Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Frank

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I’ve made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors. Today I’m RELEASING Frank.

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.

1850census
1850 U.S. Federal Census > (West) Virginia >Fayette County
1850slave
1850 U.S. Federal Census > (West) Virginia >Fayette County > Slave Schedule

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.

frank
Snippet of page with the name of the Negro Boy Frank.
1852appraisal
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-59094-32?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 134 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

1852bill
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-59094-32?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 134 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.
1852bill1854
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18271-59191-56?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG:179689901,179689902 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 135 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

1860census
1850 U.S. Federal Census > (West) Virginia >Fayette County
1860slave
1850 U.S. Federal Census > (West) Virginia >Fayette County > Slave Schedule

Nancy Montgomery died about June 1866 and her estate was appraised on 31 July 1866 and recorded 10 September 1866.

1866appraisal
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18272-69094-20?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-1N5:179689901,179717401 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 002 1861-1885 > image 17 of 255; county courthouses, West Virginia.

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.

1867billofsale
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18272-68551-44?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-1N5:179689901,179717401 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 002 1861-1885 > image 48 of 255; county courthouses, West Virginia.
1868settlement
“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18272-68318-37?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-1N5:179689901,179717401 : accessed 28 August 2015), Fayette > Will book, v. 002 1861-1885 > image 54 of 255; county courthouses, West Virginia.

Without a surname for Frank my attempts to locate him in the census in 1870 were futile.True's statement© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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.

5 thoughts on “Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Frank”

  1. Dear Cathy,
    I have to commend you for doing this. The records are out there and often being in arms reach of former slave owners descendants. I spent twenty-seven years searching for my mother,s ancestors and finally found them in 2012 on their former master’s will and the division of slaves records. What a joyous day that was and my mother got to to know the names of her great grands, her great, great grands and her great, great, great grands before her death.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. We need more people like you to help with the lost soles.

    Respectfully,
    Walt & Selma Alston

    Like

  2. Just today I discovered Henry Montgomery’s probate records and saw the entry for Frank. I am a direct descendent, and have always felt compelled to do what I can to track down the history of these individuals who were owned as property by my ancestors. Then I discovered this post and was so pleased to see you efforts – kudos! I have found all the same records except for the bill of sale, and will let you know if I can find anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Leslie for writing. If a descendant of the slave owner can get in touch with me then I have hopes that Frank’s descendants will also find the post one day. If you do find anything I’d be happy to update the post.

      Like

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