III. Additions to Slave Data Base as Taken from Probate Book

 

What follows are extracts from documents listed in the Index made of the Probate Records as posted on my website previously.

Additional information of value to slave history as found in these original documents is meant to supplement that already posted on my website,

 

Slave Data Base – Hancock County, MS, dated  July 24, 2014  and

New Slave Data Base – Hancock County MS, dated August 13, 2015.

 

For simplicity, those postings are called below Slave Data Base #1, and Slave Data Base #2.

 

Some of the comments refer to the earlier posts simply to state that a list of slaves in the Probate document offers no new data. In other cases, some analysis may be offered when thought proper.

 

 

 

Probate Book

          This book is entirely devoted to the minutes of the County Probate Court, covering no less than 767 pages. Records from years 1853 through 1859 are included.

 

          The earliest years covered is the same as that of Deed Books A and B, specifically 1853.  This is not by coincidence. A reader may need to know that a courthouse fire in Gainesville occurred in 1853, destroying many county records. A serious attempt was made afterwards to record both deeds and probate records from that date.

          It is clear that in the case of the deed records, many documents were re-recordings of earlier transactions, allowed by a special act of the legislature.

           This is not so for the probate records. Most of the first 300 pages of the total 767 are dated 1853.  As the next 400 pages span the years 1854 through 1859, it is evident that the average entries per year would have been much lower

 

 

Contents extracted to include particulars of slave history.

 

 

p. 20: Estate of Eulalie Casanova

FG Casanova, administrator, approved April 25, 1853

 

Court issued order of partition. Administrator was to distribute among the heirs Negroes in the estate who had been evaluated. Heirs of legal age must decide before Feb. term whether they would take slaves at stated value. He who would get more than his share would pay the surplus in money to others.  Property to remain in hands of adm until sold and all debts paid.

Distribution was as follows:

To Rosalie Marti – Isadore, a negro boy about 7      $250.

            “                  Lindore,    “        about 7             300

            “                  Julian        “        about 14           400

To Caroline Perdue – Mary, a Negro woman 16        700

To Joseph Casanova, Hannah          “             28        600

               “                 Charles, a Negro boy 5              250

                “                Hampton,        “      boy 3          200

To Louisa Elder   –        Fanny, a Negro girl 11          350

                “                Charlotte      “             9             275

To Francis Casanova,  Hampton      man 41               800

                 “                Marguerita,  woman  70             60 

 

In addition, a woman named Rachel, 42, was sold for 700, but it is not clear to whom.

 

 

p. 22: Distribution of Jesse Cowand estate

 

June 27, 1853

Negro Jim sold to Trudeau for           $755

Rosetta, woman       “                           425

Maria, girl, sold to Jane Atkin             320

Robert, man,    “     John Petit             955

Collins, boy        “     EF Russ             225

William, man     “     R Trudeau        1125

Windsor,     “      “    EF Russ (guardian)

                                                           1090

Marthy, girl      “            “                    590

Jack, man         “             “                   445

Sarah, girl and 3 children, to

                               B/ Bourgeois      1710

Daniel, man, sold to A Cowand        1520

Eliza, woman and 3 children,

        sold to James McArthur             1300

 

Next was a mule for $75, then horses, cattle, oxen, wagon,, pleasure boat, sweet potatoes, ham, etc.

 

 

 

 

p. ?   Estate of Amelia Russ

 

November 29, 1851

Court has ordered sale of slaves.

Bob sold to John Russ                         $770

Zilpha to FR Witten                               415

Edingborough to Mrs. A Mead              430

Sam to EF Russ                                      700

Coco to SE Russ                                     660

 

 

p. 64: Inventory of estate of Andrew Seal

Includes no slaves.

 

p. 67: Will of Mary Butler – 1844

 

Will leaves $500 to each granddaughter, children of son James Butler, namely Jane Amanda Scott and Mary Ann Ward to be paid in 4 years, to purchase young Negro woman.

Also, to granddaughter, Mary Agnes Daniell, five Negroes as follows:

Maria, Judy and 2 children Lucy and Moses and their future increase.

