Greene County Alabama 1860 slaveholders and 1870 African Americans





Transcribed by Tom Blake, March 2001

PURPOSE. Published information giving names of slaveholders and numbers of slaves held in Greene County, Alabama, in 1860, is either non-existent or not readily available. It is possible to locate a free person on the Greene County, Alabama census for 1860 and not know whether that person was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave census, because published indexes almost always do not include the slave census.

Those who have found a free ancestor on the 1860 Greene County, Alabama census can check this list to learn if their ancestor was one of the larger slaveholders in the County. If the ancestor is not on this list, the 1860 slave census microfilm can be viewed to find out whether the ancestor was a holder of a fewer number of slaves or not a slaveholder at all. Whether or not the ancestor is found to have been a slaveholder, a viewing of the slave census will provide an informed sense of the extent of slavery in the ancestral County, particularly for those who have never viewed a slave census. An ancestor not shown to hold slaves on the 1860 slave census could have held slaves on an earlier census, so those films can be checked also. In 1850, the slave census was also separate from the free census, but in earlier years it was a part of the free census.

African American descendants of persons who were enslaved in Greene County, Alabama in 1860, if they have an idea of the surname of the slaveholder, can check this list for the surname. If the surname is found, they can then view the microfilm for the details listed regarding the sex, age and color of the slaves. If the surname is not on this list, the microfilm can be viewed to see if there were smaller slaveholders with that surname. To check a master surname list for other States and Counties, return to Home and Links Page.

The information on surname matches of 1870 African Americans and 1860 slaveholders is intended merely to provide data for consideration by those seeking to make connections between slaveholders and former slaves. Particularly in the case of these larger slaveholders, the data seems to show in general not many freed slaves in 1870 were using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder. However, the data should be checked for the particular surname to see the extent of the matching.

The last U.S. census slave schedules were enumerated by County in 1860 and included 393,975 named persons holding 3,950,546 unnamed slaves, or an average of about ten slaves per holder. The actual number of slaveholders may be slightly lower because some large holders held slaves in more than one County and they would have been counted as a separate slaveholder in each County. Excluding slaves, the 1860 U.S. population was 27,167,529, with about 1 in 70 being a slaveholder. It is estimated by this transcriber that in 1860, slaveholders of 200 or more slaves, while constituting less than 1 % of the total number of U.S. slaveholders, or 1 out of 7,000 free persons, held 20-30% of the total number of slaves in the U.S. The process of publication of slaveholder names beginning with larger slaveholders will enable naming of the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work.

SOURCES. The 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules for Greene County, Alabama (NARA microfilm series M653, Roll 30) reportedly includes a total of 23,598 slaves, which ranks as the fourth highest total in the State and the eighth highest in the U.S. in 1860. Unfortunately this film is of very poor quality and the names of the holders are almost totally illegible. Also, beginning around page 350, the page sequencing seems to be in disarray, although the enumerator kept a running count for each slaveholder, so in some cases, the last page of the holder is designated in this transcription. This transcription includes 49 slaveholders who held 90 or more slaves in Greene County, and also some who held slightly fewer, accounting for 7,077 slaves, or 30% of the County total. The rest of the slaves in the County were held by a total of 1,066 slaveholders, and those slaveholders have not been included here. Due to variable film quality, handwriting interpretation questions and inconsistent counting and page numbering methods used by the census enumerators, interested researchers should view the source film personally to verify or modify the information in this transcription for their own purposes. Census data for 1860 was obtained from the Historical United States Census Data Browser, which is a very detailed, searchable and highly recommended database that can found at . Census data on African Americans in the 1870 census was obtained using Heritage Quest's CD "African-Americans in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census", available through Heritage Quest at .

FORMAT. This transcription lists the names of those largest slaveholders in the County, the number of slaves they held in the precinct where the slaves were enumerated and the first census page (or in some cases the last page) of that precinct on which they were listed. The page numbers used are the rubber stamped numbers in the upper right corner of every set of two pages, with the previous stamped number and a "B" being used to designate the pages without a stamped number. Following the holder list is a separate list of the surnames of the holders with information on numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census who were enumerated with the same surname. The term "County" is used to describe the main subdivisions of the State by which the census was enumerated.

TERMINOLOGY. Though the census schedules speak in terms of "slave owners", the transcriber has chosen to use the term "slaveholder" rather than "slave owner", so that questions of justice and legality of claims of ownership need not be addressed in this transcription. Racially related terms such as African American, black, mulatto and colored are used as in the source or at the time of the source, with African American being used otherwise.

