The Resource Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1784-1864
Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
  • Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1784-1864, are comprised of free papers (1797-1864), deeds of emancipation (1784, 1805-1860), and miscellaneous records (1827, 1834, 1837, undated)
  • Free papers, 1797-1864, consist of free negro registrations, certificates of registration, and affidavits verifying an individual's emancipation or birth to a free mother. Certificates of registration were issued by the Hustings court and were used as free papers to verify an individual's free status. They contain name, sometimes age and a brief physical description, and the circumstances of the person's freedom or emancipation. If born free, reference to parents is sometimes made. If emancipated, the emancipating owner, place and date of emancipation, and prior registration as a free Negro are usually mentioned. In addition to the certificates of registration issued by the Lynchburg Court, there are certificates of registration, or registers, the records contain registrations issued by these localities: Albemarle, Amherst, Bedford, Botetourt, Brunswick, Buckingham, Campbell, Charlotte, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fluvanna, Goochland, Halifax, Isle of Wight, and York Counties and the Cities of Fredericksburg, Petersburg, and Richmond
  • Deeds of manumission, 1784; 1801-1864, document date of emancipation, by whom, and sometimes for what reason. These records include deeds of manumission from Campbell, Charlotte, and Prince George Counties
  • Miscellaneous records consist of the petitions of Archey Carey (1827) and Isaac Harrison (1836) to remain in the state and affidvits related to a petition of Maria Dunn to remain in state (1839), a list of insolvent free negroes (1834), a writ ordering the sheriff to hold in the jail the slaves Ned and Melly who have been going at large and hiring themselves out (1837), and an undated list of names which may be related to a free negro registration
Member of
Biographical or historical data
  • A law passed in 1782 by the state legislature made it lawful to emancipate slaves.
  • An act passed in 1793 by the Virginia legislature in 1793 required every free Negro or Mulatto to be registered and numbered in a book to be kept by the county clerk. Emancipated slaves may have been registered with the court at an earlier date in some localities. Registrations were to be renewed annually at a cost of 25 cents.
  • In 1806, the General Assembly moved to remove the free negro population from Virginia with a law that stated that all emancipated slaves, freed after May 1, 1806, who remained in the Commonwealth more than a year, would forfeit his right to freedom and be sold by the Overseers of the Poor for the benefit of the parish. Families wishing to stay were to petition the legislature through the local county court. Beginning in 1837, freed slaves could petition the local courts for permission to remain.
  • Lynchburg, in Campbell County, was named for John Lynch, the owner of the original town site. It was established in 1786, was incorporated as a town in 1805, and became a city in 1852. Parts of Campbell and Bedford Counties were annexed to the city in 1976.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
The Lynchburg Free Negro Register, 1843-1865, can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm" found on the Library of Virginia web site.
Lynchburg (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Lynchburg
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Lynchburg Circuit Court
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (1 box)

Library Locations

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