Can you hear the buzz in the air? The Carnival of African-American Genealogy is here! And the best part is that this Carnival will run all the way through September. Each month will have a different theme. But to kick it all off, this month we are sharing African-American Slave documents.
Compliments of the South Carolina Archives & History, here is an 1844 will transcript from the estate of Samuel Wright of York District, SC. In it, Wright surprisingly makes provision for his “old negroe woman Jinney”. In addition to him leaving her to have all of the domestic household items (linens, pots, pans, utensils, etc.) he instructed that she be comfortably maintained for, so long as she may live. Perhaps she had been with him for some time. In addition, he wanted Marriah, a younger negro girl to remain with and “attend to” Jinney.
S108093: South Carolina Will Transcripts (Microcopy No 9)
WRIGHT, SAMUEL OF YORK DISTRICT, WILL TYPESCRIPT (ESTATE PACKET: CASE 79, FILE 3850)
One of the main focuses of this blog carnival is how African-American Slavery documents are handled by the family genealogist. I want to briefly address “What if it doesn’t pertain to my family?” Early on, when I found slave records, my vision was so tunneled on my own family account, I never really thought twice about the record being of benefit to anyone else. After all, I found it, they can find it too. Right? Wrong. Slowly, I learned the value of keeping a record of documents I reviewed. Now, I see how taking that just one small step further can benefit so many other researchers.
Since most of us already keep a record of documents we have reviewed, (match or not) to prevent researching in circles, it would not really be so much trouble to list records of interest to others on our blogs. Not a synopsis of the record, itself just the relevant indexing information. (Will Transcript, Samuel Wright, York County, SC, 1844, Series: S108093 Reel: 0031 Frame: 00172, Jinney, Marriah, Ann) This was information I had already recorded in an effort to keep up with where I was going. Why not put it out and make someone else’s hunt even easier? There may be a researcher who has not yet discovered the SC Archives Online. This document, for example was one I originally discovered while searching for my family’s Wrights, however, it turned out not to be our family. In my file of “nots” it sat for several years, until searching for a document for the blog carnival.
Hopefully, Wright researcher, whoever and wherever you are, this document will be JUST the one you needed to make that connection to your ancestor.