PLANTATION NAMES. Plantation names were not shown on the census. Using plantation names to locate ancestors can be difficult because the name of a plantation may have been changed through the years and because the sizeable number of large farms must have resulted in lots of duplication of plantation names. In Alabama in 1860 there were 482 farms of 1,000 acres or more, the largest size category enumerated in the census, and another 1,359 farms of 500-999 acres. Linking names of plantations in this County with the names of the large holders on this list should not be a difficult research task, but it is beyond the scope of this transcription.

FORMER SLAVES. The 1860 U.S. Census was the last U.S. census showing slaves and slaveholders. Slaves were enumerated in 1860 without giving their names, only their sex and age and indication of any handicaps, such as deaf or blind Slaves 100 years of age or older were supposed to be named on the 1860 slave schedule, but there were only 1,570 slaves of such age enumerated, out of a total of 3,950,546 slaves, and the transcriber only noticed one such entry, on page 312B where Robert Craig was listed as holding a 108 year old black male named George. Freed slaves, if listed in the next census, in 1870, would have been reported with their full name, including surname. Some of these former slaves may have been using the surname of their 1860 slaveholder at the time of the 1870 census and they may have still been living in the same State or County. Before presuming an African American was a slave on the 1860 census, the free census for 1860 should be checked, as almost 11% of African Americans were enumerated as free in 1860, with about half of those living in the southern States. Estimates of the number of former slaves who used the surname of a former owner in 1870, vary widely and from region to region. If an African American ancestor with one of these surnames is found on the 1870 census, then making the link to finding that ancestor as a slave requires advanced research techniques involving all obtainable records of the holder.

MIGRATION OF FORMER SLAVES: According to U.S. Census data, the 1860 Greene County population included 6,761 whites, 1 "free colored" and 24,409 slaves. Part of Greene County was formed into Hale County in 1867, so figures comparing the 1860 census with the 1870 census must keep that in mind; but by the 1870 census, the white population of Greene County had decreased 43% to 3,858, and the "colored" population decreased 40% to 14,541. Where did the freed slaves go? Some probably did not go anywhere, but became part of Hale County when it was formed, since Hale County showed a colored population of approximately 17,000 in 1870. Otherwise, Montgomery, Mobile and Dallas Counties in Alabama all saw increases in the colored population between 1860 and 1870, so that could be where some of these freed slaves went. Between 1860 and 1870, the Alabama colored population increased by 37,000, to 475,000, a 17% increase. Where did freed Alabama slaves go if they did not stay in Alabama? States that saw significant increases in colored population during that time, and were therefore more likely possible places of relocation for colored persons from Greene County, included the following: Georgia, up 80,000 to 545,000 (17%); Texas, up 70,000 (38%); North Carolina, up 31,000 (8%); Florida, up 27,000 (41%); Ohio, up 26,000 (70%); Indiana, up 25,000 (127%); and Kansas up from 265 to 17,000 (6,400%).


