Slave Schedules

+4 votes
Is anyone familiar with slave schedules? I am interested in them because I have uncovered several ancestors who I believe were born into slavery? If anyone is familiar with or has viewed any of them please let me know of any free resources or sites where it is possible to view them.
in Genealogy Help by Trent Witcher G2G1 (1.8k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

The 1850 US Slave Schedule is available online at FamilySearch (free service). The 1860 US Slave Schedule can be found at Ancestry (membership).

by Steve Harris G2G6 Pilot (431k points)
selected by Trent Witcher

The 1860 Slave Schedule is also available at FamilySearch:  Looks like a relatively recent addition, dated 16 October 2019.

+4 votes

I do not have any black ancestry, but some of my DNA matches do, and I have spent considerable time trying to figure out how I am related to them.

I think you will be disappointed if you start out by trying to search slave schedules.  As I recall, they often only list the gender and age of slaves, not their names.

What I suggest is that you try to trace your known ancestors back step by step.  Investigate every record.  When you get back to pre-Emancipation, you will need something to go on.

If you haven't pursued all your DNA matches, that could yield something.

As for people being marked mulatto or black on the census, in my experience it is not reliable (a clue, though) and one person may have many different racial identities over his lifetime.

WikiTree has some resources for researching slave ancestors.  You might start with this:

I hope someone more knowledgeable will come along and see this thread.  Meanwhile, if I can help, please send me a private message and I will see what else I can dig up.  it's been a while since I worked on these issues.
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (313k points)
I'll just add that while it may appear most likely that my relationship(s) with my match(es) are due to slave-owning fathers and slave mothers, that is not the only possible explanation.  My closest black (or part-black) DNA match that I know of is descended from many generations of free black Louisiana Creoles, free long before the Civil War.  I never could find a slave connection.  It was a real eye-opener for me.

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