Slave Name Roll Project: The Younger Kenneth Bembry

Kenneth Bembry the scheming Tallahassee politician,  had a namesake and nephew. This second Kenneth Bembry, nicknamed “Cannie,” was a son of John Bembry and first cousin to my ancestor Thomas N. Bembry.

Kenneth served in the 63rd Georgia Infantry CSA and was killed at the battle of Gettysburg in 1863. An inventory of his estate conducted on 3 Oct 1864, just a few months before the end of the war, shows the following slaves:

Jacob $400
Jerry $1,500
Tom $1,800
Emeline $1,000
Jane $1,200
Jane and child Mary $1,600
Artemicia (girl) $1,400

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The file does not include any records of their sale.

Kenneth’s slaves are also mentioned on the 1860 slave schedule for Pulaski County, Georgia. Except for the two youngest children, born after 1860, they match the age/gender distribution perfectly. We can therefore make a good guess at the ages of some of the named individuals. All but one are listed as black.

1 male 65 is probably Jacob, valued at $400 because is he older.

1 male 30 may be Jerry. A 45 year old black man named Jerry Bembry is found in Dooly County in 1870. He is probably the same person.

1 female 25 may be Emeline or Jane.

1 female 18 may be Emeline or Jane.

1 male 17 may be Tom. A 33 year old black man named Tom Bembry is found in Dooly County in 1870, living near the Jerry Bembry, above.

1 female 15 may be the second Jane, who by 1864 would be 19 and have had her first child, Mary.

1 female 10 may be Artimicia, who would be 14 by 1864.

1 female 3 (mulatto) I wonder if she is Kenneth’s daughter by Emeline or Jane?

This post wraps up the Bembry Slave Name Roll for Georgia and Florida.

There are also several black Bembrys and Bemberrys found on the 1870 census in Bertie, Halifax,  and Edgecombe counties in North Carolina. Two named Dempsey Bembry (age 88 and age 48, probably father and son) live in Deep Creek and Scotland Neck respectively—both places where I know Miles lived.  I have no documentation to prove it, but I think it is highly likely, given that Miles was the last white Bembry male living in the area by the time he died in 1838, that these two men belonged to Miles at some point.

Seven months after the inventory of Kenneth’s estate was made, all the people I have named in this series of posts would be free under the law. No more listing slaves just above the horses on estate inventories. No more fighting with each other over slaves in court. No more courthouse auctions of human beings to settle debts. I am sure the white Bembrys didn’t realize it at the time, but Lincoln had set everyone free.



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