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

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I 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. During October, Family History Month, I worked through a large chancery file pulling as much information out of it as possible and posting weekly in hopes of helping the descendants of the slaves mentioned.

I RELEASED 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) as well as Will, Cintha, Cate, Darkis, Roas, Alesey, Chloe, Charlote, Feby, Jude, Peggy, Rick, Cuffey, Thomas, Sal, Easter, Jude, Lucy and Anthony using information found in Chancery Records file for Administrator of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders, Franklin County, Virginia, index number 1851-022.

This is a very interesting case. If the people involved had been my ancestors I would have taken the time to transcribe the entire 127 images and put them in chronological order.

The testimony on Mary Smith by her neighbors gave me the impression she was “fooled over” due to her having a “weak mind” and “drinking spirits.” She was an old lady and may have been promised matrimony by Saunders to get possession of her slaves. She “lived like a negro” in a slave cabin on Saunders plantation until her son took her in.

delphI believe Delph, the slave given to Mary Smith by her father Robert Hairston per his last will and testament, was the mother of the other six slaves, Ben, Sukey, Jacob, Tom, Peggy, and Aime [not only Ben and Sukey as seen in the bill of sale]. One witness questioned replied:

“She had no kind of property except a gang of little negroes. She had no home, or cow, or fowls as I saw. I was frequently there. She had a little household furniture and precious little of that.”

and being asked if the slaves he saw at Saunders plantation were the same “gang” he saw with Mary Smith he replied,

“I allowed they were the same, on account of their calling the old negro wench, Delph, mother. I knew the old negro wench well.”

[Source: Chancery Records for Admr of Mary Smith vs Samuel Saunders, Franklin County, Virginia, index number 1851-022; online http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=067-1851-022 (image 123 of 127)]

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

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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.

7 thoughts on “Slave Name Roll Project: A Conclusion Concerning Delph’s Relationship in the Family”

  1. I was at a loss for words for a few days…. I’m saddened but joyful at the same time. I have loved every minute of the Releasing of their Names. WE all have come to LOVE the Sims Slaves. I’m so glad I can come back and revisit with them and their life stories because you took time out from your Family so someone else’s could be found and timestamped. So much compassion on what you did. I’m so Proud of you Cathy. Love, True-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t realize when I wrote about my ancestor James Sims’ slaves I would be continuing to write about non-ancestors’ slaves for the lack of finding other ancestors with slaves.
      As my focus this year is families in Luxembourg (no slaves there) I haven’t had the time to work through my American families to see if any others also owned slaves.
      I appreciate the support everyone, especially you, are giving me. I hope when I get back to the only-once-a-month post at the end of the month you will not be disappointed. But you know how difficult it is to find the records.
      Thank you True!
      Best wishes, Cathy

      Like

  2. I am descendant of Delph through her daughter Sucky…thank you for posting! I thought that Delph only had 2 children Ben and Sucky. One cousin thought the same as you about Delph having more children. Would love to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deirdre, of course, it is only my belief the other children on the chart were also Delph’s due to the statement made by the witness, “I allowed they were the same, on account of their calling the old negro wench, Delph, mother. I knew the old negro wench well.”
      It is interesting that one of your cousins also came to the same conclusion. I hope you will get in touch when more documentation is found to support the assumption.
      Thank you for letting me know.

      Like

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