Will Books are a good source in the search for slaves only if the owner named the slave(s). Many times a will lists property without specifying if it includes slaves. For example: “I will and bequeath to my (wife, son, daughter, etc.) all my estate both real and personal of every sort;” or, “...the property I have already given to my (wife, son, daughter, etc.)...” The documents often do not include the slave’s name, sometimes only girl, runaway, boy, etc. Each chapter in this work contains information gleaned from one Will Book. The documents include Administrator’s Estate, Executor and Guardian Accounts, Wills, and, Inventory and Appraisals. Each entry gives the name of the slave owner, page number, date, and type of document followed by a list of slaves. The new owner is listed if known. Surnames of the owner’s children are indexed only if noted in the document. The slaves who were emancipated, freed or manumitted are listed in the index under Emancipated. A full-name index adds to the value of this work.
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