Slaveholders and African Americans 1860-1870




by Tom Blake, 2001-2005

Introduction and purpose. When this project was begun in 2001, published information giving names of slaveholders was not readily available, and lists of the number of slaves they held were virtually non-existent. As pointed out in the updates section below, some slaveholder name index books may now be available in larger research libraries, and an 1860 slaveholder index with information on individual slave age, gender and race is now available on line to subscribers at However, it is still possible to locate an ancestor on the free U.S. census for 1860 or earlier and not realize that ancestor was also listed as a slaveholder on the slave schedules. 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 would have been counted 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 transcribing of slaveholder names beginning with these largest holders, and publishing the names for free on the Internet, results in identifying the holders of the most slaves with the least amount of transcription work.

Who can make use of this site. Those who have found a free ancestor in a State and County on the 1860 free census can check this list to learn if their ancestor was one of the larger slaveholders in that County. If the ancestor is not on this list, other index search or browse methods mentioned below can be used or the 1860 slave census microfilm can be viewed to find out whether the ancestor is shown as a holder of a fewer number of slaves. 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 a particular County 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 census image elsewhere for the details listed regarding the sex, age and color of the slaves. If the surname is not on this list, some other index or the census image can be viewed elsewhere to see if there were smaller slaveholders with that surname.

The County page linked at this site also includes information on 1860 County slaveholder and slave counts, racial population changes for 1860, 1870 and 1960, surname matches for 1860 slavesholders and 1870 free colored persons, and a listing of the 1860 large slaveholders in the County, all of which may be of interest to anyone doing research in the County, regardless of whether the researcher had ancestors who held slaves or were enslaved there.

Transcribed names. In 2001, I began a process of transcribing names of some of the largest slaveholders and matching the surnames with numbers of African Americans on the 1870 census. I have compiled name lists that can be linked to through this page. The names on these lists are slaveholders who were some of the largest slaveholders in the listed County in 1860. The surname is only listed one time per County, even though in some cases, more than one large holder in the County had the same surname. For each County I have transcribed, you can find a report on slave holding statistics in 1860 with the full names of some of the largest slaveholders, and also information on African Americans on the 1870 census with the same surname as the holders. Surname matching of slaveholders with 1870 African Americans is intended merely as suggesting another possibility for further research by those seeking to make connections between slaves and holders.

Updates (May and October 2004) regarding availability of slaveholder census indexes. The late Ronald Vern Jackson authored or was lead author for 1850 and 1860 slave census indexes, published by Accelerated Indexing Systems International for all the slave States, but they do not appear to have been widely disseminated. Some of those indexes have been re-published in recent years, but again apparently without significant distribution. These indexes may be available in some larger public library genealogical collections, but they might be kept in closed stack areas rather than in the open area where the free census index books are kept. Ask your librarian. The Ancestry on line census subscription does include access to some of the AIS materials, but not all the slave census indexes are included, and the method for subscribers to access the AIS database at Ancestry is not very straightforward. In October 2004, Ancestry added for its on line subscribers a new 1860 Slave Census Index and here is a page explaining how to use this Ancestry subscriber resource.

No Further Updates Planned. The most recent surname list was added to this web site September 12, 2003. Because slaveholder census information has become more readily available elsewhere, no further updates are planned for the surname lists at this web site, nor are the lists and links at this site being supplemented, corrected, changed or otherwise modified.

There are currently 8,395 surname/County combinations and 11,020 individual slaveholder names on the large slaveholder lists, representing a total of 792,219 slaves in 158 Counties (Parishes in Louisiana) in 10 States. This total represents 49.8% (approximately one half) of the slaves that were held in these Counties, and 20.05% (1 out of every 5) slaves held in the United States in 1860. The Counties and Parishes included here had 40.27% (2 out of 5) of the slaves held in the United States in 1860, and almost one half of those were held by the slaveholders listed at this site. The Charleston County, South Carolina links below include 2,653 small slaveholders, holding 19,975 additional slaves, in addition to the 200 slaveholders who held 40 or more slaves in Charleston. These additional Charleston slaves have been included in the above slave calculations, but the additional 2,653 Charleston slaveholders have not been counted in the above figure for surname/County combinations or total number of slaveholders.

