return to Home and Links Page

Baldwin County, AL GenWeb (County genealogical resources)

You are the visitor to this page.