Monday, April 13, 2015

The Slaves of John Nelson Sr. of Fauquier County, Virginia

Schalene Dagutis of Tangled Roots and Trees has initiated a new genealogy project: The Slave Name Roll Project.  It provides a way for genealogists to trace their enslaved ancestors.  By digitizing and recording information about ancestors who owned slaves, others can piece together their ancestor's lost stories.

John Nelson Sr. was born around 1725 in Fauquier County, Virginia.  On December 7, 1745, he married Sarah Whitson at Overwharton Parish in Stafford County, Virginia.  John Nelson died at the age of 59 in Fauquier County.  A transcription of his will, dated August 9, 1784, follows.

1787 Map of Fauquier County, Virginia.  Elk Run is highlighted.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kell/mom/groves/1787_fauquier_co_va_map_.jpg
Will of John Nelson 
Fauquier County, Virginia, dated August 9 1784 [Abstract of record].
John Nelson, Sen'r of Elk Run in Fauquier County, being aged and infirm but of a sound mind and disposing memory. 
Sons: Jesse and John Nelson--my tract of land on Dry Run in Shanado [Shenandoah] County to be equally divided between the said Jesse and John. 
Wife: Sarah -- have the use of the plantation and tract of land whereon I now live together with the slaves and stock of all kinds and household furniture thereon during her natural life, provided that as any of my children, namely Jesse, William, Margaret, Jemima, Lettice and Sarah Nelson (who are now single) do marry that each of them shall have four head of neats cattle, a feather bed and furniture and two ewes -- if my daus. Margaret, Jemima, Lettice or Sarah Nelson or any of my said four daughters should remain single till the death of their mother, . . . that the hire or labor of my two slaves, George and Daphne, shall be appropriated to the support and use of all or any my aforementioned four daughters while they remain single after the death of their mother. 
Son: William -- set of Smith's tools, a young sorrel mare, now in his possession -- (after the death of his mother) the plantation whereon I now live --Negro boy named Lymas. . . . at the death of my wife, the whole of my personal or moveable estate (excepting my two slaves George and Daphne)-- shall be equally divided between my children Jesse, John and William Nelson, Lidia Morehead, Nanny Fishback, Mary Rector, Margaret Nelson, Jemima Nelson, Lettice Nelson and Sarah Nelson or the survivor of them. 

Signed: John (his X mark) Nelson, Sen'r. 
Wit. Jno. Matthews, James Gillison, James Blackwell, Thos. Helm, Joseph
 George, John Thomas

8 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! I've added the link.

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  2. My great, great grandfather, Rev. John Lemon Nelson, was born in Virginia in abt 1831. Is it possible that he was a slave on this plantation? Diane Nelson dianetrotter@gmail.com

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  3. Thank you for this information, My great great grandmother Easter Nelson's will listed a JOhn Nelson as her father. SHe was a mulatto and we have no siblings, or parents known for her. I have been looking for this will and hope it will contain some clues. I think I will need the inventory though because I only see three slaves named and I am sure he had more. Thank you

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  4. Thank you for this information, I have been looking for this will. My cousin found it on this blog. My great great grandmother was Easter Nelson of Fauquier and Rappahannock counties VA. A John Nelson was listed on her death certificate. We have never been able to find any siblings or parents for her. It is possible that John Nelson (father or son) was her father and her mother one of his slaves. She is listed as mulatto on census records and we have her picture as well. I guess I need to access John Nelson's inventory because only three slaves are mentioned here. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Glad this helped you. Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Ruth, I'm just now getting back to this page. I'm sorry. Patsey Nelson, her son John, and other children are in the 1850 Alexandria, Virginia Census. I don't know if I will remember to check back. My gedmatch ID is A38961. Uncle Luther is T508433. My email is included on gedmatch.

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  6. Ruth, I'm just now getting back to this page. I'm sorry. Patsey Nelson, her son John, and other children are in the 1850 Alexandria, Virginia Census. I don't know if I will remember to check back. My gedmatch ID is A38961. Uncle Luther is T508433. My email is included on gedmatch.

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  7. Thank you for the additional info. I still need to go to Richmond and view the inventory of the estate for other slave and I'll check the 1850 census.

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