Surname Links. Here are links to my surname pages:

BIGGEST 16.   A list of the 16 slaveholders who held the most slaves in any one County in 1860. (Updated October 5, 2001 and December, 2004; now includes 19 holders).

1860 SLAVES AGE 100 AND UP.   Slaves age 100 and up were supposed to be named in the 1860 census, but only some of these slaves in fact had their names recorded on the census. There are reportedly 1,570 slaves in that age group, and this link leads to a table listing 1,550 such slaves found using the on line index at Ancestry as of January 12, 2005. The table includes the 14 reported slave States with slaves age 100 or more: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee,Texas and Virginia.

Surname Lists. Alphabetical lists of large slaveholder surnames with County and State. If you find a name of interest, note the States and Counties, then return to this home page to link to the pages for the States and Counties to see the details.

A   B   C   D   E    F   G   H   I   J    K   L   M   N   O    PQ   R   S   T   UV    W   XYZ   

County Links Here are the links to my lists for the various Counties (called Parishes in Louisiana). The County page includes the names of the largest slaveholders in the County, with the number of slaves held and location references, as well as other information on slavery and population. The County page also includes information on the numbers of African Americans in the 1870 census who have the same surname as the large slaveholders.

ADDITIONAL NOTE REGARDING SURNAME MATCHING (added July, 2004): The surname martching information included on the County pages was obtained from the Heritage Quest CD "African Americans in the 1870 U. S. Federal Census", which is not an "every name" index. The CD seems to follow the typical pattern of indexing the name of the head of a household and of everyone else in the household who had a different surname, and maybe also including those in the household with the same surname if they were of some senior age. As a practical matter, based on comparisons of the HQ index with the total number of "colored" persons reported on the former slave states on the 1870 census, the numbers reported by the index and included in the surname matching data on the County pages can probably be multiplied by three to arrive at the total number of African Americans with the surname. After such multiplication, the reported 1870 National, State and County distribution of the surnames would remain in about the same proportion. But the proportion of 1870 African Americans with a particular surname compared to the number of 1860 slaves held by the large slaveholders with that same surname would actually be about three times higher.

Alabama Counties:

AUTAUGA Added 10-20-2001

BALDWIN Added 3-18-2003

BARBOUR Added 10-20-2001

CHOCTAW Added 3-18-2003

CLARKE Added 3-18-2003

CONECUH Added 3-18-2003




LAUDERDALE (Includes link to Lauderdale County Gen Web site with complete lists of 1850 and 1860 slaveholders)


LIMESTONE Added 3-18-2003

LOWNDES Added 10-20-2001

MACON Added 10-20-2001

MADISON Added 3-18-2003




PERRY Added April 2, 2002 (Includes link to list of all Perry 1860 slaveholders and 1860 free census transcription)

PICKENS Added April 2, 2002

RUSSELL Added 10-20-2001

SUMTER Added 10-20-2001

TALLADEGA Added April 2, 2002

TUSCALOOSA Added April 2, 2002

WILCOX Added April 2, 2002

Arkansas Counties:





JACKSON Added 5-22-2003

JEFFERSON Expanded 5-22-2003

LAFAYETTE Added 3-20-2003

MONROE Added 4-17-2003

PHILLIPS Added 3-20-2003

SEBASTIAN (First portion of full transcription by Angela Walton-Raji) Added 6-16-2003

SEBASTIAN (Remainder of full transcription) Added 6-16-2003

Florida Counties:

LEON Added 5-22-2003

MADISON Added 5-22-2003

MARION Added 5-22-2003

Georgia Counties:

BAKER Added 10-26-2001

BRYAN Added 10-26-2001

BURKE Added 10-26-2001



COLUMBIA Added April 17, 2002

CRAWFORD Added April 17, 2002

DECATUR Added April 17, 2002

DOUGHERTY Added April 17, 2002

EARLY Added April 17, 2002

ELBERT Added April 17, 2002

GLYNN Added April 17, 2002

GREENE Added April 17, 2002

HANCOCK Added April 17, 2002

HARRIS Added April 17, 2002

HOUSTON Added 10-26-2001

JASPER Added 10-26-2001

JEFFERSON Added 10-26-2001

JONES Added 10-26-2001




LINCOLN Added April 3, 2003


MORGAN Added April 3, 2003

OGLETHORPE - Transcriptions by Jeanne Arguelles - Complete slaveholder index and also Full slave schedule counts