Also, to granddaughter Sarah Hamlin Pray, Negro girl named Harriot.

To my granddaughter Mentoria [?] Amanda Daniell one Negro girl named Adel.

To granddaughter Anna Daniell one Negro girl named – nill.

              “              Mary Susan Daniell    “                     Lanco.

              “              Eugenia Amelia Stansbury two young Negroes named John and Lavinia.

“All their increase” was mentioned in the case of all female slaves above.

To my grandson James Butler Daniell, $600.

Any other slaves to remain in the undistributed possession of my son in law Lewis Daniell.

 

There follows a list of the good, chattels, and personal estate including slaves and with the value of each.

 

 These are already found in Slave Data Base 1.

 

Worthy of mention is the wording at top of list: “Names of each article.”

 

p. 77: Will of Antoine Bayard

 

Leaves to wife Dargine four slaves: Hounnoute 13, Nanette 13, Louise 13, and a mulatto boy Jean 14.

Inventory is listed including same 16 slaves found in Data Base 1, with their values. Also, one other heads the list, that being Polomie, age 36.

Results of sale of Dec 1849:

Fine and Joe sold to John Dedeaux.

Benoit and Mary Anne and her child Adele sold to Joseph Bosetto.

Polomie and children Henry and Philip sold to Auguste Lafitte.

Touche sold to Joseph Lizanna.

Mimi and Helene sold to Antoine Bayard, Jr.

Etienne to Pierre Saucier.

 

 

p. 98: Estate of DF Guex

 

p. 107: Appointment of guardian of minor heirs of James Farr

Feb 1849

Mother of children has intermarried, with one Redding Bird.

Up to now, court seems to have ordered that labor of certain slaves would support the education and care of the children. Now, they have made application for letters of guardianship and wish to remove prior guardian. They charge that he had taken possession of twelve slaves, to wit: Lucy, Darcas and child, Charlotte, Hagar and her two children, David, Bet, Edmund a boy, Jerry a boy, Martha, Jess a man, Manuel, Elijah.

Redding Bird and wife acknowledge that they have received this and other property.

 

 

Unlike most inventories, in this case a long list of possessions precedes the list of slave. List follows:

Negro woman, Hagar – $330.25

William  – $1100

Gilbert   –  $1100

Woman and child, Rachael and Isadore   – 900

Woman and child, Rose and Monday   –  900

Boy Edmund   – 750

They (petitioner or heirs?) were desirous of a division of slaves and that they are incapable of a division in kind. Petitioners allege that a sale will be absolutely necessary as a preliminary step to distribution.

 

 

p. 122: Inventory of estate of Calvin Merrill

Inventory contains list of possessions, promissory notes, etc., and includes item “One negro man named Parker” worth $700

 

 

p. 134: Estate of Carlos Lesassier

Inventory is small list of possessions of little value; no slaves.

 

p. 135: Estate of Eulalie Casanova

Slave to be sold for purpose of paying off debts. Heirs deem it more advantageous to our joint interest that the said Negro woman Rachel be sold at private sale for the value set upon her. Attorney to deliver and ordinary Bill of Sale with the usual warranty.

 

 

p. 201: Estate of Henry Jarrell

Long list of possessions and values includes slaves as follows:

Hagar   – $550

William   – 1100

Gilbert   – 1100

Rachel and Isadore   –  900

Rose and Monday –  900

Edmund, a boy  – 750

 

Jarrell is said to have died intestate, possessed of personal property of an unproductive and perishable nature. All persons interested would be benefited by a sale therof.

Decedent died leaving the following slaves for life:

Hagar

William\

Gilbert – Negro woman and her child Isadore

Rose and child Monday

Boy, Edmond

Because of number of heirs and of slaves, administrators are desirous of a division and they are incapable of a division in kind.

Heirs listed, including infant, Rodney Clark.

 

 

 

p. 222: Guardianship of heirs of Doby, Sam White administrator

[NB: Slaves sold for high amounts.]

