Friday, January 13, 2012

Slaves named in 1862 Guardian's Record - A Friend of Friends Friday

Last summer, while researching at the Library of Virginia, I copied several documents reporting financial accounting by guardians to various county courts. The documents recorded details about expenses paid for the orphans, including medical care, clothing and education, that were of interest. The documents also included income statements.

For some children their primary income came from renting out slaves inherited from their parent(s). This was the case for my husband's great-grandmother, Maria Lee Palmer and her brother, John T. A. Palmer. The following list of slaves, together with the names of the Northumberland and Lancaster County, Virginia men or women who paid for their services in 1862, is from an accounting dated 15 November 1862 and recorded in the Northumberland County Court on 9 February 1863.

[in left margin] 1862, July 1st ~ Nov. 15
By balance brought Forward                                           $2940.03
By rent of Clifton 2/3 for 1892  to  Jas Hurst     $300.00
 "  Hire of Negroes for 1862 viz:
       Spencer          to E O Robinson                4500
       B___ick          to J B James                      5500
       Nancy             to R Rose                            1200
       Vilette             to Wm C Currell                4000
       Warren            to Thos Borum                  6000
       Mary               to R E Beane                      2500
       Dick                 to A L Carter                     2000
       Paulina           to P Towles                         4000
       Jed                   to Tho B Payne                  6000
       Letty                to A L Carter                      3000
       Winnie             to Mrs Meredith               0000
       Daniel              to Mrs Wilder                   1500
       Rachael           to Wm L Stakes                 4000          
       Polly                 to C C Flowers                 2000
       Anna                to C C Dunton                   1000  
       Gary               to Mrs. Shearman               0000
                                                                          772 00
Maria L entitled to half                                     386 00         386.00
By Interest on $2940.03 due July 1st 1862 to }
this time Nov 15 1862                                       }                        66.15
By Excess of Income over Expenses per contra}
                                          brought here                }  244.70            
                                                                                $3184.73  $452.15
[in left margin] 1862, Nov. 15th
By Balance due Ward per contra                     $3184.73

State of Virginia
                  Returned into Northumberland County Court
the 9th day of February 1863 and ordered to be recorded.
                                                      M. B. Cralle cc

Further details about the men and women named in this record can be found on my WeRelate page Slaves Referenced in Family Research. The information there is derived from Chancery Court records in 1848/49 following the death of James Palmer, father of Maria Lee and John T. A. Palmer.

While I have not searched for each of these men and women in the 1870 census, I have checked for some. A Warren Davenport, black male, born 1820, is enumerated living at Burgess Store (Fairfield, Northumberland, VA) with a household. The 1848/49 records show a high valuation, suggesting he was an adult male at that time. This document shows he (and one other man) earned the highest income for the Palmer children of all their slaves, again suggesting he was still a strong adult male.

Northumberland, Virginia, Fiduciary Records: Guardianship Accounts Book 4, 480, John T. A. Palmer account, 9 Feb 1863; Northumberland County Courts, Heathsville; Library of Virginia Northumberland Reel No. 45.

1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Fairfield, Northumberland, Virginia, p. 19A, dwelling 265, family 268, Warren Davenport; digital images, ( : accessed 13 Jan 2012); citing NARA microfilm M593, roll 1669.


  1. Welcome back, great place to start!

  2. I'm sure there are others posting on this topic, but I don't think I've come across them. I appreciate how you identify with this sensitive topic.

  3. Yes! Welcome back! I had just discovered your blog via Geneabloggers and was interested in seeing what you had to say about your Nolichucky roots when you took your hiatus. Looking forward to more posts from you...

  4. Glad to see you're back blogging, I understand the need for a break, but I missed reading your posts.


Comments related to the information shared here are most appreciated. All comments are moderated, and since I am not actively researching right now it many take a day or two for your comment to post. Please know that it will post, and that I much appreciate the feedback.