Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING 30 Slaves of Pulaski County, Virginia

The enslaved Pack family I wrote about in my July post, Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Amy, Addison, Henry and his Enslaved Family, was recognized by Ta Lee who wrote: “Such a surprise when True A Lewis shared your blog posting. I was totally in shock. These are my folks!!! I have more info on Henry Pack. The Halls are my family. Margaret Pack nee Hall was the sister to my grandfather’s grandmother.”

In August I continued with the Honaker slaves in the post Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Jinney, Aaron, Hannah, James, Peggy, Abby, and Charles. I wanted to do them because Ta wrote, “These people are my people too!” It has been so rewarding to make a connection with a descendant of an enslaved person I’ve written about.

I missed my deadline for my September post, but better late than never, here are the names of the 30 Honaker slaves found in The Honaker Family in America, a book edited by Frieda Patrick Davison, 1998 © The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families. Please refer to the August post in which the three generations of Henry Honaker’s were discussed.

In the section of the book on Henry Honaker (1756-1830), the three generations of this family who owned slaves are listed with a chart of slaves’ names with birth, mother, and death data. They are listed in alphabetical order. I am listing them in order of birth.

(name of owner in parenthesis)
Amy b. ca. 1785 died Feb 1857 at the age of 62
Aaron b. ca. 1800 d. Oct 1854 at the age of 54 years of dropsy
Lewis b. ca. 1833 died at the age of 24 years (abt. 1857)
Sampson b. ca. 1843 d. 7 Jun 1860 at the age of 17 years
Charles b. 26 Feb 1854 son of Agness (Henry Honaker)
Daniel b. Nov 1855 son of Dilsey (Henry Honaker)
Elizabeth b. Feb 1857 daughter of Dilsey (Henry Honaker)
Jack Jackson b. Sep 1857 son of Agness (Henry Honaker)
Lewis b. 18 Sep 1858 son of Ann (Henry Honaker Jr.)
Isaac b. 18 Dec 1858 son of Leticia (Henry Honaker)
Jane b. 28 Dec 1858 daughter of Hannah (Henry Honaker)
David b. 8 Apr 1859 son of Hannah (Henry Honaker)
Randal b. 7 July 1859 son of Hannah (Henry Honaker Jr.)
George Wash b. 7 Oct 1859 son of Annie Amy (Henry Honaker Jr.)
June Jane b. 11 Nov 1859 daughter of Agness (Henry Honaker)
Mary b. 11 Nov 1859 daughter of Dilsey (Henry Honaker)
Margaret b. 25 Nov 1859 daughter of Agness
Gus b. 7 Feb 1861 son of Ann
Sampson b. 28 Apr 1861 son of Agness
Leticia b. 6 Jun 1861 daughter of Dilsey
Floyd b. 7 Apr 1862 son of Amy d. 8 Oct 1862 at the age of 5 mos. 27 days
Jane b. 1 Jul 1862 d. 3 Oct 1862 at the age of 3 mos. 2 days of diphtheria
Anderson b. 21 Dec 1862 son of Matilda

The source of the names in the chart from the Honaker book is not given. Ta Lee wrote, “The names in the book are some the same ones in the will. Looks like some the book information came from the slave birth registry as well…..I hope this helps for the next post. I’m super excited!”

I checked Ancestry’s Pulaski County, Virginia Births, 1853-93 and was able to add the name of the owner (in parenthesis) and correct two first names. Dates given on the chart match the indexed birth records (images are not available). The years 1861-1863 are missing in the collection due to the Civil War. The deaths noted above were not found in Ancestry’s Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917.

By listing them in order of birth I discovered there may have been some mothers with the same name. Four children were born to Dilsey between 1855-1861. Agness had five children between 1854-1861, however, two children were born so close in 1859 that it is possible that there were two mothers named Agness. Note: Margaret, d/o Agness, was not found in the Pulaski births. Ann had children in 1858 and 1861. Amy had children in 1859 and 1862. Leticia had a son in 1858. Matilda had a son in 1862. Hannah had three children in 1858-1859 during a period of a little more than 6 months which suggests there may have been three mothers with the name Hannah. After adding the name of the owner, it would appear that Henry Honaker had two slaves named Hannah and Henry Honaker Jr. was the owner of the third.

