How to read a slave schedule

+4 votes
Telitha Vannoy Thatcher is listed as a slave owner of 3, if I am reading this correctly.  Her brother Peter, right above her, owns 1.  Am I reading it correctly because it lists her color as B(lack)
and the slaves under her are also B.  Also, some of the slaves are listed as a letter that looks like a w.  Any suggestions as what it is?  w(hite)????
WikiTree profile: Telitha Thatcher
in The Tree House by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (401k points)

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer

For others who want to look at this, the record is at

These slave schedules do not enumerate the owners - so the first line with Telitha's name refers not to Telitha herself, but the first of her four (not three) slaves.

The B stands for "black", the other letter is an "M" that stands for "mulatto" (i.e., mixed race).

by Living Geschwind G2G6 Mach 8 (83.9k points)
selected by Carol Wilder
The line for Peter Vannoy, Talitha's brother, lists a 14 year old female slave.  How do I interpret that entrance?
That entry merely states that, as of 1850, Peter Vannoy owned a 14-year old black female as his only slave. Meanwhile Telitha owned a 30-year old black female, a 17-year old black female, a 2-year old black male, and a 1-year old mulatto female.
Thank you.  I finally got it straight.  The Vannoy family must
have been quite involved in using slaves.  I found a Jane
Tinsley, who probably is the one who married into the family,
and two Tinsley men who lived in the same immediate area,
owned many more slaves.  But we have to remember it was an accepted way of life in the 1850s.
+4 votes
C-H Geshwind is correct. While it looks like a 'w' it is actually an 'm' for mulatto. Mulattos were still considered Black and enslaved in these schedules. Their fathers were likely owners, sons, male relatives, or overseers of the owners.
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (729k points)
I had considered the letter being an M for mulatto but I didn't know if that term was used in slave designations.  I assumed
they were all listed as black given the restrictions on persons
who later were still considered black when they were as far as octroons or more.
I never heard the word octroon.

I think it is Octoroon (1/8th black).

Melanie is correct Octoroon is 1/8th black; quadroon is 1/4 black; and hexadecaroon is 1/16th black.  I see these terms used more in records from Louisianna.
Thank you Melanie.
+4 votes
Hello All,

I provided a number of links in an Answer here last night for anyone interested in doing genealogical research with slave schedules, etc. Much of the information was drawn from a genealogy course I took with Boston University. I do not see it here now. There were a number of very useful URLs.

Does anyone know what occurred with the Answer I posted last night? Let me know if anyone is interested (or not) and I will repost the links. Thank you!
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (729k points)

Related questions

+5 votes
1 answer
+3 votes
4 answers
+7 votes
1 answer
+2 votes
2 answers
123 views asked Oct 13, 2021 in Genealogy Help by Linda Crannell G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)
+2 votes
1 answer
+19 votes
2 answers
305 views asked Feb 23, 2020 in The Tree House by Sarah Callis G2G6 Pilot (116k points)

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright