Slaves of John Patrick, Junior

George N. Barnard – Photo by George N. Barnard. de.wikipedia uploaded by Rolling Thunder orig. source:

Slaves of John Patrick, Jr.

Today is the final day of Black History Month. I was so grateful that RootsTech took part in this by celebrating African Heritage Day as part of the conference. Although I was unable to attend live (I was working in my booth!) I have watched all the general sessions from that day. Furthermore, I learned for the first time of efforts to record and “release” the names of slaves found while doing research. Doing so could be key to helping their descendants find the names of their ancestors. I first heard of this at RootsTech, but I must thank Diana Elder of The Family Locket blog, for her post that provided the details I needed to participate.

The initiative, called the Slave Name Roll project, began two years ago by Tangled Roots and Branches blogger, Schalene Dagutis.

To participate in this initiative I am releasing the following names found in the will of John Patrick, Jr.

Will of John Patrick of Warren County, Kentucky

In his will dated August 29, 1816, my 6th great-grandfather, John Patrick Junior names several slaves. They are:

  • Viz Nanny
  • Pat (woman)
  • Jenny (woman)
  • Sandy (man)
  • Ephraim (boy)
  • Westley (boy)
  • Ned
  • Viney (girl)
  • Sukey
  • Fanny and her child, Harriet
  • Bob (man)
  • Ben (man)

John Patrick passed away in November 1816. Prior to moving to Warren County, Kentucky he also owned land and slaves in Halifax County, North Carolina and Warren County, North Carolina (1793). By 1802 the family was in Warren County, Kentucky where he received a land grant for his service in the Revolutionary War. In 1805 he purchased 162 acres from Andrew McFaddin on Ray’s Branch in Warren County.

Approximate location of John Patrick Plantation

Will Transcription

I, John Patrick of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the County of Warren, being in a declining state of health but of disposing mind & memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament, revoking all others heretofore made.

Item: I lend to my wife, Sarah, during life the land & plantation whereon I now live, and at her death I direct the same to be sold on a credit of twelve months and the money arising from such sale be divided equally amongst my four sons, James, Allen, Wiley & Green or their lawfull heirs. I also lend my wife, Sarah, for and during life the following Negroes, Viz Nanny, Pat, Jenny, Sandy, Ephraim, Westley, Ned, Viney, & Sukey, also I lend my wife, Sarah, my Negroe Woman Fanny and child – Harriet, untill my daughter Nancy arrives to lawfull age or marries. I also lend my wife, Sarah, all my stock of horses, Cattle, Sheep, & hogs, together with my Plantation Utensils during ife, and I do give to my said wife, Sarah, at her own disposal, my household & kitchen furniture, together with my crop of every description.

Item: Whereas, I have heretofore given my two sons James and Allen, a horse beast, saddle & bridle, I now confirm the same to them.

Item: I give to my daughter Nancy, upon her arriving to twenty one years or marriage, my Negroe woman Fanny & her child Harriett, together with their future increase, and should my said daughter Nancy, depart this life without leaving lawfull heirs, then I do give & direct the said Negro woman Fanny & her child Harriett with their increase (if any) be equally divided amongst my then surviving children.

Item: It is my will & desire that my Negroes Bob and Ben be hired out during the life of my wife, annually, and the money arising from such hire, be applied towards buying an horse beast for each of my sons Wiley & Green, with Saddle & Bridle, each are not to be given my sons untill they arrive to lawfull age or marry.

Item: It is my desire, all my stock of every description, at the death of my wife, be equally divided, by sale or otherwise, amongst my children hereafter named, to wit, William, John, Luke, Betsey, and Polly or their representatives.

Item: I give to my daughter Sallie Bowsman, one cow and calf to be be paid her at my death.

Item: I give to my three grandchildren Wiatt, John and Catherine McFaddin, one hundred dollars each, to be paid them on coming to twenty years or marriage which legacies are to be raised from the hire of my said men, Bob and Ben.

Item: It is my Will & desire, at my wife’s death, the Negroes lent her, are to be divided amongst my children hereafter mentioned.

Item: I give to my son William & his heirs my Negroe man Ben. I give to my son John and his heirs my Negroe man Sandy. I give to my son Luke and his heirs my Negroe boy Ephraim. I give to my son James & his heirs my Negroe boy Westley. I give to my son Allen & his heirs my Negro girl Viney and her future increase.

Item: At the death of my wife I lend my daughter Polly Tarents, during her life, my Negroe woman Pat, and at the death of my daughter Polly Tarents, I give the said Negroe woman, Pat with her future increase (if any) to be divided equally amongst the children of my daughter Polly by sale or otherwise.

Item: I lend my daughter Betsey Taylor, after the death of my wife, my Negroe woman Jenny and after the death of my said daughter, Betsey Taylor, I give the said Negroe woman Jenny, & her future increase, to be equally divided amongst the children of my said daughter Betsey Taylor.

Item: After the death of my wife, I direct my Negroe man Bob be sold on a credit of twelve months, together with the crop on hand, and the money arising from such sale be applied towards paying off any debt the estate may be owing, and the balance be divided amongst my four youngest sons, James, Allen, Wiley and Green, together with my Plantation utensils.

I appoint my son John Patrick & William Taylor, Executors to this my last Will and Testament.

Witness my hand & Seal this 29th day of August 1816.

Witnesses: John Loving, William L. Christian, Ephraim Ellis

Next Steps

It is a curious thing for me to think about my ancestors holding people as property. It is foreign to my way of thinking in every way. I also feel inclined to also do additional research to see if any of the slaves left to his children appear in future records. If I find something I will post what I find.

I am grateful for this opportunity to publish the names of these slaves in hopes that someone can find it useful in doing their own research.

Have you found slaves in your genealogy research?

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