Tips on searching the indexing projects

The indexing projects function like a spreadsheet and provide a flexible platform to search and organize data.

Click on any entry to show a vertical display of all fields.

To Search

There are two methods you can use to search fields.

SEARCH METHOD #1

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner.

  2. Check off which fields you wish to search. Choose one or a combination of fields.

    • If searching for a name, try various spellings or partial spellings. There is no Soundex search capability.

      • For example, if searching for first name Catherine, also try Catharine or Cath.

    • If searching for a date, use the format yyyy-mm-dd. Search just a year (yyyy) or year and month (yyyy-mm) to increase search results

SEARCH METHOD #2

  1. Click on the field heading (top row with field description).

  2. Scroll down and select Search.

    • If searching for a name, try various spellings or partial spellings. There is no Soundex search capability.

      • For example, if searching for first name Catherine, also try Catharine or Cath.

    • If searching for a date, use the format yyyy-mm-dd. Search just a year (yyyy) or year and month (yyyy-mm) to increase search results

To ORGanize

You can organize fields in ascending or descending order without searching or after obtaining search results.

ORGANIZING WITHOUT SEARCHING

  1. Click on the field heading (top row with field description).

  2. Scroll down and select either Sort by Asc or Sort by Desc. This will sort the database in chronological or alphabetical order depending on the field type.

ORGANIZING AFTER SEARCHING

  1. Follow Search Method #1 or #2 as described above.

  2. Click on the field heading (top row with field description).

  3. Scroll down and select either Sort by Asc or Sort by Desc. This will sort your search results in chronological or alphabetical order depending on the field type.

Tips on searching enslaved persons and slaveholder indices

Please refer to the images to confirm the extracted information, and to determine the possibility that enslaved people are arranged in family groups, etc.

  • ENTRY NO: This is a number specifically assigned to the person as they are entered into the database, and to assist in your research as you refer or cite this database. The number has no correspondence to the source.

  • ENSLAVED PERSON: This field is formated “first name middle name surname” for example, Sarah Ann Smith. However, the majority of slaves listed in inventories indexed on this website were listed by only by first name. It is recommended that you search only first names if an initial search of the first name and surname is negative.

    • Please try alternative and partial spellings for all first names. There is no Soundex search capability.

      • For example, if searching for first name Phyllis, try also Fillis or Fil.

      • I have included familiar spellings for some names in brackets, to aid in your search results.

      • Often, women’s names were listed, followed by the number of children with whom they are being appraised or sold. In this case, I have included an entries for each unnamed child, formatted “Unnamed child [of mother],” i.e. “Unnamed child [of Fillis].”

  • APPROXIMATE YEAR OF BIRTH: This field was calculated for enslaved persons if their approximate age was provided on a record. That age was subtracted from the year the record was made. Keep in mind the approximate years of birth may not be accurate.

  • SLAVEHOLDER OR ESTATE (SELLER): This field contains the name of the person selling the slave, or the estate of a deceased person to whom the slave belonged. Names are formated “surname, first name, middle name or initial, title.”

    • Please try alternative and partial spellings for all first names and surnames. There is no Soundex search capability.

    • Try only searching the surname. It was common for individuals to be listed by initials and not full names.

    • If searching for initials, do not include periods. For example, J.T. Smith would be indexed as “Smith, J T”

    • For the most part, I have tried to research and include the full names of individuals and have lengthened abbreviations to the full names. For example, Geo Smith would be indexed as “Smith, George”

    • Alternative or standard spellings are offered in brackets to aid in your search results.

  • SLAVEHOLDER (RECIPIENT/PURCHASER): This field contains the name of the person purchasing a slave, or receiving a slave via a will if the source recorded this information. See tips for searching in “SLAVEHOLDER OR ESTATE (SELLER).”

  • TRANSCRIBED PHRASE: This field contains a phrase that was listed in the source in connection with the individual. The phrase usually describes the person as man, woman, girl, boy, child or infant. An age may be given, as well as whether the person was sick, blind, an idiot, “bright” or sound. The phrase may list the number of children, or describe familial relationships.

  • DATE OF APPRAISAL: This field contains the date on which an appraisal of the enslaved person’s value was conducted. If an exact date was not recorded, the year or estimated year is provided.

  • APPRAISAL: This field contains the dollar value at which an enslaved person was valued according to the appraisers.

  • DATE OF EXCHANGE: This field contains the date on which an enslaved person was “sold” or received by the new slaveholder.

  • PRICE: This field contains the dollar amount that was paid for the enslaved person, if recorded. This amount may be more or less than the amount at which the enslaved person was appraised.

  • NOTES: These are my notes referencing entries to cross-reference, discrepancies in the source, etc. that may help the researcher.

  • SOURCE LOCATION: This is the website or repository where the source can be located.

  • DATABASE TITLE: This is how the source is listed on the website or at the repository.

  • DATABASE IMAGE: This is the image number that you can use to go directly to the entry.

  • BOOK WITHIN DATABASE: Some databases on websites may have images of more than one book. The book is specified for citation purposes.

  • PAGE #: The page number is specified for citation purposes.