The Resource Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, circa 1796-1870
Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
circa 1796-1870
  • Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, circa 1796-1870, are comprised of a variety of county court records documenting the interactions of African Americans, free and slaves, with local government in Albemarle County from the late eighteenth century to 1870
  • Affidavits and Certificates of Freedom, circa 1815-1870, contain the name of the person, sometimes the age and a brief physical description, and a statement based either on another person's knowledge or on other official documentary evidence seen by the certifier that this person was either born free or was emancipated. If born free, reference is sometimes made to parents. If emancipated, emancipating owner, place and date of emancipation, and prior registration as a free negro are usually mentioned
  • Deeds of Emancipation, 1841-1864, may contain the name of the former slave owner, the name of the slave, the date or age at which the slave will be freed, the date the deed was written, and the date the deed was proved. Some deeds include the age of the slave at the time the deed was written, a surname assigned to the freed slave by the slave owner, and the slave owner's reason for emancipating the slave
  • Also included is a Free Negro Delinquent Tax List, 1853, documenting the names, known effects, and tax owed by free African Americans who owed taxes to the county in 1853; and a Free Negro List, 1853, which is a list of free negroes, adults and children, living in Albemarle County in 1853. It includes names, gender, designation as negro or mulatto, place of abode, and trade or occupation. Also included in the collection is a Free Negro Non-Resident List, 1853, which lists 12 individuals no longer found living in or owning property in the county
  • Inquisitions into the Death of Slaves, 1796 and 1806, include the name of the slave, the name of the slave's owner, the coroner, witnesses (including law enforcement personnel and medical experts), and the empanelled jury (if one is called)
  • Slave Patrol Papers, circa 1799-1864, contain patrol orders with specific instructions for a patrol to convene, listing all of the persons summoned to participate; patrol appointments, listing persons appointed or summoned to participate; and patrol returns, listing the names of the patrollers and recording the hours of services and expenses incurred
  • Also included is a Petition to be Classified as White, 1869. These records include the name of the petitioner, the petitioner's parents, and/or persons who can attest to the claim to be reclassified are sometimes included
  • Petitions for Freedom and other Freedom Papers, 1798-1865, contain the name of the free negro, slave, or petitioner, the names of the slave owner, and the petitioner or person's parents. Witnesses who can attest to the petitioner's free status are often included. Sometimes affidavits, certificates or registers of free negroes are found among the freedom papers
  • Petitions for Voluntary Enslavement, 1858-1864, contain the name of the petitioner, and the potential master or mistress. Sometimes a former slave owner is mentioned
  • Petitions to Remain in the County, 1816, 1850, and 1852, contain the name of the petitioner. Sometimes witnesses that can vouch for the character of the petitioner are mentioned. Freedom papers and other supporting documents may also be included
  • Runaway Slave Papers, 1845, contain court documents such as notices and orders and include the name of the slave. The slave owner is sometimes mentioned
  • Also included are Records of a Sale of Slaves, 1843. This type of record typcially contains the account of the sale, the name of the seller, the name of the purchaser, and the date of the transaction. The name and/or sex and/or age of the slave being sold may also be included
  • Free Negro Registers, undated and 1804-1864, contain information on a single person as to the name, age, complexion, stature in feet and inches, apparent marks or scars, whether emancipated or free born, and date this information was certified by the court
  • Also included are Miscellaneous Records, 1863
Biographical or historical data
Albemarle County was formed in 1744 from Goochland County. Parts of Louisa County were added in 1761 and 1838.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
An index for Albemarle County Free Negro and Slave records is available at the Manuscript Reading Room Reference Desk.
Albemarle County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
These items came to the Library of Virginia in shipments of court papers from Albemarle County
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Albemarle County Circuit Court
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (3 boxes)

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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