Researching Slave-Owning Ancestors

There are two topics that are guaranteed to come up in just about ongoing discussion of American family history research: slavery and slave ownership. Genealogy television shows frequently explore the subject: of course you would expect to see that on Henry Louis Gates’ excellent African-American Lives. But, it’s remarkable how many celebrities (not all Southern) […]

Will of Nathan Harris, 1793

I’ve recently been working on the family of Patsy Dicken, wife of Thomas Bembry. Her grandfather was Nathan Harris, from whose will I inadvertently established Patsy’s last name. This line goes back to colonial Isle of Wight County in Virginia. Nathan was the son of another Nathan Harris who died in 1793. I found a […]

Lewis Lashley Will 1815

Lewis Lashley was my 6th great grandfather. I am fairly certain that the “Holleman” men named in the will are most likely Hollands, as Lewis’ wife was Mary Holland and they all lived near each other.  A slave woman, Nell, is named in this will.  She is not found on 1800 census, and I can’t […]

Slave Name Roll Project: Kenneth Bembry’s Florida Plantation

Looking at Thomas Bembry’s court case versus his brother Kenneth reminded me that Kenneth had more slaves than any other Bembry. With a bit of digging, I’ve found a few names. Going back to Kenneth’s embezzlement of the estate of Nathan Harris in the 1820s, two slaves named Norfleet and Isaac were part of that estate. Naturally, the […]