The online repository known as ‘Our Black Ancestry‘ (OBA) has placed a large collection of records that provides the names of people who held slaves in mid-1800s in America. The site has tabs at the top broken down into categories.

There are ‘Slaveholders by Surname’, ‘Slaveholders by County’, then ‘Shared Legacies’. To assist with further research the site also have ‘Resources – Research Link’ providing five other sites to help in the search.

Using the ‘Slaveholders by Surname’ tab, the alphabetical letters A to Z for the different surnames of those who owned slaves, in the Southern states. Based on the 1860 Federal Slaveholder Census there were 393,975 slaveholders with a total of 3,950,546 people in bondage. The OBA database has right now 11,020 individual slaveholder names, representing a total of 792,219 slaves in 158 counties in 10 states. When you select a letter there will be a long list of name and then locations. Just for the similar spelling of ‘Edmond’ there is EDMOND, in Jackson Co., AR; EDMONDS, in Halifax Co., NC; EDMONDS, in Noxubee Co., MS; EDMONDSTON, in Halifax Co., NC; and EDMONSON, in Marshall Co., MS. So there may be several to check out.

Using the ‘Slaveholders by County’ tab, this list is not as complete with all the counties available but for the places they do have all slaveholders in a certain location in 1860 are listed. Several of these have the county and state name, the slaveholder’s full name and how many slaves they owned.

Under ‘Shared Legacies’ there are some 34 individual family surnames on the left side from which to select. Each provide a little background to the surname and various spellings used over the years. If there is a family web site the link is provided. This list of family names is growing and should be checked every few months.

This site don’t provide all the answers to your family heritage, but it just might be a start – whether an ancestor was a former slave or a slaveholder.

Photo: From the Blue Ridge Mts. – a slaveholder and family with their one slave.

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