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.
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:
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.