Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Delph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime and the children

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 Delph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime, and their children Sandy, Britton, Reuben, Betsey, Pleasant, Benjamin, Cynthia, Calvin, Sarah, Susan, Adeline, John, William, Mary, Alice, Jacob, Ellender, Giles, Edward, Serena, Lucy, Margaret, Sam, an [unnamed] infant, Martha, Charles,  and Green (or Gwen).

While searching the Chancery Records of Virginia for records naming my ancestors I found this very large bundle with a bill of complaint by Joseph Peters, Admr of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders. Joseph Peters was the brother of my 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. Peters and the son-in-law of Gideon Smith who in turn was the son of Mary (Hairston) Smith.

I only scratched the surface of this case with the transcription of the Last Will and Testament of Mary (Hairston) Smith’s father Robert Hairston who died in 1791 in Franklin County, Virginia in my last post. The slave woman named Delph given to Mary in the will had two children and they in turn had more offspring. The Chancery Records I found have 127 images which include Bills of Sale, many passages with names and ages, and this paragraph which includes the names and ages of the originally purchased slaves as well as their increase.

This is an abstract from the answer of Samuel Saunders to the bill of complaint exhibited against him by Joseph Peters, Administrator of Mary Smith deceased in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Franklin.

Abstract from the respondent Samuel Saunders, dated the 9th day of November 1849, online (image 12 of 127)

Delph decd about 7 years ago at an advanced age without having any more children after she came into respondents possession, Sukey decd about 10 years ago leaving an only child a boy now about 22 years of age, so that the negroes purchased originally and now in respondent’s possession are Jacob about 50, Ben about 48, Tom about 40, Peggy about 51 and Aime about 39 – and of the increase of the women them are in respondent’s possession, Sandy about 22 a son of Sukey, Britton about 33, Reuben about 32, Betsey about 30, Pleasant about 28, Benjamin about 26, Cynthia about 23, Calvin about 20, Sarah about 18, Susan about 16, Adeline about 14, John about 12, William about 10, Mary about 8, Alice about 5, and Jacob about 2, children of Peggy, Ellender about 12, Giles about 10, Edward about 8, Serena about 6, Lucy about 4, Margaret about 2, and Sam 1, children of Betsy a daughter of Peggy, – an [unnamed] infant child of Cynthia a daughter of Peggy, – Martha about 24 and Charles about 21 children of Aime, – and Green(? Gwen) about 2 a child of Martha a daughter of Aime, – the said Martha had another child which died about a year ago aged 2 or 3 years. Those are all of the said negroes whether them originally purchased or their increase, which are now or ever have been in the possession of respondent.

[Transcribed 5 October 2015 from the image of the chancery records.]

From the information given by the respondent Samuel Saunders (images 7 through 14) in his answer concerning his purchase ca. 34 years previously of the seven slaves I was able to draw up this mind map:

A first attempt to use Scapple for mind-mapping.

I plan to transcribe and share abstracts of the Bills of Sale for the 7 slaves and follow-up with information found in the depositions given by witnesses.

Posts related to the Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders Chancery Records:

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Will, Cintha, Delph, Cate, Darkis, Roas, Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Delph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime and the children

Slave Name Roll Project: Bill of Sale for Delph, Benjamin, and Sukey

Slave Name Roll Project: Bill of Sale for Tom

Slave Name Roll Project: Bills of Sale and Memorandum of Agreement for Jacob

Slave Name Roll Project: Bills of Sale for Peggy and Aime

Slave Name Roll Project: A Conclusion Concerning Delph’s Relationship in the Family

True's statement© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

8 thoughts on “Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Delph, Ben, Sukey, Tom, Jacob, Peggy, Aime and the children”

  1. OMG!…was very surprised to see this!…I had a purchased a copy from the Digital Library on American Slavery years ago…I am a descendant of Delph and her daughter Sucky, and Sucky’s only living child Sandy!…Delph is my 5th great-grandmother!. Still looking for more on Delph and where she may have been first purchased. Never knew when I started my journey of family genealogy years ago, that I would find out so much. Took a break a couple of years ago, getting back into it. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome…enjoyed your website, You’ve done great work!…have a distant cousin that also felt that Tom, Jacob, Peggy and Amy were Delph’s childen. sometime ago, I purchased the book The Cooleemee Plantationn and Its People by Peter W. Hairston…the Appendix that has a List of Slaves are interesting…alot of names and which plantations that they were on…found 4 different Delph, all different birth years and plantation sites, birth years are off..trying to figured out how to get copies of the exact plantation records of birth etc…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I wish you luck figuring out how to get copies of the plantation records. It would be a big help in separating the ladies named Delph or maybe even showing the 4 were only one. I have never seen a plantation record and have no idea what kind of information they might contain.


  2. Wow what a treasure trove of information. Thank you for such a sefless act of kindness. May you continue to be blessed all the days of your life. I don’t know if I am a descendant of these Saunders but I am a DNA match to a few people who have these ancestor names in their trees. The dna matches are of both African and European heritage. I am a descendant of Sanders from Talbot, Georgia.


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