Saturday, October 8, 2016

Robert Lancaster Estate: A Very Large Inventory—Part III: Some of the Slaves

I am continuing the discussion about my 5th Great-grandfather, Robert Lancaster, of Shelby County, Kentucky and his estate. Previously I have discussed the bond and naming of Josiah Lancaster as administrator, about the farm animals and equipment, and about the household goods. Now my attention is on the twelve slaves that were listed.

In the inventory conducted for the estate of Robert Lancaster, these slaves were listed with their values:
The slaves listed in the Robert Lancaster estate inventory
1 negro man naimed Henry                         800     00
1 negro man naimed Edmund                    800     00
I negro man naimed Charles                       170     00
1 negro boy naimed Allen                            400     00
1 negro man naimed Samuel                         50    00
1 negro Boy named Jeremiah                     650     00
1 negro woman naimed Silvey &               900     00
                her 2 children Aaron & Moses
1 negro boy naimed George                       400     00
1 negro woman naimed Lucy                      200     00
1 negro woman naimed Susan                   700     00

The heirs of Robert Lancaster, Creath Neal (husband of Lewis Ann Lancaster), Ellis Lancaster, John S Lancaster, William Lancaster, and Josiah Lancaster, sold to Robert N. Myers, who married Elizabeth Lancaster, four Negroes.[1] These were:
“A negro man named Henry about 20 years old, A negro Woman named Silvey about twenty three years old & her two children Moses and Aaron about one year old.” They were sold for a “sum of sixteen hundred dollars.”
Robert Lancaster apparently did not have a will and the estate was probated by an administrator who was Robert’s youngest son, Josiah. Since there was no will, the estate needed to be inventoried and the assets were sold, in order for the proceeds of the estate be distributed to the heirs. The slaves were not sold at the estate sale, but rather through the deed process.

In the inventory, the slaves were valued at $1700 and sold to a member of the family for $1600.  In the 1840 tax list, Robert Lancaster’s twelve slaves were valued at $5000. Seven of the slaves were listed as over the age of 16.[2] These likely were the men, Henry, Edmund Charles, and Samuel, and the women, Silvey, Lucy, and Susan.

In the 1841 tax list, only one slave remained, a slave over the age of 16.[3]  No value was listed in 1841, but in 1842, the value was $50. From the inventory above, this slave could be Samuel.[4]

But what became of the other slaves? The only sale found in the deed records was the four slaves to Robert N. Myers. Perhaps the other slaves were sold informally to other Lancaster members. Only Josiah was still living in Shelby County. This will take some time to research to determine the status of the remaining slaves.

[1] Shelby Co, Kentucky, Deeds, Book H2, p. 11, Lancaster heirs to Robert N. Myers, 1840; FHL film 259241.
[2] Shelby County, Kentucky, Tax Record, 1840, p. 11, Robert Lancaster, FHL film 08229.
[3] Shelby County, Kentucky, Tax Record, 1841, p. 13, R. Lancaster Adm, FHL film 08229.
[4] Shelby County, Kentucky, Tax Record, 1841, p. 14, R. Lancaster Adm, FHL film 08229.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family


  1. Thank You Lisa for Speaking their Names and writing this Post. Every time I see this online. I'm just Thankful. I can remember all the times when I was young at Genealogy and I knew the Names of the Enslaved and tried to type them in search. NOTHING. Glad technology is so advanced. This is one way their Descendants can find them one day. Thank You again on behalf of my Grandaddy Ike Ivery 1853-1937. He is Proud I'm among some great People.

    1. Thank you, True. I know it's important. I'm going to try to figure out where the rest of the slaves went, too.

    2. Great information, thanks. Bill Lancaster


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