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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Charles Drake, Will 1721, of Shelton, St. Ann's Parish, Jamaica
    Enslaved People mentioned in Will (unsure of spellings)
    Abnah and her daughter Fraust (sp? sp?.)
    Robin and his son
    Croofa and her daughter Mimba
    and Bungy
    Olabroo and his wife Jane
    Robin's son
    Sarah Murphow Widow

  4. Kentucky, George Rowan alias George Bell, wife Ann & children Martha, Aaaron & George, Kentucky Freedmens Bureau records 1868 (unindexed) Wilson Stevens & Henry Barritt Slaveholder Benjamin Newton, Kentucky http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/george-rowan-or-bell-kentucky

  5. Doll and Venus [Hasket] 1772 Tax Records of Perquimans County, North Carolina.


  6. Mingo and Judah [Hasket] 1772 tax records of Perquimans County, North Carolina


  7. Cesar, Zango, and Judah [Henby] from the 1772 tax records of Perquimans County, North Carolina


  8. Allen, Isaac, Mariah, William, Harlington, Braxton, Sheba, Moses, Armistead, Sarah? Ann, Troy, Liddy, Catherine, John, Thomas, Zeachariah, Larkin 1836 Davies County, Kentucky. Will of Benjamin Newton http://www.martinebrennan.com/african-american-genealogy/will-of-benjamin-newton-1830-kentucky

  9. 1. Robin, Bob, Sam, Moses, Davi, George, Maryan, Tensa, Nan, Venus, Judah, Menor and others I can’t make out
    2. John Harvey
    1772 Tax Records for Perquimans County, North Carolina
    accessed 6 Sep 2017 at http://perqtax.homestead.com/files/perq1772.html


  10. 1. Mills, Judah, and others I can’t make out
    2. Pleasant Jordine
    3. 1772 Tax Records for Perquimans County, North Carolina
    4. accessed 6 Sep 2017 at http://perqtax.homestead.com/files/perq1772.html


  11. 1. Moses
    2. John Jones
    3. 1772 Tax Records for Perquimans County, North Carolina
    4. accessed 6 Sep 2017 at http://perqtax.homestead.com/files/perq1772.html


  12. 1. Mobin, Gingo, Sarah
    2. Malachi Jones
    3. 1772 Tax Records for Perquimans County, North Carolina
    4. accessed 6 Sep 2017 at http://perqtax.homestead.com/files/perq1772.html


  13. 1. Sampson and Venus (Venus previously mentioned on 1772 Tax Record)
    2. Mary Hasket
    3. 1775 Tax Record for Perquimans County, North Carolina (page 4)
    4. http://perqtax3.homestead.com/files/perq1775.html


  14. Acknowledgement of 1864 Marriage of William Neptune Gaines, Widower and Mary Gaines. William's first wife Ernestine Newton. Children James age 13
    Martha Ann age 11
    Lucy age 9
    Ben age 7
    John age 5
    William 1 month
    slaveholder W? Y Cavin, Davies County Kentucky
    Source Freedmen's Bureau Marriages 1861-1872

  15. Slave names: Sampson
    Jane (under 25 years of age in 1791)
    Source : will of John Leake of The Hermitage in New York City. Will written 1791 and proved in London in 1792.

  16. Hi Schalene, I hope the move went well!
    William Elias 1831-1911 Screven County Georgia
    Slaveholder unknown at this time
    Sources findagrave & the US Federal Census 1900

  17. The will of Bartlett Tucker of Abbeville, SC. Will was made in 1853; he died in 1861. http://ourownhistory.blogspot.com/2017/10/friends-of-friends-friday-will-of_6.html

  18. Jarrett, Union County, South Carolina
    Slaveholder Benjamin Rice, Union County, South Carolina
    Source Edgefield Advertiser, South Carolina 1849

