Will books often contain many details that can help break the “brick wall” often experienced when researching enslaved individuals prior to emancipation. To aid Davidson County researchers, the Nashville Metro Archives now offers an online database of names of enslaved individuals found in Davidson County records.
The Slave and Free People of Color Database provides access to thousands of names of enslaved individuals found in Davidson County will books. Additional data points may include:
- the type of record (e.g., will, bill of sale, estate inventory, settlement)
- the slaveholder’s name
- the slaveholder’s residence
- enslaved individual’s age and sex
- family relationships
- whom the enslaved individual was transferred to
- details about the entry, such as date, will book, and page numbers.
The database includes more than 14,000 entries are between 1783 – 1865. Visit https://www.library.nashville.org/research/databases/nashville-slave-and-free-people-color-database to view & search the records!