It all started with finding out about Martha, the 14 year old black child who was “deeded” over to Mary Jane Kellum McCrary from her father Thomas R. Kellum. See past post here. This had me digging into additional records to find out what other slaves Irvin and Mary Jane McCrary owned. It has become a major research project that I am still in the middle of, but I wanted to share the process thus far.
From the 1849 and 1850 tax assessments, I determined that the Irvin McCrary family owned no slaves, but by 1854 they owned Martha (perhaps others?) and then by the 1860 Slave Schedule they owned 12 people. But no names and then the Civil War happens and I lose them.
But wait, there is another clue. Just how did they get so many slaves in such a short time? Well, I believe they may have inherited some of them from Irvin’s father Matthew who died in 1855. And in these records for Matthew there are names for the slaves he owned.
This is the 1848 tax assessment for Matthew McCrary:
The 1849 tax assessment for Matthew McCrary:
The 1850 Slave Schedule for Matthew McCrary:
The probate document listing all the slaves that Matthew McCrary owned at his death:
So what does this mean? I created a table trying to see who these people were, what were their names were and when were they born. It’s not perfect and I am guessing that that the slave schedule and tax records were about as accurate about age as the U.S. census records were!
My next task is to try to find these people in the 1870 census records and the Freedmen’s Bureau records which are not all indexed. I might just have to join the Freedmen’s Bureau Project to help this along…anyone want to join me? If anyone else has ideas on other records I might look at, I would love suggestions.