Denise's Ancestors

Enslavement and Freedom

This page is dedicated to my great grandmother Amelia Weaver Roberts known as "Millie", who survived slavery to become the matriarch of my Roberts line.


Born 15 Apr 1835 Loudoun County VA - enslaved

Died 03 Jun 1921, in Washington DC 

What I know from family stories about Millie is that she was a midwife, and was famous for healthy deliveries and healthy mothers, who never died of childbed fever.  

She birthed all of her own children, not allowing anyone else to assist, in fear that they would not practice proper sanitary procedures.  

My Aunt Mildred told me that great grandmother Millie boiled everything - sheets, towels,  and sterilized her birthing instruments in the oven  - at a time when many doctors never even washed their hands before touching a patient.  Her clients were both black and white.  She passed on her knowledge of herbs and healing to her sons and daughters, and one of her sons went on to become a doctor, another a dentist. 



One of the most difficult parts of researching your family history if you are researching African American's in your lineage, is getting "over the brick wall" back into the time of slavery.

Not all African-Americans before 1865 were slaves.  Some lived as Free People of Color (FPOC). I have extracted those FPOC who were enumerated on the 1850 census of Loudoun County VA and am currently updating the details of the index.

 To discover more about those who were held in bondage, you will need to do very different kinds of research, than you do for those who were free. 

It is not impossible to find your ancestors who were enslaved, just more difficult.  Because slaves were viewed as "property" and were taxed as such, there are records.

They were also passed along in families, and can be found in wills, and estate records, or if sold, there may be bills of sale.

What complicates the matter is that most were listed only by first names with no surnames, or enumerated in slave censuses as numbers - with no names.  There are many websites now where you can get help "getting past the brick wall" and the best I've found so far as been the AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum. For research on FPOC there is also a Free Persons of Color Forum.

Help may also be found from the descendants of your ancestors slave owners, who have been researching their families and may have wills, diaries, journals and estate records.  Use the county, or surname bulletin boards at Rootsweb to begin to identify these researchers if you have discovered the names of your ancestors owners.

I am in touch with the descendents of the family that owned my great grandfather Presley ROBERTS, and they have been very helpful, and I am now attempting to track down other family members who may have been owned by the same family.

My Discoveries

Thanks to the assistance of staff members of the Balch Library in Loudoun County VA, and to information found in Loudoun County Will Book Abstracts by Patricia Duncan, I discovered that my great grandfather Presley Roberts had been emancipated by a Margaret Humphrey, and had received a small legacy from her in her will.

I contacted the Loudoun county courthouse, with the number of the will abstract listed in Patricia Duncan's book and in a few days received a package in the mail   with an actual copy of the will of Margaret Humphrey, last owner of my g-grandfather Presley ROBERTS. They also sent me copies of the records of settlement of her estate.

Will of Peggy Humphrey.jpg (285549 bytes)

A page from the will which mentions freeing my great grandfather Presley ROBERTS

Estate acct Peggy Humphrey.jpg (125545 bytes)

A page from a copy of the estate account of Margaret "Peggy" MARKS HUMPHREY, which shows a legacy paid to Presley ROBERTS, as specified in her will.

Clues in the will (legacies to sisters, brothers and nieces) allowed me to identify her and her family  - I had thought she was the unmarried daughter of Thomas HUMPHREY, but this was an error on my part - I realized that the Margaret HUMPHREY referred to in the will of Mary MARKS (my great grandfathers previous owner) is Margaret (Peggy) Marks HUMPHREY, wife of Marcus HUMPHREY, and granddaughter of Reverend John MARKS.

In the will Margaret makes references to her brother's Mason, Abel, Watts and Samuel; her sisters Mary PEUGH, Lydia HESSER and deceased sister Elizabeth WARFORD; her nieces; Margaret CLAGETT, Margaret HESSER, Sarah Ann HESSER and Rebecca SCOTT.

In the will of Abel MARKS wife, Margaret's mother - we see that my great grandfather Presley is given to his daughter:

Will of Abel MARKS:
A/I of 28 May, 1817

Negroes Ralph, Alice, Phebe, Dinah, Nelly & child, Sally and child, Jessee, Eary, Isah, Hannah & child, Fanney, Darcus & Rachel

Will of Mary MARKS (widow of Abel MARKS)* A/I 3 Sept 1827:
awarding of slaves Mason Marks (given Negro James), Samuel MARKS (given Negros Dinah & infant Martha) Mary PEUGH (given Negro Hannah & infant Ury) Margaret HUMPHREY (given Negro Presley) Lydia HESSER (given Negro Lewis) Bennett MARKS (given Negroes Mahlon, Jenny and William) Abel MARKS (given Negro Eliza and Squire) Elizabeth WARFORD (given Negroes Thompson and Ralph) Thomas MARKS (given Negro Charlotte) Walt MARKS ** (given Negroes Madison and Smith)

* these are her children who all got slaves as gifts
** I believe this should be Watts MARKS


On the web page detailing the Descendants of Rev. John Marks 
there is a complete genealogy of the family - there were so many Margaret's, and Mary's I got confused. I am now clear which Margaret Humphrey emancipated my g-grandfather, and who she inherited him from (her mother-in-law, who is also her aunt).

