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 NELSON COUNTY, VIRGINIA

LARGEST SLAVEHOLDERS FROM 1860 SLAVE CENSUS SCHEDULES

and

SURNAME MATCHES FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS ON 1870 CENSUS

 

Transcribed by Tom Blake, July 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 the 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 Nelson County, Virginia (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 1394) reportedly includes a total of 6,238 slaves. This transcription includes 83 slaveholders who held 20 or more slaves in Nelson County, accounting for 3,294 slaves, or about 53% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 471 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. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database that can 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 Nelson County, the number of slaves they held in the County and the first page number on which they were listed. No local districts were shown on the enumeration. The page numbers used are the numbers rubber stamped in the upper right corner of every other page of the census, with the intervening pages being reported here with a B added to the number of the preceding page. 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.

 

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 Virginia in 1860 there were 641 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 2,882 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list 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, and the transcriber, though not specifically looking for such named slaves, did not notice any such information while doing this transcription. 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 Nelson County population included 6,649 whites, 128 “free colored” and 6,238 slaves. By the 1870 census, the white population had increased about 14% to 7,586, while the “colored” population stayed about the same at 6,312. (As a side note, by 1960, 100 years later, the County was listed as having 9,197 whites, about a 38% increase, while the 1960 total of 3,554 “Negroes”was only about 44% of what the colored population had been 100 years before.) In comparing census data for different years, the transcriber was not aware of any relevant changes to County boundaries.

 

Where did the freed slaves go if they did not stay in the same County? Between 1860 and 1870, the Virginia colored population declined by about 36,000, to approximately 513,000, a 6.5% decrease. Two Virginia Counties that showed a significant increase in colored population between 1860 and 1870 were Henrico, with an increase of over 7,000, and Norfolk, with an increase of over 10,000. States that saw significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore possible places of relocation for colored persons from Nelson County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); Alabama, up 37,000 (8%); Florida, up 29,000 (46%); North Carolina, up 38,000 (8%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).

 

SLAVEHOLDER LIST:

 

BOYD, Henry C., 30 slaves, page 160B

CABELL, Frederick M., 60 slaves, page 180

CABELL, Geo. W., 26 slaves, page 179B

CABELL, Mary W., 42 slaves, page 187

CABELL, Mays?, 32 slaves, page 183B

CABELL, N. Francis, 55 slaves, page 195

CABELL, Wm. D., 24 slaves, page 184

CALLOWAY, Eliza, 24 slaves, page 185B

CHEATWOOD, Sally W., 33 slaves, page 182B

CLAIBORNE, Chas. B., 30 slaves, page 163

CLAIBORNE, Jane M., 45 slaves, page 161B

CLARKSON, Nelson C., 52 slaves, page 157

COFFEY, Peter C., 27 slaves, page 157B

COLEMAN, Hawes N., 29 slaves, page 175

COLEMAN, Hawes N. Sr., 96 slaves, page 176

COLEMAN, Jno. J. Sr., 78 slaves, page 175B

COLES, John B., 27 slaves, page 193

CREWS, John, 37 slaves, page 182B

DILLARD, James S., 67 slaves, page 166

ELSOM, William, 20 slaves, page 188B

EUBANK, Royal H., 27 slaves, page 179B

FITZPATRICK, Alexr., 25 slaves, page 173B

GOODWIN, William H., 36 slaves, page 157B

GORDON, William, 45 slaves, page 166B

GRAVES, Nancy, 25 slaves, page 170B

HARRIS, Albert W., 64 slaves, page 173B

HARRIS, James M., 30 slaves, page 191B

HARRIS, Jos. L., 23 slaves, page 172B

HARRIS, Schuyler G., 36 slaves, page 190B

HARRIS, William W., 53 slaves, page 173

HARRIS, William H., 23 slaves, page 194

HARRIS, William M., 40 slaves, page 177

HARTSOOK & LEWIS, 26 slaves, page 185B

HILL, John A., 20 slaves, page 193

HILL, Martha, 34 slaves, page 188

HORSLEY, Mary M., 26 slaves, page 166

HORSLEY, Paul J. M., 21 slaves, page 180B

HUBBARD, R. T., 101 slaves, page 167

HUGHES, James B. Est., 27 slaves, page 174

JOHNSON, Absalam, 26 slaves, page 187

JONES, George, 23 slaves, page 161

JONES, Susan, 23 slaves, page 160

JORDAN, William C., 34 slaves, page 181

LEWIS (see Hartsook & Lewis)

