Slave Owner’s Family Bible Documents Slave Births During the 1700s

Blow Family Bible

Blow Family Bible

Slave owners kept detailed records of their slaves’ births, and deaths, and purchases; although many of them have not survived.  They often recorded these events in their family bibles along with information on their own families.

The 1715 Blow family bible records the births of slaves owned by the Blows of Sussex, and Southampton counties in Virginia.  Nineteen births of four mothers are recorded from 1737 to 1763 spanning three generations.  This is a goldmine of information for African American research.  Descendants of these slaves can be found searching other records in the Blow Family Papers in the Swem Library in Virginia.

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17 Responses to “Slave Owner’s Family Bible Documents Slave Births During the 1700s”

  1. Brandon R,Wilson says:

    My last name is Jones Looking for Slave Plantation to that surname

  2. John Baker says:

    The first place to start looking would be the area where your family lived and any white families with the same surname. Also note that all slaves did not live on large plantations. Many slave owners held three to five slaves. A small number of slave owners held hundreds of slaves. I wish you much success with your quest.


  3. After reading this post about Slave Owner’s Family Bible Documents Slave Births During the 1700s « The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom, I am not sure I understand what you are trying to relate. Please expand on your thoughts a little more. Thanks

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  6. John Baker says:

    Glad you like the site, and thanks for sharing it with others.

  7. John Baker says:

    The post was to show that the family bibles of slave owners can also be used as a source to trace African American ancestry. Many people are not aware of this.

  8. John Baker says:

    Thanks for sharing it with your friends.

  9. John Baker says:

    Many people are not aware that slaves’ dates of birth, death and marriages are sometimes recorded in the family bibles of slave owners and this is another source for African American genealogical research.

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