 

Large number of bidders at auction. Sale as follows:

Slave Paul to Wm. Poitevent   –               $1130

Washington         “                     –               1355

Madaline and children Mary Ann and Rose to

            EF Russ        –                                 1710

 

Terissa and child Octavine to O. Favre  –   1335

 

 

 

p. 233: Estate of Antoine Bayard – 1849. Includes will. Info repeat of earlier report. Slave list same as that in Data Base 1.

Value of each slave given.

 

 

 

p. 265: Estate of Matilda Fayard

Small estate, including one slave. Administrator advised to recover possession of Negro slave.

 

 

 

p. 287: Appraisal of assets of Cadet Lafontaine; includes ½ of Schooner Southern

July 30, 1852

Includes:

Charles, a Negro man 20   –         $600

Peter           “                 19              600

Caroline and two children, James and Henry   –    800

 

p. 326: Estate of John William Gause. Mentions Wootan and Carroll plantations; Wootan said to be an old Gause plantation.

 

October 23, 1854

Sale took place at Green J. Wootan’s place, bid by Redding Byrd for land known as Wootan’s Plantation.

 

p. 363: Inventory of estate of Alfred A. Farr

 

Feb 27, 1854

360 acres on Pearl River

 

Data base 1 contains lists of slaves, some – but not all – overlapping with this one, which is as follows:

Jesse, dark complexion, 38

Manuel, 27

Jesey, about 17

Edmond 13

Elijah 12

David 5

Lucey, woman about 50

Dearcos, a yellow woman about 36

Hagar, about 33

Martha, a girl about 15

Charlotte        “          5

Betsy               “         1

 

p. 364: Estate of Elisha Benjamin

 

p. 367: Inventory of estate of Ann E. William, Louisa and Gertrude Mitchell, infant, heirs of James Mitchell; property now in hands of undersigned guardian, Sarah Mitchell

 

August 21, 1855

Negro man Jack, 55              $300

Ben 30                                   1000

Sam 25                                  1000

Judy 45                                    300

Sylvy 23                                  800

Maria 12                                  600

Alpha 6                                    400

Lewis 3                                    250

Richmond 1 ½                         200

Phillis  60                                 000

 

 

 

p. 368: Estate of James Mitchell

 

August 21, 1855

Personal estate divided into five parts, as Schedule B, and includes same list as above.

 

 

p. 389:  Estate of Matthew Landrum

Jan 24, 1854

Inventory of Landrum, late of Jones County:

Negro woman and infant Catherine           $1000

Boy Tom,                                                      600

Girl Pink                                                        500

Boy Joe                                                          350

 

There were seven heirs to the above, said to be “incapable of petition.”[sic]  Apparently meaning partition.

Heirs may appear at court to show cause if against sale.

 

p. 409:  Will of Marceline McArthur

 

Will allows children Solomon, Elizabeth and Thomas to choose own guardian.  Youngest is son Lott, 14, for whom testator named Charles Frazar as guardian.

 

Will directs that slave Piere shall be hired out from year to year until Lott is of age. Proceeds to be used for support, schooling, clothing for all children. Slave not to be hired out of county and not on water craft.

Also, woman slave Cendrella and two children and increase shall remain in the family.

 

p. 444: Estate of Genarve Nicaise

 

 

p. 450: Guardianship of heirs of PRR Pray

Oct 23, 1855

Inventory lists lands before slaves, perhaps because value higher for the lands. Slave list and values same as on Slave Data base 1.

 

 

p. 457 Appraisal of assets of John E. Jones

 

October 1855

List and values are same as shown in Data Base 1, but something unusual is in the inventory document. It shows a division of the slaves by bracketing them off into two families. The presumed reason was that it was desired that when sold, members of the families would not be separated.

Family 1: Maria, Richmond, Charles, Caroline.

Family 2: Jane, Minerva, Julia.

 

p. 459: Estate of Samuel J. Peters

 

February 1855

Peters was a wealthy man who lived principally at Buena Vista in the Bouligny area upriver from New Orleans. These documents were included in Hancock County because he owned property in that county too.

The multi-page, complicated will mentions the value of the Hancock County property as $8000.

Several “servants” are listed, but without any connection to Mississippi. They were William, Thisdon, Lucy, Nancy and Rosalie; after William’s name is the wording, “given him his freedom.”