The index of the will - is no substitute for a copy of the will itself. The will contained much more detailed information about the family - this will be useful in helping determine if the MARKS or HUMPHREY family owned any other members of my family.

In the record of  his marriage to my great-grandmother Amelia WEAVER, in 1865 his parents names are listed as "Ralf and Anna Roberts".  Having encountered numerous spelling errors in all records I have looked at so far - I am now attempting to discover if the slave named "Ralph" in Abel Marks will, might possibly be Presley's father - and the "Hannah" his mother.

I decided that I would need to take a trip to Loudoun County to visit the courthouse and search for additional records - and hopefully meet some living relatives as well.

For the story of my trip to Loudoun to do research click the Loudoun County map below:


Other Slave Data:

Former slave surnames (after emancipation):


Slaveholder surnames:


Scroll down for more names...

There are many surnames in Loudoun county VA which are related to my primary lines by marriage.  As I pour through records of wills, estate accounts, slave birth and death records, as well as slave census schedules (these do not list the names of slaves - only the owners and the ages of slaves owned) I have discovered some of the names of owners of relatives of my family.  

I will update this section as new discoveries are made. - I hope to hear from any of you researching these surnames - either descendents of former slaves or descendents of former owners - it is only through a joint effort that we can piece together the lineages of those who in  most cases were people with no last names.


According to the Loudoun County Birth Register 1853-1879 3, in the section on slave births the owner of Ann SCIPIO who gave birth to John SCIPIO on 2 Apr 1853, at Young's Tanyard was Craven JAMES.

Since all of the SCIPIO's in Loudoun are some kind of kin to my JACKSON's, WEAVERS, ROBERTS and SCOTT's I was elated. Looked at my family tree and realized that Ann SCIPIO was on my tree as the mother of Christopher SCIPIO who married Rose JACKSON, in 1874.

Then checked slave schedules:

Found JAMES, Craven
State: VA Year: 1860
County: Loudoun County Record Type: Slave schedule
Township: Southern Dist. Page: 347, 348
Database: VA 1860 Slave Schedule

Listed in 1860 were :

50 year old male black (1810)
45 year old female black (1815)
16 year old Female black (1844 )
14 year old male mulatto (1846)
12 year old female mulatto (1848)
7 year old male black (1853)
7 year old female black (1853)
and listed separately
11 year old female black ( on the page before – employed by Nathan Gregg or Grigg)

After looking at the list of slaves owned in 1860 and comparing them to my family records - I believe that most of the slaves listed are members of my Scipio line - John and Ann - the parents, and some of their children :

Mottley Ann (~1845-)
Cordelia (~1846-)
Harriet A (~1848-)
John (~1853-) - John is verified by the birth record.

Missing are:
James (~1850-)
Christopher (~1851-)

who may have been sold, or more likely hired out and not documented - or who may have been enslaved by another JAMES family member.

Am now attempting to contact JAMES family descendants to acquire further info - from the records, there were several other JAMES family members with slaves - all small numbers.

Found this in records:
re father-in-law of Craven JAMES who also owned slaves (Will of Mahlon MORRIS – “all slaves given to unnamed wife – if she already dead they are to be hired out for one year then freed with passage to a free state” Aug 1856 Exor Craven JAMES) Though his wife didn't pass away until 1879, I assume her slaves were not freed, but there may be a connection.


State: VA Year: 1860
County: Loudoun County Record Type: Slave schedule
Township: Southern Dist. Page: 348
Database: VA 1860 Slave Schedule

BIRTHS listed under slaveholder John BEAVERS:
(female) Florence, 25 Aug 1858, res of master, mother Maria, 80:41[102]
(male) Guy Walker TATE, Sept 1853, mother Harriet TATE 9:7[18]

I found Walker TATE age 17 in 1870 census 1870 Virginia, Roll 1659

and Walker TATE listed in Loudoun County Marriages – as s/o Jerry and Harriet TATE, married 10 April 1873 to Jane JOHNSON d/o Wm and Matilda JOHNSON

Then looked for the father and found:
Jerry (Jeremiah TATE) age 63, Black in 1870 Census Virginia, Roll 1659:
TATE, Jeremiah,63,M,B,VA,LOUDOUN,SOUTHERN DIST,198, with:
wife Harriet Mulatto, 54
daughter Sarah 22 Mulatto
son Craven 11, Mulatto

and a 21 year old male Fenton, Mulatto working next door - figured Fenton may be related - checked and found him in Loudoun county Marriages :

