From Virginia to Alabama, Are These Your People?

While searching for information on family history, if I happen across facts that may be helpful to others, I put it on a type of shelf for later.

Recently, while looking through the unindexed records of FamilySearch, I saw this and decided to share it here:

1845 Maclin to Butts + Spencer Deed

Know all men by these presents that I William J. Maclin of the county of Talledega in the state of Alabama for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars to me in hand paid by Augustine C. Butts and Elizabeth B. Spencer of the county of Greensville in the state of Virginia before the sealing and delivery of these presently the receipts whereof I do hereby acknowledge have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain and sell unto the said Augustine C. Butts answer Elizabeth B. Spencer of the county and state aforesaid, their Executors, Administration or assigns, all of my contingent interest in the negroes hereafter mentioned, which said contingent interest consists of my contingent distributive share of the negroes bequeathed to Elizabeth B. Maclin by her former husband Benjamin Maclin, for for her life remainder to his surviving children at her death as well as my contingent distributive share of the portion of my deceased brother Richard Maclin, including also the black man Cyrus who was bequeathed to Elizabeth B. Maclin for life independent of the other property by her former husband Benjamin Maclin, that is to say Cyrus, Mary, Martha, and her child Henry, Minerva and her four children Jinny, Fanny, Cyrus, + Roxanna, Fountain, Celia, Beverly, Henry Nancy and her children, Harriett, Baker, aged, David, and William, Anna, and her four children, Hetty, Ned, Hesturll and Charles, the boy Sam, all of which said negroes are now remaining and being in the county of Talledega in the state of Alabama

To have and to hold the said contingent interest in the said negroes above mentioned bargained and sold to the said Augustine C. Butts and Elizabeth B. Spencer, their Executor Administrator or assigns and I the said William J. Maclin for myself my her is Executors or administration will forever defend the said contingent interest on the said negroes against the claims of myself my heirs Executors or administration by virtue of these presents

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this twenty eight day of March in the year one thousand-eight hundred and forty five

Wm. J. Maclin. {seal}

Talladega County to wit

We James Lawson and Wm. R. Waldron justices of the peace in the County aforesaid, in the state of Alabama do hereby certify that William J. Maclin a party to a certain Deed bearing date on the 28th day of March in the year 1845 and hereto annexed personally appeared before us in our County aforesaid and acknowledged with the same, to be his act and deed and desired us to certify the said acknowledgment to the Clerk of the County Court of Greensville in the state of Virginia in order that the said deed may be recorded Given under our hands + seals this 11th day of June 1845

Jas: Lawson {seal}

Wm. B. Waldron {seal}

Greensville County Court Clerks office July 1st 1845. This Deed of Bargain and sale from William J. Maclin to Augustine C. Butts and Elizabeth B. Spencer was this day received in the office certified by justice according to law and admitted record Teste

Jos: Turner C.C.

Elizabeth Spencer was previously married to William Maclin’s brother, Benjamin-who passed away in Greensville County, Virginia on May 1, 1833.

According to several family trees on Ancestry.com, Elizabeth remarried Thomas Spencer, Esq., a former law partner of her first husband’s. These same Ancestry trees have Elizabeth passing away on January 18, 1875 in Marion, Union, Louisiana. In these trees, there is no reference to Talladega, Alabama.

I searched the records for hint possibilites for the formerly enslaved. I checked using given names with birthplaces in Virginia and residences as Talledega, Alabama:

Could this be the younger Cyrus?

Martha?

Minerva’s Rosana/Roxana?

Maybe they also went to Louisana?

In any case, this virtual labrynth of genealogy is what descendants of the American enslaved face while tracing history. However, do not be dismayed! The records are there, they may be unindexed, they may not be an “easy find,” but know that you can break through the brickwall of 1870.

This record from 1845 with multi-generational enslaved people proves just that. I truly help that a descendant of these souls finds this page and is able to find their people.

This is our situation.

The Genealogy Situation Room

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