  19. North District, Pittsylvania County, Virginia
    Slaveholder: Mildred Brown
    Source: 1858 Inventory, Accounts Current, Book 23, page 18
    Man "Billy"
    Woman "Tiller"
    Woman "Mary & child Betty"
    Man "Henry"
    Girl "Malissa"
    Boy "Henry"
    Boy "Richard"
    Boy "Preston"
    Girl "Caty"

    North District, Pittsylvania County, Virginia
    Slaveholder: John E. Brown
    Source: 1843 Will Book 1, Page 470
    "Sam & Alex and their increase"

  20. Mary & her children Judy & Pink
    Will of Hardy Scharbrough Aug 1842 Screven County, Georgia
    Beneficiary Jane Burk (daughter of dec.)

  21. John of Baltimore and Lancaster, South Carolina
    slaveholder Eli C Bishop
    1850 Advert The Camden Journal

  22. Phally & Manda, Glascock County, Georgia 1859
    Probate Records Glascock County, Georgia
    SH Wily Wilcher

  23. Enslaved people who died in Militia District 74, Screven Georgia 1849/50 (Burke County)some of whom were born in Africa
    US Mortality Schedules 1850-1885
    SH's unknown
    Billy, born Africa c1800-died 1850
    Old Linny, born Africa c1750-died 1850
    Old Sam, born Africa c1750-died 1850
    Toby, born Africa c1769-died 1849 (indexed as Stave Toby but the entry reads (Slave) Toby

    Also died
    Pheriby, born Georgia c1831
    Simon born Georgia c1832
    Ivin born Georgia c1842
    Joseph born Georgia c1807
    Peggy born Georgia c1847
    Mahaly McClendon born Georgia c1840

    Pampy, born Virginia c1776
    Old Billy, born Virginia c1771

  24. Solomon
    Dover, Kent County, Pennsylvania 1788
    SH Abraham Ridgely
    Deed of Manumission

  25. Frank Grier
    Amanda Grier
    Jane Grier
    Ezekiel Grier
    Maria Grier
    1860 Sale notice, Decatur, DeKalb County Georgia
    Slaveholder Robert Greer 1805-1860

  26. Luke, Squire, Sylvia, Virgin, and Hercules.
    All owned by Benjamin Hyder and listed in his will.
    Date of will March 18, 1823
    Location was Rutherford County, NC
    Source was a transcription of his will here: http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/h/a/m/Karl-Hampton/BOOK-0001/0012-0001.html

  27. Will of Andrew Hampton, July 2oth, 1805, Rutherford County, NC.
    Tom, Eve, Ben, Patt, Sall, and Mires.

    Boy Jack given to Washington Hampton
    Old Woman Dinah given to Elizabeth Hampton Price (wife of Dudley Price)
    Old Man Will given to Nancy Hampton Bradley

    Source was from North Carolina Wills Book B pg 74-75, and can be viewed here: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/9061/004779260_00084/2363378?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/87919908/person/46589809629/facts/citation/940377309095/edit/record

  28. Listed among the assets of Samuel Hughes WOODSON (1779-1827) Jessamine County Court, KY, March, 1828.
    Negroes: Sam, Mary, Moses, Kidder, John, Grandison, Susan, Fanny, Mary Ann, Sam Jr.,
    Spencer, George, Jacob, Letitia, Hannah, Daniel, Nancy, James, Venus, Morich, Dick.

    Also, previously listed May 23, 1814, for sale in Nicholasville, Jessamine Co., KY, by same Samuel H. WOODSON:“...I will also sell ten negroes, a Carpenter capable of erecting the neatest kind of work, is wife and eight children. The two oldest are men grown; two boys large enough to plough; three females, one a young woman, the second 11 or 12 year old, the third a good size for a nurse; the youngest is a smart, active boy of 5 or 6 years of age. They are very likely. I will not separate them....”

  29. Garrett
    Columbus Enquirer Newspaper 1850
    SH William E Mealing