Fenton TATE, 23 listed as son of Jerry and Harriet Tate in marriage record to Phrona WHITE, 28 Nov 1872

Have recently linked these TATE's to my family - one son, William George TATE married my great grandmother's sister - and have added a new page on TATE'S from Loudoun 


CARTER, Francis M.
State: VA Year: 1860
County: Loudoun County Record Type: Slave schedule
Township: Southern Dist. Page: 353
Database: VA 1860 Slave Schedule

Alice MOORE & daughter Josephine b. 1858, Alfred Moore b.1854, Caroline 1855 found in
LC Birth Virginia Birth Register -slave births – Patricia Duncan pg 165

Alice found in 1870 Census married to John MOORE – p 241 Loudoun County

There is an Alfred MOORE age 60 – (must be John’s father) in the household
Other children listed in 1870: Marthann 10, Ashby 8, Fenton 2

young Alfred MOORE later married Ann Geneva PAYNE WILLIAMS,11 Dec 1894. - Ann was in the household of my great grandfather Dennis WILLIAMS whose second wife was Mariah Luella PAYNE (1880 Census). I am not sure yet what Ann's relationship is to my great grandmother Mariah Luella.


In slave birth records for Loudoun county - Levin CHAMBLIN is listed as the owner of Clara VALENTINE, location Snickersville.

several births are listed for Clara:

1853 - Adah VALENTINE
1855 - twins - Dennis and Lewis
1859 - Eliza

In the 1870 census for Loudoun County, Bloomfield, Eliza is found working as a house servant in the home of Levin CHAMBLIN.
Clara VALENTINE is found on page 218, age 52, as is her son Lewis and another young male Valentine - Steven.

Am hoping to connect this family to the (?) VALENTINE who married Amanda SCIPIO (b. 1890 d. 1987 Loudoun VA)

In 1880 there is a distorted index:

Census Place: E.D. 56, Loudoun, Virginia
Source: FHL Film 1255376 National Archives Film T9-1376 Page 526D 
Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Occ: Works On Farm Fa: VA Mo: VA
Annie VALENTINE Wife F M M 28 VA
Occ: Keeping House Fa: VA Mo: VA
Franklin VALENTINE Son M S M 2 VA
Occ: Home Fa: VA Mo: VA
Occ: Home Fa: VA Mo: VA
Calard VALENTINE Mother F W M 60 VA
Occ: Home Fa: VA Mo: 

Looking at the original record - this is Clara, and the "D" must be Dennis - though the birth date is off.

As I searched for family connections I began to run across information unrelated to my family, but that will be useful to someone else who is searching for their roots in Loudoun during the slave period.  The following pages contain data from a variety of sources (see below) and are not confirmed - but are "highly likely".  

I have not had the chance to organize the material yet so I am afraid you will have to scroll through the data or use your "find" option in your browser to look for slave and slave-owner surnames and first names.



State: VA Year: 1860
County: Loudoun County Record Type: Slave Schedule
Township: No Twp Listed Page: 329
Database: VA 1860 Slave Schedule

In his will of 13 Jan 1883 - gave farm known as Henson Place to former slaves Allen WEBSTER and wife Sarah.

Allen (45) and Sarah (40) are found in 1870 census, in Loudoun county, near Hillsboro p.139 with children Mary (11), Ruth (9), Occan (7), and Cornelius (5)


8 Mar 1858 in the will of George MARLOW of Loudoun VA mentioned are slaves: Isaac SANDS, Sam JOHNSON, Henry JOHNSON, Dennis JOHNSON, Charles JOHNSON, Frank JOHNSON and Nancy JOHNSON.

It is not clear if they were sold or given to his widow Mary W MARLOW, or children.

Isaac SANDS is found at age 60 in 1870 census of Loudoun County. Dennis JOHNSON is also found in Loudoun 1870 at age 60 (the index lists him as 10 - when you look at actual record he is 60 and a h.o.h)

Have not looked up at the rest of the above named JOHNSON'S- was doing a first name search for my great grandfather Dennis - and ran across these entries.



For anyone searching for enslaver of Robert Heaters found in 1880 in Loudoun County:
Census Place: E.D. 56, Loudoun, Virginia

Source: FHL Film 1255376 National Archives Film T9-1376 Page 531A

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Robt. HEATERS Self M M B 50 VA

Occ: Works On Farm Fa: VA Mo: VA
Nancy HEATERS Other F B 50 VA

Occ: Keeping House Fa: VA Mo: VA
Flomera BROWN Other F S B 9 VA

Occ: Home Fa: VA

I have found him in the will of Ramey G SAUNDERS, Feb 21, 1865 which mentions "owes (John Thos. Dulin) for Negro Robt Heater who was very unprofitable for the last four years from bone fellon sickness.