The will includes the following: To my faithful servant William Stewart bought by me in 1830 of TB Printel and Thomas Cookney by act before William Boswell not. pub. I will and bequeath his freedom and it is my desire that my executor do without unnecessary delay all that may be needed to emancipate him with privilege to remain in Louisiana. 

Several deeds relating to the Mississippi property can be found on line in Deed Books A and B.

 

 

 

p. 484:  Estate of John James

February 1856

 

Following are sales of same list as shown on Data Base 1, probably as appraisements; values of sales slightly different.  Values are for families, indicating they were sold in groups.

Negro man Cipio sold to Buy & Screws [?]                     $326

Woman Jane and 2 children                                               1545

         “    Maria and 3 children                                            1825

 

 

p. 510:  Estate of Genave [sic] Nicaise

 

October 1855

Same slave list can be found in Data Base 1, but it is notable that values are substantially lower in the appraisement shown in this document. Jim is valued at $500; Gustave at 800; Paul at 800.

 

What is noteworthy in this document is the fact that two of the three appraisers signed their oath with their marks. The editor believes he has seen similar occasions, and this may not prove to be very unusual.  It is an indication of just how illiterate some of the citizenry may have been, as the job of appraiser of an estate seems to have been a very responsible one to which responsible parties would be appointed. 

 

Indeed, the judge’s written charge was very specific:  “This is to authorize you jointly to appraise the goods, chattels and personal estate of Genevive Nicaise…so far as they shall come to your sight and knowledge…a certificate of lwhereof you are to return, annexted [sic] to an Inventory … in dollars and cents, and the said Inventory you are to set down in a column or columns opposite to each articles, the value thereof.”

 

 

p. 513:  Estate of Joaquin Robira

 

August 1855

Robira does not appear in either Data Base 1 or 2; therefore, the list here is a new addition to data base.

Inventory includes:

Negro woman Dorothie age 34                     $500

Mulatto woman Harriet 41                              750

Negro girl Antoinette 7                                    250

Mulatto girl Louise  14                                    800

Negro woman Susan  28                                  450

Mulatto man Thomas 37 sickly                       150

 

 

p. 525: Settlement of estate William C. Mackie

 

June 1856

Mackie estate does not seem to be covered in either Slave Data base 1 or 2; therefore, list that follows is new addition to data bases.

 

Pinckney, a negro boy 14                      $900

Thom         “      10                                  500

James, a negro man  28                         1000

Harriet girl 3                                            300

Susaney, negro woman  28                      400

 

Petition of Wm Poitevent, administrator, “shows that the debts due and owing by said intestate…cannot be paid, other than a sale of said slaves there being no money or other assets.”

 

This petition appears in some other estates, using very similar language. It is this editor’s observation that the courts may have been lenient to such requests, perhaps for good reason. After all, it may be difficult to divide in equal shares a few slaves to beneficiaries numbering more than a few, especially when the slaves have vastly different values.

 

Still, it may be worth further study, as it occurs to this editor that sales may not always have been best for either the family members or the slaves. Regardless of the morality of slavery, it is known that there were case where slave and master were devoted to each other.

 

 

p. 536:  Mackie (continued)

June 1856

 

Account of Sales

Negro man Jim 28 to S. G. Randall                                        $1350

      “         Pickney  Mulatto boy 15 to TA Mitchell                 1176

      “          Tom a boy 10 to Thomas Leonard, Sr.                     650

Lenancy and her child Hariet age 45 and 3

                                                 to  Thomas Leonard, Sr.            910

 

 

p. 563:   Bazile Ladner, Sen.

August 1856

 

NB: This is new info, not found in Data Base 1 or 2.

 

Like a similar case above, two of the three appraisers sign with the letter X. A difference here, however, is the usual wording “his mark” does not follow the letter. Still, it would appear that these appraisers are not literate.

 

Inventory includes:

Negro man Pierre  24                                                           $900

Negress Maroute  22                                                            1000

Negro girl Victoire 9                                                              450

Negro girl Margueritte  7                                                        400

 

NB: If above ages are correct and if one presumes this is a family, Maroute would have been 13 when Victoire was born.

