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CHOCTAW 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 Choctaw County, Alabama (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 28) reportedly includes a total of 7,094 slaves. This transcription includes 48 slaveholders who held 28 or more slaves in Choctaw County, accounting for 2,445 slaves, or about 34% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 592 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. Those shown as pages up to 399B were reported as in Townships 9, 10, 11 and 12, and those on higher page numbers as in the Northern Division. 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 did not notice any such slaves named in this county. 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 Choctaw County population included 6,767 whites, 16 “free colored” and 7,094 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population of Choctaw County had decreased about 14% to 5,802, while the “colored” population decreased just over 3% to 6,872. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 9,012 whites, about one-third mre than in 1860, while the 1960 total of 8,857 “Negroes”was about one quarter more than in 1860.) [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 Choctaw 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:

 

ADKINSON, Wm. H., 44 slaves, page 414

CAMP, Estate of J., 40 slaves, page 427B

CATERLIN, S. E., 43 slaves, page 407

CHAINEY, Wm. P., 60 slaves, page 419B

COLEMAN, W. J., 62 slaves, page 428B

COOK, John P., 34 slaves, page 425B

DELOACH, C. E., 29 slaves, page 402

DUNN, Drury, 33 slaves, page 416B

EDWARDS, Simon, 39 slaves, page 417

FIELDER, F. L., 36 slaves, page 403

FINLEY, Norris, 45V21

GAINS, W. D., 32 slaves, page 425

GILMORE, W. G., 42 slaves, page 426

GLOVER, Benj. N., Thomas Hendricks manager for, 65 slaves, page 396B

HALL, Wm. P., 39 slaves, page 421B

HALSEL, S., 59 slaves, page 411B

HERIN, Thomas, 81 slaves, page 424

HOPKINS, D., 46 slaves, page 412B

JACKSON, Jesse, 31 slaves, page 426B

JAMES, T. H., 38 slaves, page 404

KNIGHTON, Thomas, 32 slaves, page 415B

LEWIS, A. M., 28 slaves, page 418B

LITTLEPAGE, M. A., 108 slaves, page 410B

MARSH, Edward, 35 slaves, page 412B

MAY, P.?, 40 slaves, page 429

MOODY, Estate of M.., 40 slaves, page 422

MOORE, John W., 32 slaves, page 393B

MOORE, William T., by Saml. Watson overseer, 39 slaves, page 395B

MORSE, H. J. Y., 29 slaves, page 423

NELSON, Wm., 56 slaves, page 410

OHARRO, Estate W. E., 32 slaves, page 415B

PEARSON, R. N., Ford Place, 31 slaves, page 431B

PEARSON, R. N., 67 slaves, page 431

PRINCE, Thos. C. M., inn trust for minors, 130 slaves, page 399B

ROBERTS, C., 33 slaves, page 408B

ROBERTS, L. C., 33 slaves, page 409

RUFFIN, Samuel, 148 slaves, page 404

STRUDWICK, Fred N., 63 slaves, page 395

TANKERSLEY, G. G., 67 slaves, page 416

TAYLOR, Jesse, 63 slaves, page 418

THOMPSON, James A. M., 72 slaves, page 388

TINKER, B.? S., 44 slaves, page 408

WARD, W. H., 42 slaves, page 401B

WILLIAMS, Caleb J., 49 slaves, page 420

WILSON, W. A., 41 slaves, page 422B

YATES, Allan, 105 slaves, page 394

YOUNG, J. R., 40 slaves, page 431

YOUNG, Martha L., 48 slaves, page 394B

 

 

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)

 

ADKINSON, 83, 16, 4, 13, 9, 3

CAMP, 269, 17, 0, 22, 12, 0

CATERLIN, 1, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0

CHAINEY, 5, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0

COLEMAN, 4329, 483, 22, 414, 291, 17

COOK, 3149, 409, 7, 339, 253, 4

DELOACH, 89, 19, 1, 21, 16, 1

DUNN, 994, 77, 18, 50, 32, 6

EDWARDS, 3741, 355, 9, 296, 203, 5

FIELDER, 57, 11, 0, 8, 4, 0

FINLEY, 325, 46, 9, 35, 26, 6

GAINS, 383, 53, 0, 45, 36, 0

GILMORE, 520, 50, 2, 53, 24, 2

GLOVER, 1147, 152, 3, 147, 98, 0

HALL, 5875, 578, 8, 510, 383, 5

HALSEL, 5, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

HERIN, 9, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0

HOPKINS, 1286, 53, 12, 49, 31, 8

JACKSON, 19100, 1454, 17, 1371, 872, 11

JAMES, 3993, 344, 16, 321, 210, 15

KNIGHTON, 36, 8, 7, 3, 3, 2

LEWIS, 8707, 729, 12, 635, 449, 9

LITTLEPAGE, 19, 5, 5, 4, 3, 3

MARSH, 391, 67, 5, 65, 48, 3

MAY, 1116, 233, 17, 193, 151, 12

MOODY, 716, 72, 9, 56, 42, 5

MOORE, 8698, 1016, 3, 917, 635, 1

MORSE, 278, 23, 7, 22, 17, 7

NELSON, 3371, 271, 24, 254, 165, 10

OHARRO, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

PEARSON, 626, 107, 1, 69. 58, 1

PRINCE, 619, 111, 1, 85, 73, 1

ROBERTS, 3309, 221, 0, 214, 133, 0

RUFFIN, 591, 99, 63, 57, 53, 29

STRUDWICK, 10, 6, 0, 2, 2, 0

TANKERSLEY, 39, 16, 6, 13, 13, 5

TAYLOR, 11696, 934, 25, 800, 547, 15

THOMPSON, 8826, 783, 24, 757, 494, 19

TINKER, 61, 37, 5, 19, 19, 1

WARD, 2525, 271, 27, 230, 166, 12

WILLIAMS, 28865, 2335, 55, 2095, 1417, 35

WILSON, 10819, 789, 15, 706, 476, 10

YATES, 443, 24, 17, 22, 16, 11

YOUNG, 6185, 407, 24, 356, 246, 16

 

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