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
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
[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, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Jan 2012); citing NARA microfilm M593, roll 1669.