AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLECTION
- Bills of Sale - this group of publications documents the sale or transfer of slaves from one owner to another. These may be the only surviving documents that link slave families together and to their owners.
- Free Persons of Color - some African American families were free long before the Civil War ended in 1865. Titles in this collection come from a variety of record sources and vary widely in their content.
- Marriage Records - this collection covers titles that may include all of the African American marriage records filed in a county or only the records for a specific surname in a county.
- Research Notes - in the course of tracing thousands of African American families, professional genealogists keep research notes. This collection, compiled from the files of those professionals, cover a multitude of subjects and families.
- Slaves in Estate Records - when a slave owner died the court required the executors or administrator of the estate to make an inventory of what that person owned and then appraise it. Inventories and appraisals include the names of each slave owned by the deceased. These documents play in important role, not only in identifying each slave, but also in sometimes stating who their new owner would be when the estate was settled. If the deceased owner was in debt, slaves were often sold, instead of being bequeathed to an heir. Some estate records say who purchased slaves from the estate. These are often the only surviving documents that link slave families together and verify a change in ownership.
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