Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-06 > 1245774718

From: Leslie Morales <>
Subject: [TGF] Already published/Slave statistics
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 12:31:58 -0400
References: <><1115EBB4BB6E7646B9E88E07CA6ED35F09FD38@emo-exch2k3-s32.dcgov.priv>
In-Reply-To: <1115EBB4BB6E7646B9E88E07CA6ED35F09FD38@emo-exch2k3-s32.dcgov.priv>

Patsy Fletcher, now with the District of Columbia Office of Historic
Preservation, wrote a paper which included her transcription of the
names of men from the "Prince George's County (MD) Slave Statistics" who
were alleged to have joined the US Colored Troops (USCT). Ms.
Fletcher's research included the examination of pension, jail, and
census records. A portion of her work was published in "Fugitives From
Enslavement As Abstracted From Prince George's County Commissioner of
Slave Statistics," Journal of the Afro-American Historical and
Genealogical Society 26 (2008): 36

Maryland State Archives, Archives of Maryland Online, Slavery Commission:
"The Maryland State Archives is preparing a series of volumes in the
Archives of Maryland series relating to the history of slavery in Maryland"

Agnes Kane Collum transcribed "St. Mary's County (MD) Slave Statistics":

"Montgomery County (MD) Slave Statistics":

Leslie Anderson
Reference Librarian
Special Collections
Alexandria Library
717 Queen Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2420
(703) 838-4577 x213

> <>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [APG] [TGF] Survey of Slave Surnames
> Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 22:16:42 -0400
> From: Michael Hait <>
> To: <>, "APG mailing
> list" <>
> References: <>
> <007b01c9ec8c$3b375b70$b1a61250$@net>
>Thank you for responding, and I understand that you will not be able to
>respond to the survey immediately -- this will probably apply to quite a few
>researchers (hopefully, someone will still spread the word; I'd hate for
>this study to suffer from poor timing.)
>To provide a little more information about my own study of Prince George's
>Co., Maryland, slaves:
>The starting point of my research was the "Slave Statistics." In 1867, the
>General Assembly of Maryland created a county position called the
>"Commissioner of Slave Statistics"; each county appointed its own
>Commissioner. The purpose of the Commissioner was to enumerate (much like a
>census) each slave owned by each slaveholder in their respective counties,
>as of 1 November 1864, when the new state constitution abolished slavery
>within Maryland. I have completely transcribed the original Statistics for
>each slaveholder in Prince George's Co., Maryland, that are available at the
>Maryland State Archives. This accounts for just over half of the slaves
>(over 6,000) enumerated in the 1860 federal census (just over 12,000).
>These Slave Statistics were then recorded in a separate register book, that
>holds many additional records no longer extant. I have not yet transcribed
>these additional records, as I am working with the originals first. (Don't
>want to bite off more than I can chew at one time.)
>I have already located several hundred of these former slaves in the 1870
>and 1880 census records, using the same names as were recorded in the Slave
>Statistics. I have taken several families further forward, and have several
>dozen death certificates, funeral home records, land deeds, several Civil
>War service records and pension files, Freedman's Bank and Freedmen's Bureau
>records, etc. Eventually I would like to account for as many of the former
>slaves as possible.
>I am also transcribing the estate inventories/sales and chattel bills of
>sale for Prince George's Co., to trace these former slaves to previous
>owners as well. I am also recording what I can find concerning
>Certainly, it is an ambitious project, but hopefully it will be a
>contribution to the overall literature on the subject. It will likely take
>a few years before completed.
>From: <>
>Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 9:05 PM
>To: <>
>Subject: Re: [TGF] Survey of Slave Surnames
>> Michael,
>> I am keenly interested in your project, but can't respond now. (Samford
>> starts tomorrow.) Years ago, I did a similar project from the records of
>> the Southern Claims Commission, testing "Creole Louisiana" against "Anglo
>> Alabama" for a possible difference in patterns; but I can't dig out the
>> statistics until I'm back home again. (I also published a part of it
>> somewhere, but I've written too much to remember everywhere everything
>> ended
>> up. :)
>> With regard to your overall conclusion vs. that of the Georgia researcher,
>> geography would be just one factor affecting the pattern. Among other
>> factors would be (a) the point in time at which you pegged their surname;
>> and (b) the extent to which you traced each of them over a goodly number
>> of
>> years to identify name changes after emancipation. Many freedmen appear on
>> the 1870 census under one surname and the 1880 census under another--with
>> other possible names being used between those dates. (Frederick Douglass
>> famously went through five different names before finally settling on
>> one.)
>> Elizabeth
>> ----------------------------------------------------------
>> Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
>> APG member, Tennessee
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> [mailto:] On Behalf Of
>> Michael Hait
>> Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2009 6:55 PM
>> To: APG mailing list;
>> Subject: [TGF] Survey of Slave Surnames
>> [I have cross-posted this to both the APG and the Transitional
>> Genealogists
>> mailing lists. Please also feel free to forward this message to any other
>> mailing lists or individual researchers that may be interested.]
>> In an ongoing study of slaves in Prince George's Co., Maryland, that I
>> have
>> conducted, as well as client research for African-Americans, mainly in
>> Maryland, I discovered that an amazingly small number of freedmen after
>> the
>> Civil War chose to use to the surname of their last owner. I wrote an
>> article reporting these findings, and challenging the common conception --
>> and a technique that is commonly taught to beginning African-American
>> genealogists -- that you can identify the last owner of slave ancestors by
>> searching for white families using the same surname. This article was
>> itself challenged by a researcher in Georgia whose own studies proved the
>> opposite - that most slaves did indeed use the surname of their last
>> owner.
>> After several private discussions (via email) between the two of us, as
>> well
>> as discussions with other researchers, I believe that geographic or other
>> factors may have caused some of the differences that have been discovered
>> in
>> this matter. However, to my knowledge, no broad studies on how freedmen
>> chose their surnames has ever been done. As such, I have created two
>> surveys -- one for pedigree researchers, and one for community researchers
>> -- to try to enumerate the experiences of researchers across the country.
>> I would like to invite any African-American researchers, whether
>> researching
>> your own or clients' families, to take a look at these articles and
>> complete
>> the surveys. For professional genealogists, you can complete the survey
>> multiple times for multiple client families. Please feel free to email me
>> with any questions/comments on the surveys or to discuss the topic in
>> general. You can reach the most recently posted article at this link:
>> Thank you for weighing in your experiences.
>> Michael Hait
>> Author, The Family History Research Toolkit (
>> Administrator, Prince George's Co., Maryland, Genealogy Trails
>> (; Charles Co., Maryland
>> (; St. Mary's Co., Maryland
>> (
>> Master Editor, Civil War book project, Albany Hilltowns wiki
>> (
>> Instructor, African-American Research, (
>> National African-American Genealogy Examiner
>> (
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