ALEXANDER, A. F., 105 slaves, Clinton?, page 265B

ALFORD, Hyman? O., 120 slaves, Je???, page 352

BERNARD, Estate J. H., 149 slaves, Garretts?, page 297B

BIRD, D. H., 96 slaves, Springfield, page 322

BLOCKER, John R.?, 183 slaves, Forkland, page 294

BROADNAX, H.? W., 100 slaves, Springfield, page 323

BROWN, Joshua T., 114 slaves, Boligee, page 246B

CAMERON, Paul, 116 slaves, Ge??? Creek, page 391

COLLIER, John J. 93 slaves, Boligee, page 241

CRAIG, Robert, 92 slaves, Mt. Hebron, page 312B

CRAWFORD, James, 138 slaves, Eutaw, page 278B

CRENSHAW, Willis, 103 slaves, Eutaw, page 268B

CRESSWELL, S. L., 129 slaves, Eutaw, page 275

DEW?, Duncan Senr., 233 slaves, Eutaw, page 276

GLOVER, W. A., 148 slaves, Forkland, page 290B

GORCE?, Caroline, 114 slaves, Je???, page 352B

HAIRSTON?, R.? A., 136 slaves, Eutaw, page 270B

HERNDON?, Est. J. A., 179 slaves, Hollow Spire?, page 379B

INGE, Wm. B., 106 slaves, Forkland, page 289

JOHNSTON, Mrs. M., 213 slaves, Je???, page 366

JOHNSTON, Mrs. M., 213 slaves, Je???, page 366

JONES, C., 160 slaves, Je???, page 374B

JONES, James, 96 slaves, Pleasant Ridge, page 317B

JONES, James, 96 slaves, Mantua?, page 332

JONES, Mary, 98 slaves, Newton?, page 374B

JONES, Wm. & Sons, 232 slaves, Hollow Spire?, page 383B

KIRKSEY, F. M., 166 slaves, Eutaw, page 273B

LIGHTFOOT, T.?, 117 slaves, Eutaw, page 280

LINTON?, E.? H.?, 232 slaves, Je???, page 344

MCALPIN, Solomon, 202 slaves, Eutaw, page 272

MCALPIN, Wm., 121 slaves, Forkland, page 287B

MONETTE, Wm J., 94 slaves, Hollow Spire?, page 386 (ending page - pages out of sequence)

PERRIN, Mrs. A., 120 slaves, Garretts?, page 302B

PICKENS?, Est. James, 201 slaves, Ge??? Creek, page 396

RANDOLPH, James, 94 slaves, Je???, page 350B

RANDOLPH?, Theodore?, 113 slaves, Je???, page 345

RICE, H., 108 slaves, Clinton, page 255

SNOW, G.? B., 114 slaves, Boligee, page 244B

SORSBY?, Dr.? W.? V.?, 150 slaves, Garretts?, page 298B

THOMPSON, J. B., 97 slaves, Clinton, page 258B

THORNTON, James J.?, 156 slaves, Forkland, page 291B

TILMAN?, Wm., 116 slaves, Je???, page 361B (ending page - pages out of sequence)

WALTON?, J.? H.?, 360 slaves, Je???, page 350B (ending page - pages out of sequence)

WALTON?, James? C.?, 145 slaves, Je???, page 364

WALTON?, Jas. L., 214 slaves, Je???, page 358

WATSON, Jas. A., 148 slaves, Forkland, page 286B

WILKINS, Roger?, 112 slaves, Von???, page 339


(exact surname spellings only are reported, no spelling variations or soundex)

(SURNAME, # in US, in State, in County, born in State, born and living in State, born in State and living in County)

ALEXANDER, 3460, 332, 22, 281, 186, 11

ALFORD, 292, 39, 2, 38, 24, 1

BERNARD, 242, 8, 3, 7, 4, 0

BIRD, 1401, 115, 28, 92, 71, 11

BLOCKER, 148, 17, 5, 20, 9, 3

BROADNAX, 123, 21, 0, 13, 0, 0

BROWN, 27013, 1585, 63, 1321, 878, 44

CAMERON, 345, 66, 19, 44, 35, 12

COLLIER, 632, 91, 6, 87, 60, 3

CRAIG, 877, 164, 17, 119, 103, 8

CRAWFORD, 1876, 236, 30, 191, 146, 18

CRENSHAW, 366, 135, 13, 84, 77, 6

CRESSWELL, 8, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0

DEW?, 129, 61, 49, 38, 32, 26

GLOVER, 1147, 152, 10, 147, 98, 9

GORCE?, 14, 3, 0, 2, 1, 0

HAIRSTON?, 608, 2, 2, 3, 1, 1

HERNDON?, 246, 21, 4, 22, 14, 4

INGE, 56, 22, 4, 15, 12, 2

JOHNSTON, 2186, 172, 14, 158, 113, 11

JONES, 27193, 2497, 82, 2125, 1451, 52

KIRKSEY, 68, 50, 20, 45, 42, 15

LIGHTFOOT, 257, 48, 2, 38, 31, 2

LINTON?, 86, 4, 0, 10, 3, 0

MCALPIN, 40, 16, 14, 14, 12, 10

MONETTE, 12, 2, 1, 1, 1, 0

PERRIN, 99, 12, 6, 12, 8, 3

PICKENS?, 251, 81, 29, 74, 60, 22

RANDOLPH, 979, 41, 2, 35, 20, 2

RICE, 1528, 189, 66, 148, 11, 37

SNOW, 239, 52, 0, 44, 34, 0

SORSBY?, 11, 5, 3, 5, 5, 3

THORNTON, 1504, 204, 3, 144, 105, 2

TILMAN?, 320, 27, 3, 22, 16, 3

WATSON, 3567, 233, 21, 209, 144, 12

WILKINS, 920, 35, 0, 37, 16, 0

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