In a previous post, Speaking Names. The Slave Name Roll Project, I talked about an initiative to try to give researchers and descendants of slave ancestors hope to bridge the 1870 gap. It is called the Slave Name Roll Project, started by Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees, and this post is my first, of hopefully many, additions to it.
My earliest ancestor in my patrilineal line was a man by the name of John Spade, who lived in Monroe County, Virginia (which later became part of West Virginia), in the late 1700 – early 1800s. In my search for him, and members of his FAN (Friends, Associates, Neighbors) club, as coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills, I discovered that the Monroe County Will Books volumes 1-18 spanning from 1799 until 1969 have been digitized and are available on FamilySearch.org. Unfortunately, many of these books are not yet indexed, which would make my job easier, but I could easily miss some really interesting clues and information about my families and their lives. So, all that to say, I was planning on going through these books page by page anyhow, looking for any mentions of my names, when the ball started rolling on this worthwhile Slave Name Roll Project, and I decided to make my reading matter to someone else while I was at it. Below you will find each and (hopefully) every mention of an enslaved individual in the entire first volume. I hope you will join me in Speaking their Names.
**Please note that I have provided below any names as I see them written, and indicated the gender and or age as these people were described (for example: Woman, Wench, Girl, Child, Man, Boy). I have also noted to whom they were bequeathed to if specified for the purpose of further tracking. Unless otherwise noted, the following people were described as slaves or negroes.
West Virginia Will Books, Monroe, Volume I, 1799-1817, by order of the Estate holder’s name:
ALEXANDER, James – Will, written 16 May 1813, proven in Monroe County Court in July 1814, pages 256-259.
– Patience, Woman, to wife Isabella Alexander, pg 256
– Mary, “oldest child of Patience,” to wife Isabella Alexander, pg 256
– Calm, Man, to wife Isabella Alexander, then son Mathew Alexander, pg 257
– Cicilia, Girl Child “the second child of Patience,” to son Henry Alexander, pg 259
– Abriham/Abram, Man, to son Henry Alexander “if ever obtained or any thing for him he the said Abram having some time before this Eloped from my possession.” pg 259
BICKETT, Michael – Estate Appraisal, 15 Nov 1814 and 26 Jan 1815, proven in Monroe County Court 23 Mar 1815, pages 273-276
– Lucky, Woman, pg 276
There is a record of the Estate Sale conducted on 25 Aug 1814 beginning on page 277, which may include Lucky and who she was purchased by, unfortunately in the digitization process the pages 278 and 279 containing the bulk of the Estate Sale information was skipped. I have contacted FamilySearch in the hopes that this might be remedied and we can continue to track Lucky.
BINSON, Mathias – Estate Appraisal, 11 Feb 1809, proven in Monroe County Court Feb 1809, pages 148 & 150 (due to a numbering error in the book, there is no page 149).
– Rachel, Black Girl, pg 150
BOWYER, Adam – Estate Appraisal, 16 May 1815, proved same day, pages 288-291. There is a will in the book for Adam Bowyer as well, but it does not mention any slaves.
– Charlotte, Woman, pg 290
– Sally, Girl, pg 290
– Dolly, Child, pg 290
BYRNSIDE, John – Will dated 29 Sep 1816, proven in Monroe County Court 15 Oct 1816, page 353-355, mentions slaves but none by name (to be divided equally between his wife and six children). Estate Appraisal dated 9 Dec 1816, proven in Monroe County Court on 21 Dec 1817, pages 375-377.
– Matt, Man, pg 375
– Billy, Man, pg 375
– James, Man, pg 375
– Bob, Man, pg 375
– Jack, Boy, pg 375
– Nelly, Girl, pg 375
– Charlotte, Girl, pg 375
CLARK, Sarah – Will dated 26 May 1808, proven in Monroe County Court in Dec 1809, pages 167-168.
