Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-01 > 1264130583

From: Jeanette Daniels <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Slave valuations vs. relative age order
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 19:23:03 -0800 (PST)
References: <><><COL108-DS1064E754588B82E6D1FF5892620@phx.gbl>
In-Reply-To: <COL108-DS1064E754588B82E6D1FF5892620@phx.gbl>


I just looked at my copy of David Streets book and I am
wrong and you are right about the author's name.  Streets - not Sheets.
My goof!


----- Original Message ----
From: Michael Hait <>
Sent: Thu, January 21, 2010 7:28:10 PM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Slave valuations vs. relative age order


I would have to disagree with this one.  I just finished this book a few
months ago, and would have to say that I was thoroughly unimpressed.  A few
of her conclusions were a bit sketchy in my opinion.

I do recommend David Streets' "Slave Genealogy" though.  Also, John F.
Baker's "The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation" is an amazing case
study/family history, involving an entire community of slaves owned for
several generations by the same family.


From: "Jeanette Daniels" <>
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:35 PM
To: <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Slave valuations vs. relative age order

> Dawn,
> A book that I would highly recommend for you is "Slave Ancestral Research,
> It's Something Else"
> by Mary L Jackson Fears.  This is published by Heritage Books, Inc.  Mary
> describes her
> desire to find her slave ancestors and her 14 years search through mostly
> unindexed
> microfilmed records.  Her ancestors were "surplus slaves" that were sent
> between various
> family members in Warren, Baldwin, Taylor, and Wilkinson Co., Georgia
> plantations.  It is
> a fascinating read.
> Jeanette
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Dawn Watson <>
> To:
> Sent: Thu, January 21, 2010 12:38:24 PM
> Subject: [TGF] Slave valuations vs. relative age order
> I am attempting to write my very first scholarly article (a correction of
> a
> published lineage). Part of my proof argument revolves around the
> bequeathal
> of a "Negro" named Ned from father to son, the son's near-continuous
> ownership of Ned until the end of Lincoln's War, and the residence of Ned
> afterwards near the son's widow. I believe establishing Ned's age may be
> relevant to the argument, at the very least in showing that the Ned who
> was
> enumerated with the son and lived near the son's widow was of a similar
> age
> (or within the same age range) as the Ned who was bequeathed from father
> to
> son, and could thus be the same person.
> An 1809 inventory of the father's estate lists the following, in this
> order,
> with the valuations given after:
> 1 Negro woman Phereby & her Child Isham 500
> 1 Negro Girl (Dilsy) 400
> 1 Do (Levina) 400
> 1 boy (Ned) 300
> 1 Boy (Adam) 250
> 1 Do (Peter) 200
> Phereby was described as a woman in the will (written and proven in 1809),
> while Isham, Dilsy, Levina, Adam, and Peter were described as boys or
> girls.
> Ned was not given a descriptor of any kind in the will. The apparent
> children were listed in a different order in the will than in the
> inventory,
> probably because the individuals to whom they were bequeathed were listed
> in
> apparent birth order. (The family lived in Jackson Co., GA, if that
> helps.)
> Given the valuations and the order in which they were listed in the
> inventory, I deduced that Dilsy, Levina, Ned, Adam, and Peter were listed
> by
> their ages relative to one another, with the eldest first and the youngest
> last. I also concluded that Isham was an infant, probably under the age of
> two, because he was listed with Phereby. Phereby was probably still of
> child-bearing age. Given Dilsy and Levina's valuation compared to
> Phereby's,
> they had probably reached puberty but, as they were described as girls,
> had
> either not acheived "adulthood" (say, 14 to 18 years of age) or did not
> have
> sexual partners. If I can establish an age range for Dilsy and Levina, and
> if the children were listed in order by age, I may be able to establish
> age
> ranges for the boys. I'm in the process of reading the largely-intact tax
> records for this county; while the age ranges for slaves were not given
> (at
> least, not in the ones I've looked at so far), an increase in the number
> of
> slaves over time *could* indicate the birth(s) of a new slave(s) into the
> family as much as it could indicate an addition by some other means.
> Now that I'm reading this over, I think I'm making too much of the small
> amount of information contained in the inventory and will. This is the
> only
> information I have to work with at the moment, however, and so I'm trying
> to
> make the best of it. Ned is the only one I've been able to track outside
> of the records created by the probation of this estate, and only because
> he
> stayed in the family, so to speak. I would be happier if I could find some
> sort of record detailing how each slave was acquired by this family; I
> have
> my suspicions, but without deeds or some other record of transfer or
> acquisition (the search for such is ongoing and apparently never-ending),
> I
> hesitate to formulate even the most tentative hypothesis.
> At any rate, my questions to the list are:
> 1) Is it reasonable to conclude that these individuals were inventoried
> and
> valued according to age, or am I way off base? My assumption is that
> slaves at or near their prime, for lack of a better phrase, would be
> valued
> higher than those who were still maturing, hence the staggered values.
> 2) Does anyone know of any articles or books that discuss slave
> valuations,
> and specifically any that deal with valuations vs. age? I've been reading
> Black/African-American research guides and NGSQ articles on slave
> genealogies, all of which have been incredibly helpful, and I have a list
> of
> related articles from other journals I'm trying to obtain. But perhaps I'm
> missing a pertinent reference?
> I appreciate any and all insight into this matter.
> Sincerely,
> Dawn Watson
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