Welcome to the Restore the Ancestors Project!

This project is a collaboration between Fold3 (Formerly Footnote.com), the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, FamilySearch and Lowcountry Africana, to digitize every surviving estate inventory for Colonial and Charleston South Carolina from 1732 to 1872, as well as selected Bills of Sale for the same period, in a FREE collection.

When the project is complete, the names of more than 30,000 enslaved ancestors from Charleston and surrounding counties will be restored to history in a free online collection, preserved for generations to come.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Amazing Volunteer Discovery: 4 Generations of Slaves on Motte and Broughton Family Plantations, 1829-1865

The estate inventory of Mary Motte of Berkeley, SC, taken in 1842, lists the names, family relationships, birth dates and occupations of 84 enslaved ancestors at Farm Plantation in Berkeley, SC. Three generations are represented in this estate inventory.

Two years later, many of the slaves listed in Mary Motte's estate inventory were sold. The sale record lists the names of purchasers and those they purchased. By comparing the estate inventory and the sale record, we can begin to learn the names of those sold from Farm Plantation, and who their subsequent slaveholders were.

Mary Motte's estate inventory refers to "Miss Broughton," who left Mary Motte a lifetime estate in a group of enslaved families. Miss Broughton is likely Miss Charlotte Broughton, Mary Motte's younger sister. Charlotte Broughton's estate inventory, made at Farm Plantation in 1829, appears to list many of the same slaves in Mary Motte's estate. Some are listed with parents, so the entire document trail reveals four generations of slaves on Broughton and Motte family plantations.

We've built a Footnote page for these assembled documents, you may view it here: 4 Generations of Slaves on Motte and Broughton Family Plantations, 1829-1865.

This amazing document trail was discovered by Felicia R. Mathis, when she volunteered to index 10 pages of this free Footnote collection. What will YOU discover in YOUR 10 pages? You can go right here to volunteer to index!

Many thanks and Blessings to Felicia for making this remarkable discovery!


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