– Cinklear, Boy, to son Ralph Clark, pg 167
– Lucy, Girl, to daughter Martha Campbell, pg 167
– Theaphilis, Boy, to son John Clark, pg 167
– Grace, Woman, to son Samuel Clark, pg 167
– Maddison, Boy, to son Samuel Clark, pg 167
Estate Inventory of Sarah Clark on 26 May 1810, proven at Monroe County Court in June 1810, page 177.
– Grace, Woman (willed to Samuel Clark)
– unnamed, 6 month old daughter of Grace
– Lucy, ~10 year old Girl (willed to Martha Campbell)
– Madison, ~8 year old Boy (willed to Samuel Clark)
– Theophlias, ~6 year old Boy (willed to John Clark)
– Stricklar, ~4 year old Boy (likely the boy willed to Ralph Clark)
DEW, Betty – Estate Appraisal dated 13 Aug 1817, proven in Monroe County Court 19 Aug 1817, pages 391-193.
– Harry, Boy, pg 391
FLESHMAN, Peter – Will dated 22 Sep 1811, proven in Monroe County Court May 1814, pages 254-255.
– Luce, Woman, to son John Fleshman, pg 255
Estate Appraisal not dated but proven in Monroe County Court 15 Aug 1815, pages 317-318.
– Luce, Old Woman, pg 317
Estate Sale dated 12 Nov 1814, proven in Monroe County Court 15 Aug 1815, pages 319-321.
– unnamed (but very likely Luce), wench, sold to John Fleshman (to whom Luce was willed), pg 319
FRANKLIN, Martin – Estate Appraisal not dated, proven in Monroe County Court Nov 1808, page 178.
– unnamed, Woman, pg 178
GRAHAM, James – Will dated 28 Dec 1812, proven in Monroe County Court Feb 1813, pages 223-227.
– Rose, Wench, to wife Florence, pg 223
– Cleary, Girl, to wife Florence, to be sold after Florence’s death, pg 223
– Ceasar, Boy, to son Samuel Graham “never to be sold nor ever taken from his family during his life,” pg 224
– Benjamin, Man, to son Lanty Graham and wife Florence Graham “in common… not to be disposed of” after wife Florence’s death, pg 224
– Cleary Senr, Woman, to daughter Elisabeth Stodghill
– Dinah, Girl, to daughter Rebeckah Graham and her children “never to be disposed of out of the Family nor the increase of the Negro if any she has,” pg 224
– Hannah, Girl, to daughter Florence Taylor “never to be disposed of nor her increase (if any) out of the Family,” 224
GULLETT, William – Blacksmith, Will dated 28 Jan 1802, proven in Monroe County Court 20 Mar 1805, pages 51-53.
– Milly, Wench, to wife Jean Gullett then son William Gullett after Jean’s death, pg 51
– Fanny, (no age or gender specified), to son George Gullett, pg 51
– Levin (?) (unsure of the name written), to son George Gullett, pg 51
Estate Appraisal dated 7 Jun 1805, proven in Monroe County Court Jun 1805, pages 59-60.
– unnamed, Wench, likely Milly, pg 59
– unnamed, Boy, likely Levin(?), pg 59
– unnamed, Girl, likely Fanny, pg 59
HANDLEY/HANLY, John – Will dated 27 Dec 1810, proven in Monroe County Court Feb 1811, pages 183-185.
– Feeb, Woman, pg 183
– unnamed, Child of Feeb, pg 183
“Fourthly, I allow my Daughter Margret Clark and Sarah Keys the price of a Negro woman and child the woman Named Feeb but said Negro woman is to choose her master and my Executors is to make the best contract the[y] can with him for said Negroes on behalf of my said Daughters by giving one Years credit, and if said Executors cannot get what the[y] think a reasonable price from said Master so chosen by said Negro then they are to sell her to any other for the best price the[y] can get allowing the credit above.”
