Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Hannah

An autosomal DNA match with a distant cousin with the surname Landrum in their family tree had me looking into the parentage and ancestors of my 4th great-grandmother Margaret “Patsy” Landrum who married William Dempsey in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799.

Patsy was the orphan daughter of James Landrum who was mentioned in the will of his mother Elizabeth Landrum in 1755.1

Elizabeth Landrum’s last will and testament was written on 22 October 1755 and presented to be recorded on 18 November 1755. The executors/administrators’ bond followed the will and was dated 18 November 1755. A condition of the bond was the inventory and appraisal of the estate. The inventory ordered on 18 November 1755 was recorded on 16 December 1755.

1755 Appraisal and Inventory of the Estate of Elizabeth Landrum of St. Anne’s Parish in Essex County, Virginia

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 1)

The inventory included one Negro woman called Hannah and valued at £20.2

Inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum (part 2)

Hannah, the enslaved woman mentioned in this inventory, was not mentioned in the estate of Samuel Landrum who predeceased his wife Elizabeth in 1750. He did not leave a will and his wife was the administratrix of his estate.3 An appraisement and inventory of the estate was duly recorded and did not include any enslaved persons. One-third of the estate was allotted to the widow.4

Samuel Landrum predeceased his mother Mary Landrum who wrote a will after his death in which she mentioned his being deceased.5 Neither the will nor the inventory ordered to be made included slaves.6

Samuel’s father James Landrum died about 1739 leaving a last will and testament which included the names of two enslaved persons. Their names were shared in Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth.

Samuel did not receive a slave from his father which makes me believe Hannah may have been acquired by Elizabeth after the death of her husband  Samuel. Another possibility being that Elizabeth inherited Hannah from her parents. Unfortunately, at this time, the maiden name and parentage of Elizabeth Landrum are not known.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather 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 (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images),, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 77, image 473 of 519. Last will and testament of Elizabeth Landrum dated 22 October 1755, presented and recorded on 18 November 1755. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  2. Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 81 and 82, images 475 and 476 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Elizabeth Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  3.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, page 385, image 215 of 519. Administrators’ Bond for the estate of Samuel Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  4.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 8-10, 1747-1757, pages 397-399, images 221-222 of 519. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Samuel Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  5.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, page 310, image 315 of 539. Last will and testament of Mary Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., Essex Will Books, Vol 9-10, 1750-1756, 1760-1761, pages 322-323, images 327-328 of 539. Appraisal and inventory of the estate of Mary Landrum. ( : accessed 25 March 2018). 

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.

12 thoughts on “Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Hannah”

  1. Hi Cathy,
    One of these days, I’m going to dig into your William Dempsey, as I know he has been a brick wall for you. Great post by the way. I’m sorry I’ve been off the grid, but taking care of my sick wife. She’s doing better, just a pretty serious cold. I’m also working on a family tree for a friend’s brother-in-law. Found a great website in the process……totally free to build your tree, very cool tools, just a limit on media storage, 1 GB, but other than that very cool. Check it out. Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear your wife has been ill and glad to know she is doing better.

      I have heard of this new site but have not spent much time looking at it. They contacted me, wanting to use one of my posts. I was not comfortable with the way they use the entire post. I would rather have had my post reblogged (first few sentences with a link to my blog for the entire article). I kindly declined clearly stating my reasons after talking to several other bloggers. At the time I had only looked at the part of their website where they wanted to use my post and not the rest. Thank you, Brian.


  2. Cathy, I like to think that we are all doing a service to the community as a whole with our research and our blogs. But what you are doing with your recording the history of the enslaved goes above and beyond what most of us are doing. Thank you for doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luanne, the positive resonance to these posts motivates me to continue. Often I don’t find an ancestor who was a slaveholder and have to search out a relative or neighbor. When I do find a record, like this one, I try to continue the search as far as possible. I find it a nice change from ongoing research and it pushes me to improve my skills. Thank you and you’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Cathy!
    I’ve been appreciating and enjoying reading all of the information you’ve shared about James Sims (although a few times throughout reading I saw his last named spelled SIMMS), his family and his slaves. My cousin and I have been trying to find out more about the Sims’ side of our family. If I’m not mistaken, he got as far as finding out our ancestors once lived in Virginia (sometime between the 1700s and 1800s as slaves, I’m sure), but couldn’t nail down exactly where. Will you please share some ideas with us that will help us in finding out more about that side of our family? Thanks in advance!
    Octavia Thomas, Ph.D., Ed.S., M.Ed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Octavia,
      The spelling of the SIMS name with double M’s, SIMMS, came about sometime between 1880 and 1900. Some went by one spelling while others went by the other. I don’t believe in using the same spelling through the generations when the spelling changed. This can cause problems especially when siblings used different spellings.
      I’ll send you an email with some ideas.
      Best wishes,


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