The paternal side of my father’s family lived in Fayette County, (West) Virginia before the Civil War. I checked the Slave Schedules for 1850 and 1860 for Fayette County looking for a familiar or family name. My 3rd great-grand uncle Wilson M. Dempsey turned up on the 1860 schedule with nine slaves between 1-35 however I cannot find any documentation with names of slaves owned by him.
I then went through the other names from 1850 and compared them with the wills, appraisals, and bills of sale found in the West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971. It took several attempts to find a record mentioning a slave.
Frank, a slave of Henry Montgomery of Fayette County, West Virginia
Henry MONTGOMERY was seen on the 1850 schedule with two slaves, a 20 years old girl and a 2 years old boy.
Henry was found in the 1810 (1 slave), 1820, 1830 (2 slaves) census of Kanawha County and the 1840 (1 slaves) and 1850 (2 slaves, as seen above) census of Fayette County.
Henry Montgomery died before September 1852. The appraisement of his estate included “One Negro Boy (Frank)” appraised at $300.
Typewritten transcription of the above image and two following can be found here.
Young Frank does not show up on the sale bill of the personal property of Henry Montgomery.
In 1860 Henry’s widow Nancy MONTGOMERY was seen on the 1860 schedule with one 10 years old male slave. Could this be Frank? Although the age is off by 2 years compared to the young male slave seen with Henry in 1850 I believe he is very likely young Frank mentioned in the appraisement.
Nancy Montgomery died about June 1866 and her estate was appraised on 31 July 1866 and recorded 10 September 1866.
As would be expected no slave is listed on the appraisement which took place 3 years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863.
The bill of the sale was found on page 82 and the settlement of Nancy Montgomery’s estate on page 93.
As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.
View all posts by Cathy Meder-Dempsey