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Miles Spain (abt. 1785 - 1879)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Miles Spain
Born about in Petersburg, Virginia, United Statesmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married before [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died [location unknown]
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Categories: Free Persons of Color in Ohio | Centenarians | Servants | 1860 US Census, Champaign County, Ohio | 1870 US Census, Champaign County, Ohio | Urbana, Ohio | Oak Dale Cemetery, Urbana, Ohio.



Miles was born between 1780[1]-1800[2] in Petersburg, Virginia.

He was a servant to President Thomas Jefferson.[3]

He was the father of Civil War veteran William Spain of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first regiment in the United States to enlist men of color during that war.


  • 1860: Laborer


  • 1870: Urbana, Ohio with his (presumed) children
  • 1860: Urbana, Ohio with his wife and children


He passed away in 1879 due to old age and is buried at Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio.

Census Race

  • 1870: Black
  • 1860: Mulatto

Research Notes

Because the 1870 federal census doesn't include familial relationships, assuming Maggie and Samuel are his children for now, even though they don't appear in the 1860 census.

His obituary lists him as a servant to President Jefferson, but I'm not sure if Jefferson had any paid servants of color or if all men of color in his service were slaves. I haven't found a federal census record for him in 1850 yet, which might help clarify.


  1. 1870 census
  2. 1860 census
  3. Obituary on Find a Grave entry
  • 1850-1885 United States Mortality Schedules National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 102; Census Year: 1879; Census Place: Urbana, Champaign, Ohio
  • 1860 United States Federal Census Year: 1860; Census Place: Urbana, Champaign, Ohio; Roll: M653_942; Page: 153; Family History Library Film: 803942
  • 1870 United States Federal Census Year: 1870; Census Place: Urbana, Champaign, Ohio; Roll: M593_1179; Page: 417B; Family History Library Film: 552678
  • Find a Grave: Miles Spain

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No known carriers of Miles's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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