African American Probate Records

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The most important resource an African American Researcher needs is slave schedules for the county they are researching. If anyone has transcribed slave schedules, or would like to...please let me know. There are some online... but many more are needed. Free People of Color had to be registered.. you would only find these records at the courthouse or on microfilm somewhere. Here's a link to my website for Slave Schedules and other resources:

For the most part, besides being counted as chattel on tax, land deed, and slave schedules, African Americans were not counted as people until the 1870 census. Other records of interest would be church records, which notes people of color being allowed or dispelled from the church, etc., but they are not always given a surname. Sometimes they are noted by their first name and "as belonging to "X" slaveowner." Therefore, African American researchers are very dependent upon getting information from the slaveowning family's documentation.

Resources for Marriage, Census, and Cemetery Data

The following site provides an example of what Church Records can show:


Public Auction notices for slaves can be found in probate records:

Many people in conducting research in their families run across slave related information. It is both painful, embarrassing and confusing all at once. It is my hope that when anyone runs across Missouri slave-related data that they would post it to my website at:

Missouri State Archives

Roll-by-roll listing County Record on microfilm by county:

Description of Records on Film

For African American Researchers; the items below are of interest. If a family owned slaves, records of purchase, sale, rent, mortgage, gift, lawsuits, etc., can be found under the various listings related to probate. Of particular interests are books and other resources that transcribe or are abstracts of Wills, Administrations, and Probate. The following websites are helpful.



Land Deed Records

Final Settlement and Inventory Records

These records show the final disposition of an estate, including who the slaves in the family were sold to or given to and for how much. Land Deed records are equally important. Tax records will note how many slaves a person owned.

External Links