In the will of Samuel MOORE, A/I 29, Mar 1852 unnamed wife was left servants "Daniel Mulberry & Francis A Williams".

Will of Samuel Moore 1852 leaves slaves Daniel Mulberry and Francis A. Williams to unnamed wife.  Sons William and George L. and Mason executors.  

1850 census shows wife of Samuel is Sarah.

1860 slave schedule shows Sarah:  


  State: VA Year: 1860

  County: Loudoun County Record Type: Slave schedule

  Township: Southern Dist. Page: 350

  Database: VA 1860 Slave Schedule  

1870 Daniel Mulberry 55 (incorrectly listed as Bulberry)  and Francis age 40 found :  

BULBERRY, DANIEL (1870 U.S. Census)

Virginia , LOUDOUN, SOUTHERN DIST , Age 55,  Male,  Race: Black,  Born: VA

Series: M593  Roll: 1659   Page: 191

 n 1878 Marriages - I find Edward K MULBERRY marrying Ann M JACKSON (who may be one of my Jackson relatives from Mt. Giliad) d. o. Zachariah & Va, JACKSON Edward is listed as the son of Danl. and Frances MULBERRY


widowed  Francis found: Census Place:    District 55, Mount Gilead , Loudoun , Virginia

            Source:           FHL Film 1255376  National Archives Film T9-1376     Page 504D    

            Relation          Sex     Marr    Race   Age     Birthplace

E. MULBERRY          Self     M         M         MU      25        VA

            Occ:    Farmhand      Fa: VA            Mo: VA

Ann M. MULBERRY  Wife    F          M         MU      25        VA

            Occ:    Keeps House            Fa: VA            Mo: VA

Francis MULBERRY Dau     F          S         MU      4          VA

                                    Fa: VA            Mo: VA

Francis MULBERRY GMother         F          W        MU      50        VA



"Will of Milton H CARPENTER, 26 April 1861 brother Marshall W CARPENTER (Negro Caroline & children) un-named brothers and sisters, servants not to be sold out of Loudoun..."

A/I of 5 June 1861 ...servants Caroline and child, Adolphus, Amanda and Washington....

I believe this to be the same family found in 1880 Census:

Census Place: Mercer, Loudoun, Virginia

Source: FHL Film 1255376 National Archives Film T9-1376 Page 456B

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace
Marcus HAMPTON Self M M B 50 VA

Occ: Farm Fa: VA Mo: VA
Coroline HAMPTON Wife F M MU 56 VA

Occ: Keeping House Fa: VA Mo: VA
Washington HAMPTON Son M S MU 26 VA

Occ: Laborer Fa: VA Mo: VA
Adolphus HAMPTON Son M S B 19 VA

Occ: Laborer Fa: VA Mo: VA
George Wm. HAMPTON Son M S B 17 VA

Occ: Laborer Fa: VA Mo: VA
Mary THORNLEY Other F S MU 35 VA

Occ: Servant Fa: VA Mo: VA

Fa: VA


In 1880 census:

Census Place: District 55, Mount Gilead, Loudoun, Virginia

Source: FHL Film 1255376 National Archives Film T9-1376 Page 504D

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

Occ: Farmhand Fa: VA Mo: VA

Occ: Keeps House Fa: VA Mo: VA
Francis MULBERRY Dau F S MU 4 VA

Fa: VA Mo: VA
Francis MULBERRY GMother F W MU 50 VA

Fa: VA Mo: VA

     click the lamp to go to the next page of Loudoun county VA enslaved families and their owners 



  1. Loudoun County Virginia Will Book Abstracts, Books 2A-3C Jun 1841-Dec 1879 & Superior  Court Books A and B 1810-1888, by Patricia B. Duncan, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2001

  2. Loudoun County Virginia Will Book Abstracts Books A-Z Dec 1757 - Jun 1841, by Patricia B. Duncan, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2000

  3. Loudoun County, Virginia, Birth Register 1853-1879, by Patricia B. Duncan, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2000

  4. Abstracts of Loudoun County Virginia Register of Free Negroes, 1844-1861, by Patricia B. Duncan, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland,  2000

  5. Loudoun County ,Virginia Marriages After 1850 Volume 1, 1851-1880, by Patricia B. Duncan and Elizabeth R. Frain, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 2000

  6. Loudoun county, Virginia Death Register 1853-1896, by Elizabeth R. Frain and Marty Hiatt, CRGS, Willow Bend Books, Westminster, Maryland, 1998

  7. Generations Archives - by Heritage Quest - census CD's for Loudoun County, & African-Americans in the 1870 Census

  8. Family Search - 1880 United States Census and National Index

  9. - Census Images online, AIS census indexes, message boards

  10. Loudoun County VA, USGenWeb pages

  11.  - Surname and county forums



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