– Liddy, Girl, to daughter Nancy Akin, pg 183
– Peter, Boy, to son James, pg 183
– Jake, Boy, to son Alexander, pg 183
– Eamy, Girl, to daughter Betsy Waker [Walker], pg 183
– Tilde, Girl, to wife Mary, but not to be sold at Mary’s death, pg 184
– Dave, Man, to be sold along with anything not otherwise specified by will, pg 184
Estate Appraisal dated 20 Feb 1811, proven in Monroe County Court 21 May 1811, pages 189-193.
– Dave, Man, to be sold according to will, pg 191
– Phoeby, Woman, likely Feeb from the will, pg 191
– unnamed, Child of Pheoby, pg 191
– Till, Girl, to wife Mary per will, pg 191
– Jacob, Boy, likely the Boy called Jake bequeathed to Alexander in the will, pg 191
– Liddy, Girl, to Nancy Akin per will, pg 191
– Peter, Boy, to James per will, pg 191
– Amy, Girl, to Betsy Waker per will, pg 192 in a separate listing of property produced for appraisal by the Executors on 15 Mar 1811
Estate Sale of John Hanly, not dated, proven in Monroe County Court 18 Jun 1816, pages 345-346.
– Dake, (no gender or age specified), likely Dave who was to be sold per the will, sold to Chrisley Hoke, pg 346
– unnamed Woman, likely Pheoby/Feeb, sold to Chrisley Hoke, pg 346
– unnamed Child, likely the child of Pheoby/Feeb, sold to Chrisley Hoke, pg 346
Estate Accounts of John Hanly, not dated, proved in Monroe County Court 17 Sep 1816, five years after the will and estate appraisal were brought to court, pages 349-351.
– Matilda, Girl, likely the same person as Tilde and Till, delivered to Mrs. Hanly, pg 349 and 350.
– Peter, Boy, delivered to James Hanly, pg 349 and 350
– Liddy, Girl, delivered to Nancy Akins, pg 349 and 350
– Amy, Girl, delivered to W E Walker, pg 349 and 350
– Jacob, Boy, delivered to Alex. Hanly, pg 349 and 350
– unnamed, Woman, likely Pheoby/Feeb, pg 349 and 350 “[Margret] Clark’s receipt for one half the amt of a negro woman 157 12” “[Sarah] Keys [?] negro woman 157 12” According to will, Phoeby/Feeb was to pick between two of the daughters of John Hanly as her new master, the other daughter to receive payment for her, or to be sold and they split the price. There is a sale to Chrisly Hoke that very closely matches the payments made to the two daughters for a woman and child.
JARRELL, Daniel – Will dated 10 Jan 1804, proven in Monroe County Court 21 Feb 1804, pages 39 and 40. No identifying informations besides their names was given, all to be left to his wife, Mary.
– Milly, pg 39
– Dine, pg 39
– Castly, pg 39
– Esther, pg 39
LEACH, William – Will written on 3 Sep 1807, proven in Monroe County Court Apr 1808, pages 94-95.
– unnamed, Woman, to be freed at his death, pg 94
– Seal, Girl, to wife Susannah, pg 94
Bill of the Appraisement that the Widow [Susannah Leach] was Allowed, not dated, proven in Monroe County Court May 1809, page 182.
– unnamed, Mulatto Girl, likely Seal, pg 182
LEGG, Thomas – Will dated 10 Jun 1807, proven in Monroe County Court Sep 1808, pages 129-130.
– Adam, Fellow, “allow to be hired out by my Executors, and the same for the use of … my wife,” pg 130
Estate Appraisal, dated 17 Mar 1812, proven in Monroe County Court May 1812, pages 198-200.
– Adam, (no gender or age description), Adam is mentioned in the will, pg 198
– Winney, (no gender or age description), pg 198
Estate Sale, 28 Mar 1812, proven in Monroe County Court May 1812, pages 201-203.
– Adam, (no gender or age description), sold to Christ. Hoke, pg 201
– Winney, (no gender or age description), sold to John McNutt, pg 201
LEWIS, Thomas – Major Thomas Lewis’ Estate Inventory, dated 27 Nov 1804, was proven in Monroe County Court 15 Oct 1805, pages 68-71.