 

 

p. 590: Estate of John Russ

 

This inventory is essentially the same as that found in Data Base 1.

 

 

p. 594: Petition for sale of John Russ estate, made by Administratrix Susan Russ

 

Petition if for sale of perishable items, including cattle, oxen, sheep, carts, wagons, and other personal estate. Even though the wording does not include slaves, it is possible that they are included as other personal estate. In point of fact, they are the lead items in the “inventory and appraisement of the goods and chattels and persona belonging to the estate,” and are given values.

Petition states that all those interested in the distribution … will be benefited by an immediate sale thereof.

 

Editor should see p. 595 ff to see if judge granted petition.

 

 

p. 595:  Petition of Delilah Farr

 

On Data Base 1 there are multiple listings under Farr, and may duplicate the ones in this listing. The list below gives some specifics – like age  – that may not be in Data Base.

 

In part three of the will, is the reading,  “I give and devise to my nephew Alfred Farr and unto his heirs the following named Negros, to wit:”

Silvia 41

Sarah 21

Charles 3

Mary 19

Bob 21

Emiline 16

Malinda 6months

Hannah 14

Amanda 11

Lavinia 8

Ben 25

Mack 15

Joshua 15

 

Part seven of the will includes the following:

“I give and devise in trust, unto Alfred Farr and Farr Proctor, as my executors, hereinafter appointed for Alfred A. Farr, and Margaret D. Farr, minor heirs of James Farr, deceased, the following named Negros as severally named to wit:”

Elijah 40

Miller 19

Hagar 14

Frank 11

Orange 10

Mila 8

Rachel 2

Green 5 months

Clarissa 2

 

Part seven continues: “I do expressly direct, that the negroes as named and devised under trust in this clause to Alfred A. Farr and Margaret D. Farr remain after my death in the possessions of my executor.”

 

 

p. 634:  Will of Florentine Netto

September 1857

 

Part the second reads as follow:  “I give and bequeath to my unfortunate son Pierre Netto (who is at this time unsound of mind and body) my slave named John, a slave for life, aged about 32 years for and during his natural life , the said slave John being my separate property by inheritance from my father’s estate.

 

Part the third provides that after death of Pierre, slave John must be sold and the proceeds be equally divided among children of testator.

 

Florentine Netto signed with her mark, after specifically stating, “I have hereinto set my hand and seal by my usual mark not knowing how to write …”

 

p. 696:  Estate of Delilah Farr

 

Inventory and appraisement of goods and chattels repeats names found in Slave Data Base #1. Although the following may be substantially duplicative of names, the list is offered here in its entirely because the values are so much higher than given previously.

 

Also, there are at least a couple of additions, one being Emilene, with two children, and the other Milly and two children. Latter appears to be a different Milly and not the one on Data Base #1 as the name of her child is different.

 

The list follows:

Silvy                                                                  $  500

Ben                                                                      1500

Joshua, a boy                                                       1200

Sarah and child Charles                                       1300

Mary and child Bob                                             1300

Emilene and children Anna and Melinda            1600

Hannah a girl                                                         700

Vina, a girl                                                             750

Amanda, a girl                                                     1100

Milly and children Clarissa and John                  1600

Mack, a boy                                                           500

Hagar, a girl                                                         1200

Frank, a boy                                                           750

Orange, a boy                                                        850

Amelia, a girl                                                         650

Rachel, a girl                                                         300

Green, a boy                                                          200

 

 

p. 764:  Estate of John Russ

 

Estate divided into four shares, naming particular heirs to be willed certain slaves, as follows:

 

Lot 1: To Evander Russ

Phillips                        $1000

Emeline and child          850

Steve                              1000

 

Lot 2:  To Julia Russ

John                                 700

Sarah                              1000

George                             375

Bella                                700

 

Lot 3:  to Charles Russ

Dick                               1400

Tom                                 500

Mary                                500

Scye                                 650

 

Lot 4:  To Susan A. Johnson

Robb                              1000

Zene                                 850

Ann                                  800

Louis                                300