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Has your family research led you to an African-American ancestor in Liberty County, Georgia…maybe on the 1870 federal census? If it has, you may have discovered two obstacles to extending your research farther back in time: 1) lack of surnames before Emancipation, and 2) missing African-American names in summaries of early records.
This site is intended to fill that second gap. It has summaries or transcripts of almost all Liberty County wills that name enslaved people from 1790 through the end of the Civil War, as well as links to images of the complete wills on FamilySearch.org (and sometimes also Ancestry.com). More than 160 wills naming over 1220 enslaved people have been added.
A second project is adding estate inventories/appraisals, and divisions from the same period that name enslaved people. The information in these documents can be used to place an enslaved person with a particular slaveowner at a particular time, make an educated guess about the age and health of the enslaved person through the value assessed him or her, and guess at family relationships. Used in conjunction with the wills, these are powerful tools for following an enslaved family back through time. As of October 1, 2018, more than 50 estate inventories containing the names of more than 1200 enslaved people have been added.
The summaries of the wills from 1790-1823 were done by Judge Folks Huxford and published in the 1964 editions of the Georgia Genealogical Magazine. For the most part, he did not include the names of enslaved persons. That addition, the summaries/transcripts of the wills past 1823, and the transcripts of the names in the estate inventories are my original work.
Some of the names are difficult to read or might be spelled differently in other records, so I include possible variants to aid in searches.
I have also adopted the Liberty County site on the Genealogy Trails website for records that do not name enslaved persons (plus the ones that do). I have indexes there for the estate inventories from 1790-1823 and 1824-1848, and also summaries of wills that do not name enslaved persons. http://genealogytrails.com/geo/liberty/index.htm.
Please do contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you see a mistake here! I welcome feedback. I have also gone extensively through the Liberty County probate documents digitized online at FamilySearch.org and am happy to help with any look-up requests.