PUTNAM Added April 3, 2003

TALBOT Added April 17, 2002

THOMAS Added April 17, 2002

TROUP Added April 17, 2002

TWIGGS Added April 17, 2002

UPSON - Full transcription by David Paterson Added January 29,2005

WILKES Added April 17, 2003

Louisiana Parishes:


ASSUMPTION Added 9-21-2001

AVOYELLES Added 9-21-2001

BOSSIER Added 9-26-2001

CADDO Added 9-25-2001

CARROLL Added 9-26-2001

CATAHOULA Added 9-25-2001



EAST BATON ROUGE Added 9-23-2001









RAPIDES Revised November 3, 2001. Includes link to full transcription by Dale Detert.









WEST BATON ROUGE Added 9-21-2001


Mississippi Counties:




CARROLL Added 11-16-2001

CHICKASAW Added 11-16-2001

CLAIBORNE Added 11-16-2001

CLARKE Added 11-16-2001

COAHOMA Added 11-16-2001

COPIAH Added 11-16-2001 (Includes link to Linda Durr Rudd's page with full list of names of holders and number of slaves)

DESOTO Added 11-16-2001

HINDS Added 11-16-2001

HOLMES Added May 10, 2003


JEFFERSON Added May 10, 2003

JEFFERSON (Linda Durr Rudd's page with full list of names of holders and number of slaves)

LOWNDES Added 11-16-2001

MADISON Added 11-16-2001

MARSHALL Added May 12, 2002

MONROE Added May 12, 2002

NOXUBEE Added 11-16-2001

OKTIBBEHA Added 11-16-2001

PANOLA Added 11-16-2001

SIMPSON (Linda Durr Rudd's page with full list of names of holders and number of slaves)

TALLAHATCHIE Added May 12, 2002

TUNICA Added May 12, 2002

WARREN Added May 12, 2002



YALOBUSHA Added May 10, 2003


North Carolina Counties:

BERTIE Added June 30, 2003

EDGECOMBE Added June 30, 2003

FRANKLIN Added June 30, 2003

GRANVILLE-Barnetta McGhee White's site    Enslaved ancestor abstracts from deed books, 1746-1864
            (scroll to bottom of Barnetta's page for the abstract links).

HALIFAX Added June 30, 2003

WARREN Added June 30, 2003

South Carolina Counties:

ABBEVILLE-Sonia Walker's site with full transcription.

BARNWELL Added May 12, 2002



CHARLESTON - 200 largest slaveholders Added 12/2001

CHARLESTON - 2,853 slaveholders alphabetically Added 12/2001

CHARLESTON - 2,853 slaveholders in order counted Added 12/2001

CLARENDON Added 4-17-2003

DARLINGTON Added 11-19-2001

EDGEFIELD Added 11-19-2001



MARION Added May 12, 2002

MARLBORO Added May 12, 2002


ORANGEBURG Added May 12, 2002

RICHLAND Added 11-25-2001




Texas Counties:

BRAZORIA Added 5-22-2003

Virginia Counties:

AMELIA Added 7-29-2003

ESSEX Added 7-29-2003

HALIFAX Added Sept.12-2003

HENRY Added Sept.12-2003

KING WILLIAM Added 7-29-2003

MECKLENBURG Added Sept.12-2003

NELSON Added 7-29-2003

NOTTOWAY Added 7-29-2003

POWHATAN Added Sept.12-2003

PRINCE GEORGE Added Sept.12-2003

More Links Here are links to some other genealogy sites of related interest:

AFRIGENEAS Everything to do with African American genealogy, including slavery.

ROOTSWEB The oldest and largest free genealogy site.

USGENWEB Genealogy sites for every State and County.

ADDITIONAL LINKS PAGE More related links of interest to African American and slavery researchers.

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