Per the slave schedules prepared at the time of the census, Henry Honaker had 23 slaves in 1850 and 22 in 1860 while his nephew Henry Honaker Jr. had 6 slaves in 1850 and 10 slaves in 1860. The ages and gender of the enslaved people on the schedules need to be analyzed and compared with the names of children born between 1850-1860 and the names of slaves given in the will of Henry Honaker (1795-1863). This may give a more clear picture of the family groups similar to the a post I wrote last year during Family History Month.


True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 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 or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.



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.

15 thoughts on “Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING 30 Slaves of Pulaski County, Virginia”

  1. You’ve done such a great job on these posts. I keep wanting but working full time really gets in my way! I hope to eventually get started on some. Yours are s great inspiration and I enjoy that others were rewarded by finding their ancestors through your posts

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello: I’m writing because my ancestors lived in Pulaski VA as far back as the mid-1800’s. Possibly farther back, however I haven’t been able to ascertain more information before 1853. Their last name is Miller and in fact, my maternal grandmother and mother were both born there. When I went to Ancestry to do my research I was able to locate my grandmother, her parents and siblings in the 1910 census. They’re actually listed under the name of Milner with a footnote stating that the error is most likely due to the Census taker and legibility of their writing. Nonetheless, I’d truly like to find out more and preferably before my mother (91 yrs old per this writing) passes away. Any assistance or suggestions you can lend is greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lisa,
      Do you have a subscription for Ancestry? When you found them in 1910, did you get suggestions for other records on the right side of the census details (page where you click to see the image)? Click on each person in the household to see hints for each. Do any give you a hint to the 1900 census? Miller is a common name so it may help if one of the persons in the family had an unusual or rare name. If you have a tree on Ancestry be very careful about viewing each suggested record and attaching it to all persons it concerns. The more correct information you have for the family, the easier it can be to move back another generation. Ancestry has death records for Virginia that you should study carefully when you find and attach them to your tree. They may have information that is not included in the abstract Ancestry offers in their index. Also, as you saw in the 1910 census, the index is not always correct. Through out a net and research other family members, neighbors, associates. Distant cousins may have worked on your line and may have information you could use. Please remember that not everyone keeps their family tree information online. I hope these suggestions help with your search. Feel free to ask if you you get stuck.
      Best wishes,


      1. Hi Cathy: Thank you so much for your swift response. The information I was able to ascertain is all correct. I have names of my grandmother’s siblings and they’re all listed there with the exception of 2. In speaking with one of my cousins, she and I discussed why those 2 might not have been listed and we determined that at the time of the survey, they may not have still been living at home. My cousin also gave me the names of her siblings so when I return to ancestry I’ll do a search for her generation as well. My subscription expired in 2010 and I haven’t gone back to dig deeper. My cousin also shared that I we still have a lot of relatives there.

        Again, thank you so much and once I have a chance to reconnect on Ancestry again I’ll take into account all your suggestions and update you.

        Best regards,


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lisa, I hope that when you do get an Ancestry subscription, you will be able to move back from the 1910 to the 1900 census and then eventually to 1880 and 1870. I know it is very difficult once you get to that point to move back further if your ancestors were enslaved and not named in the 1860 and 1850 census.

        You might want to try researching on FamilySearch. The site is free, you only need to sign up with your email. They may not have all the census years for free (may direct you to Ancestry for some years) but it is a start. You can also check their catalog for records specific to Pulaski County.

        Google searches can be helpful as well. Search for Pulaski County, Virginia + genealogy or include any terms for what you are searching for (marriages etc.).

        Here are a few links that may help:,_Virginia_Genealogy (see link on this page for Freedmen’s Bureau)

        Look forward to hearing from you when you open the door in your brick wall.

        Best wishes,


  3. hello Cathy i reserching my great grandparents and from what iv learned they where on a plantaion in pulaski their name was beverly essie and marie could you give me some help with this as im running into those paid site’s and i have a but they have gone crazy with their prices

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Richard. Sorry for the delay in approving and replying to your comment. It’s a bit difficult to give advice on researching in Pulaski without a bit more information. I’m assuming you mean Pulaski County, Virginia, and since you mention a plantation, your Beverly Essie and Marie may have been enslaved persons. Is Beverly the surname or did you mean three names?
      As with all family research I’d suggest following the line you are interested from a more recent ancestor in the census beginning in 1940 and going back. Study the neighbors and any relatives included in the household. Continue back through each census to 1870. Pay close attention to any changes in the surname used by the family.
      I’ve found Nicka Smith’s BlackProGen YouTube videos at very helpful.
      If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. I may be able to point you in the right direction. Thank you for stopping by.


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