LEWIS, Zazy? R., 64 slaves, page 186B

LONDON, Jno. J. Est., 54 slaves, page 183B

LORING, William S., 35 slaves, page 168

MARTIN, Gamel? W., 57 slaves, page 177B

MARTIN, Hudson, 24 slaves, page 174B

MARTIN, Nicholas L., 25 slaves, page 178

MASSEY, Patrick C., 34 slaves, page 158

MASSIE, Thomas, 72 slaves, page 160B

MASSIE, Wm., 154 slaves, page 162

MCCLELLAND, James R., 28 slaves, page 163

MOSELY, Alexander, 56 slaves, page 186

MOSELY, Alfred D., 26 slaves, page 186

MOSELY, John W., 21 slaves, page 184

NELSON, Thos. F., 32 slaves, page 165

PAMPLIN, Jas.? L. Est., 21 slaves, page 163

PAMPLIN, John H., 30 slaves, page 169B

PARRISH, Elizabeth, 25 slaves, page 174

PAYNE, William A., 40 slaves, page 181B

PETERS, Frederick G., 33 slaves, page 180

POWELL, eonard, 38 slaves, page 184B

RIVES, Margaret, 43 slaves, page 168B

RIVES, R. Of Albemarle, owner, F. N. Farrar overseer, 24 slaves, page 171B

RIVES, Robert of Albemarle, owner, Moses Philips overseer, 28 slaves, page 172

RIVES, William C.?, 71 slaves, page 161B

ROBERTS, Henry H., 31 slaves, page 191

ROBERTSON, Elizabeth, 23 slaves, page 189

SHELTON, John M., 27 slaves, page 194

SHELTON, Jos. H., 32 slaves, page 158B

SHEPHERD, Elizabeth F., 30 slaves, page 171B

SHEPHERD, Wm. P., 22 slaves, page 190

SHIPMAN, Miles T., 30 slaves, page 172

SMITH, Joel, 31 slaves, page 192B

SMITH, Wilson C., 27 slaves, page 178B

SNEAD, Stapleton C., 41 slaves, page 167B

TOMPKINS, William, 24 slaves, page 168B

TURNER, Lemuel, 116 slaves, page 169

WILBOURNE, Richard S., 21 slaves, page 187B

WILLS, Elizabeth, 23 slaves, page 160B

WOODS, James, 133 slaves, page 192

WOODS, Samuel, 27 slaves, page 176B

 

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)

 

BOYD, 1905, 213, 0, 387, 203, 0

CABELL, 99, 56, 9, 65, 56, 9

CALLOWAY, 227, 75, 1, 95, 74, 1

CHEATWOOD, 10, 10, 0, 10, 10, 0

CLAIBORNE, 195, 109, 2, 128, 108, 2

CLARKSON, 156, 13, 3, 25, 12, 3

COFFEY, 89, 3, 3, 6, 3, 3

COLEMAN, 4329, 932, 11, 1515, 922, 11

COLES, 387, 270, 12, 292, 267, 12

CREWS, 221, 67, 0, 77, 65, 0

DILLARD, 568, 186, 6, 228, 179, 6

ELSOM, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

EUBANK, 80, 38, 0, 43, 38, 0

FITZPATRICK, 212, 2, 1, 28, 2, 1

GOODWIN, 778, 87, 1, 160, 86, 1

GORDON, 1952, 281, 0, 511, 266, 0

GRAVES, 1232, 242, 0, 327, 234, 0

HARRIS, 11315, 1877, 39, 2995, 1847, 39

HARTSOOK, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

HILL, 6675, 1025, 21, 1627, 1007, 21

HORSLEY, 35, 19, 10, 19, 19, 10

HUBBARD, 708, 154, 1, 216, 154, 1

HUGHES, 1641, 220, 9, 376, 217, 9

JOHNSON, 33402, 4458, 61, 7797, 4373, 61

JONES, 27193, 3894, 26, 6648, 3807, 26

JORDAN, 2359, 301, 10, 497, 281, 10

LEWIS, 8707, 1513, 11, 2588, 1483, 11

LONDON, 184, 10, 1, 19, 10, 1

LORING, 34, 15, 15, 17, 15, 15

MARTIN, 5318, 436, 12, 820, 429, 12

MASSEY, 509, 41, 1, 89, 41, 1

MASSIE, 100, 57, 7, 60, 57, 7

MCCLELLAND, 50, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0

MOSELY, 620, 79, 1, 153, 79, 1

NELSON, 3371, 377, 4, 742, 371, 4

PAMPLIN, 17, 3, 0, 4, 3, 0

PARRISH, 185, 56, 4, 62, 56, 4

PAYNE, 1603, 397, 12, 609, 395, 12

PETERS, 936, 102, 11, 183, 101, 11

POWELL, 2420, 278, 8, 481, 272, 8

RIVES, 166, 78, 1, 86, 78, 1

ROBERTS, 3309, 304, 5, 543, 294, 5

ROBERTSON, 2878, 543, 3, 832, 535, 3

SHELTON, 875, 246, 15, 362, 243, 15

SHEPHERD, 591, 29, 0, 196, 128, 0

SHIPMAN, 62, 2, 2, 4, 2, 2

SMITH, 29087, 3499, 19, 6339, 3398, 18

SNEAD, 155, 66, 0, 75, 65, 0

TOMPKINS, 316, 59, 0, 92, 59, 0

TURNER, 5742, 851, 17, 1503, 831, 17

WILBOURNE, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

WILLS, 409, 67, 6, 104, 66, 6

WOODS, 20226, 95, 16, 295, 89, 16

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