A Database of Names to Trace Slave Ancestry

Posted by admin on Sep 9, 2011

Scholars at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond have set out to leaf through eight million documents dating back to the 17th century, seeking the names of slaves. The preliminary results, listing about 1,400 enslaved people and 180 owners, are appearing in a database posted at vahistorical.org.

“Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names” is searchable by locations, professions and first and last names, among other keywords. Listings for Thomas Jefferson’s holdings do not yet mention Sally Hemings, but they do include “Thruston the son of Isabel” and “Bec daughter of Minerva.”

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