– Davie, Man, pg 70
Lewis, William – William Lewis, of Botetourt County, Virginia, will dated 17 Mar 1801, proven in Greenbrier Court March 1813, and then in Monroe County Court 18 Nov 1817, pages 394-395.
– unnamed, multiple slaves referenced but not by name, quantity, or gender, as one-third being left to wife Mary, the rest to son Charles and his heirs, pg 394
– Anthony, Boy, left to grandson William Lewis, son to John Lewis, pg 394
LINTON, William – Will dated 24 Oct 1810. proven in Monroe County Court 20 Jul 1815, pages 303-305.
– Cesar, Fellow, “As to my negro fellow Cesar my will & desire is that he is to stay on the plantation & my two sons John B Linton & James N Linton is to take care of him & support him during life.” pg 304
MANN, Jacob – Estate Appraisal dated 21 Mar 1815, proven in Monroe County Court 16 May 1815, page, 285-287.
– unnamed, Mulatto Slave Girl, pg 287
MCDOWELL, Archibald – Will dated 2 Aug 1813, proven in Monroe County Court Aug 1813, pages 232-233.
– Kate, (no gender or age description), to be sold, pg 232
– Stephen, (no gender or age description), to be sold, pg 232
– Isaac, (no gender or age description), to be sold, pg 232
Estate Appraisal dated 2 Sep 1813, proven in Monroe County Court Jan 1814, pages 234-236. Names match the 3 people listed in the will.
– Stephen, Man, pg 234
– Isaac, Mulatto Boy, pg 234
– Kate, Woman, pg 234
Estate Sale of Archibald McDowell, the first page(s) of which are not included in the microfilm which skipped pages 278 and 279. The Sale was proven in the Monroe County Court Jan 1815, continued on pages 280-281. Names match the will and appraisal.
– unnamed, Woman, likely Kate from the will and appraisal, sold to Lewis Forlander, pg 280
– Isaac, Boy, sold to James McDowell, pg 280
– Stephen, Boy, sold to John Knox, pg 280
MILBOURNE, Nathan – Estate Appraisal dated 14 Dec 1808, proven in Monroe County Court Nov 1808 [no, those dates do not make sense to me either], pages 142-144.
– Fancy, Woman, pg 144
Estate Sale of Nathan Milbourne, not dated, proven in Monroe County Court Nov 1808, pages 145-148.
– unnamed, Woman, likely Fancy mentioned in appraisal, sold to Nathan Milbourn, pg 146
NICKELL, Robert – Will dated 16 Aug 1813, proven in Monroe County Court Nov 1813, pages 236-238.
– Dilse/Desse, Woman, to wife including any issue (children) that she may have, pg 236
– Bill, issue of Dilse/Desse, to wife, pg 236
– Sal, issue of Dilse/Desse, to wife then to Robert Nickell’s sister Susannah after wife’s death or marriage, and then to Susannah’s son Andrew Lewis, pg 236 – “I allow Andrew Lewis at his mothers death or as soon as the above Negro Girl comes into his hands to Pay his brother George fifty Dollars”
– Bet, Girl, to nephew John Nickell, son of Robert’s brother Thomas Nickells, pg 237
– Sam, Boy, to nephew John Nickell, son of Robert’s brother Thomas Nickells, pg 237
– Jack, Man, “I allow to remain on the Place six years and then to be sold & divided between my two Brothers Joseph & Isaac Nickells” pg 237
Estate Appraisal dated 8 Dec 1813, proven at Monroe County Court 17 Dec 1816, pages 370 and facing page (numbering error as the page adjacent to 370 is not numbered, and the following pages are 371 and 372).
– Jacob, Man, likely Jack from the will, pg 370
– Sam, Young Boy, pg 370
– Bill, Boy, child of Dilse/Desse per the will, pg 370
– Sall, Young Girl, child of Dilse/Desse per the will, pg 370
– Bet, Girl, pg 370
– Dilse, Woman, pg 370
NICKELL/NICKLE/NICHOLS, THOMAS – Will dated 22 Aug 1803, proven in Monroe County Court 17 Mar 1807, pages 84-85.
– Caesar, Man, to son John after wife Jane’s death, Caesar was purchased from Thomas Nichols’ brother Isaac, pg 84
– Sam, Man, after wife Jane’s death Sam to be sold at public auction, Sam was purchased from Thomas’ brother Andrew, pg 84
Estate Appraisal dated 27 Mar 1808, proven May 1808 court, pages 96-98.
– Bets, Woman, pg 96
Estate Sale dated 3 Apr 1807, proven May 1808 court, pages 99-101.
– unnamed, Woman, likely Bets from the appraisal, sold to Robert Robinson, pg 100
Estate Sale dated 25 Jan 1811, proven Nov 1811 court, pages 204-206.
– Sam, Man, sold to John Masten, pg 204
– Neace, Man, aka Caesar from the Thomas Nickell’s will, pg 206. According to the will, Caesar was to be willed to John Nickell, but according to this Estate Sale, he was sold by Thomas Nickell prior to his death. No mention as to whom Caesar/Neace was sold to.
Estate Appraisal of the deceased widow of Thomas Nickell, not dated, proven in court Jun 1812, pages 210-212.
– Sam, Man, pg 212
Estate Settlement of Thomas Nickell, dated 20 Nov 1813, proven in court Jan 1814, page 241.
– Caesar/Neace, Man, pg 21, “It appears to us that Caeser (alias Neace) named in the will was sold by the testator in his Lifetime, and then the Exrs ought not to be charged with the ₤20 mentioned at the foot of the Vendue List…”
PATTERSON, MATTHEW – Estate Inventory dated 7 Sep 1803, no date for when it was recorded in the Will Book, but the previous entries say Sep 1803 court, pages 37-38.
– Phyllis, Woman, pg 37
– Jack, Man, pg 37
– Jerry, Man, pg 37
– Harry, Boy, pg 37
– Sampson, Boy, pg 37
– Poll, Woman, pg 37
– Hamlet, Boy, pg 37
– Flora, Girl, pg 37
– Jo, Boy Child, pg 37
PATTON, ROBERT – Estate Appraisal not dated, proven at Monroe County Court Oct 1808, pages 131-134.
– Sam, Boy, pg 134
Estate Sale dated 26 Nov 1804 and 12 Apr 1805, proven in Monroe County Court Oct 1809, pages 163-166.
– Sam, Boy, “Elenor Patton 1 Negro boy (Sam) by Jas Gray” pg 165
ROYALL, WILLIAM – Major William Royall’s Estate Appraisal dated 22 Mar 1813, proven in Monroe County Court Sep 1814, pages 269-273.
– Stepny, Man, pg 272
– Catena, Woman, pg 272
– Betsy, Girl, pg 272
– Davey, Man, pg 272
SHAVER/SHAWVER, SEBASTIAN “BOSTEN” – Will dated Jan 1813, proven in Monroe County Court 15 Oct 1816, page 355-357.
– Lewis, Boy, to daughter Elizabeth Hambarger, then after her and her husband’s death to her son Baston Hambarger, pg 356
– David, Man, to daughter Barbarra Rowen, and after her death to be sold and the funds to be divided equally amongst her children, pg 356
– Betsy, Girl, to daughter Barbarra Rowen, and after her death to her son Bosten Rowen forever, pg 356
– Rose, Woman, to daughter Sally, and after her death Rose and her increase to descend to Sally’s heirs forever, pg 356
– Jame (?), Boy, to grandson Samuel Longton, forever, pg 356
There are 83 Names Spoken here. At least 4 more that go unnamed here. I hope that these notes make sense, and might provide an aid to researchers of these individuals.